Is it really erectile dysfunction or just performance anxiety?

Anxiety is very much logical. It is a reasonable response to physical or mental stress. It can happen with anyone at any age group. It occurs in the form of nervousness, worrisome thoughts, sweating, headache, loss of appetite, acidity, nausea, restlessness and inefficiency. Every person has their way of dealing with anxiety. While some try to comfort themselves by diverting their mind, others, on the other hand, may find it difficult to control their anxiety. Sex can give you a sizable amount of performance anxiety that may cause more stress. This elevated stress level could cause other sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and loss of libido. The tensity to fulfill the sexual expectations is quite tormenting. You start doubting your abilities and may start lacking confidence. This affects your other work-life adversely and the gradually depressive state takes over.

The loop of Performance anxiety and Erectile dysfunction -

Performance anxiety is related to sexual dysfunction in numerous ways but these two are separate entities with a different set of symptoms and treatment. This feeling of low self-esteem and incapability may further progress into a physical form and cause erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is an inability to achieve and maintain an erection for the required amount of time during sexual activity. 

Performance anxiety is the debility of performing tasks due to fearful thoughts and consequences. Performance anxiety during sex is mainly due to the size of the penis, physical appearance, any bodily imperfection and sexual expectations of the partner. Certain medications also alter your thoughts and sleep pattern, that can lead to performance anxiety as well.

How to handle it?

Several men fell into the curve of performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. Failure to maintain an erection at times may begin to develop performance anxiety before the act. They should be aware of the situation and can take it lightly rather than distressing with grueling thoughts. You can ponder for the reason behind it. It can be work-related stress or any family situation. Try not to overthink it and definitely not reading any irrelevant information on the media. Best would be to see an expert as soon as you start noticing the symptoms. 

Changing lifestyle may help you relieve your stress and anxiety. Start with small changes in your routine, diet and indulge in your favorite activity with your partner. Exercise focusing on the pelvic floor helps to strengthen the muscles and improve the blood supply to the penis. Obstruction in blood flow is the prime cause of erectile dysfunction.

Yoga or meditation is the most sought after way to calm your mind. It also keeps stress at the bay. Couple therapy sessions and counseling can help you gain insights into the relationship. 

Continually experiencing performance anxiety over a course of time can actually be an indication to see a doctor. He can rule out the cause of sexual dysfunction. Guided imagery is the treatment of choice for Performance anxiety. It has to be strictly followed as per protocols over a course of few sessions. It can help you to overcome any physical or mental stress by connecting your unconscious mind. You can also practice it at home but you need to be very consistent about it. Breathing exercise also helps to loosen all the muscle tension in your body.

Erectile dysfunction is a very much treatable condition. There are several medications available that could help you achieve erection for longer period of time.


Trust your abilities.

Don’t judge yourself for one bad performance. Eventually, it happens with all sooner or later. Relax your mind and focus on other things that derives you pleasure. Sex problems should be talked about with your partner and an expert. Force yourself to live the moment rather than staying aloof and let these thoughts leave you in the lurch. The problem doesn’t lie in your organ, it lies in your brain. Value yourself a bit more, bid adieu to the negative thought and people causing it. Appreciate what you have. Orgasm or erection is one small part of your sexual life. You can still have great foreplay or may do some cuddling after that. You can switch the roles for a day to understand each other better. Maybe you will land upon a solution yourself. The relationship you share with your partner is more about commitment, trust, support, care and love. It doesn’t happen overnight, so yes, you really need to put some effort into it. 

No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about health and wellness. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.
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