Sex is a natural function of life. But for many men, sex can lead to feelings of anxiety, which could ultimately lead to erectile dysfunction (ED).
The Link Between Performance Anxiety and ED.
Research suggests there is a clear link between a man’s mental state and his ability to perform sexually. Performance anxiety is usually caused by negative thoughts and fears about performing well enough. These negative thoughts may be wrapped up in feelings towards body image, penis size or future concerns around the ability to satisfy a partner.
But other things can lead to a fear of sexual performance. For example, stress at work, home, financial difficulties, relationship and family issues can all contribute to performance anxiety.
Beyond the mental stress, how someone deals with that stress can also affect the ability to get or maintain an erection. For instance, if this stress is dealt with by smoking, drinking too much alcohol, other types of self-medication, losing sleep, or having an unhealthy relationship to food, these lifestyle factors can all contribute to ED.
How Can Counselling Help?
Many men suffering from ED decide to get a prescription for Viagra or some other medication. The problem with this is twofold. Firstly, they are not getting to the root of the problem, which is the stress in their life. Also, many prescription medications can come with unwanted side effects.
There is a much better approach to eliminate stress and anxiety; reaching out for support.
A counsellor can help discover what is bothering you, how this is affecting you and offer ways to move through these difficult times and navigate your emotions healthily.
If you are suffering from performance anxiety/erectile dysfunction and are finding that it is affecting your relationship, please get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to discuss how individuals or couples counselling could be helpful.