Erectile dysfunction can happen every so often or gradually set in. Whatever the case, there is no reason for alarm. Indeed, these « problems » are often a reaction to stress in daily life, which in itself can make them worse or turn them into a chronic issue. It is essential not to try to analyse the inability to sustain an erection in a systematic way. Sleep or appetite vary over time, they are fluctuating phenomena subject to « humors » ; the same applies to sexuality
However, if the erectile dysfunction lasts more than a few weeks, or occurs at regular intervals, a specialized assessment is required. Indeed, the causes of erectile dysfunction can be divided into 2 groups : organic and/or psychogenic. The organic factors will be identified by the andrologist, and, depending on the findings, the evaluation will be rounded off by one or two visits to a sex therapist in order to identify the exact psychogenic factors involved.
Finally, erectile dysfunction is often the symptom of a dysfunctional couple. This aspect should not be ignored. It is important to allay the man’s feeling of guilt, as he believes he is the sole person responsible for the situation, whereas he is often the first victim of this frustrating manifestation.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES
The psychological consequences of lasting erectile dysfunction give rise to any number of very uncomfortable feelings : frustration, deprivation of pleasure and enjoyment, low self-esteem, a feeling of failure, despondency and sometimes anger.
The odd problem should not cause major concern or anxiety, which could compound the situation.
However, the enigma surrounding a persisting difficulty has a devastating impact on the individual’s morale and can trigger a serious depressive disorder. It is truly important to consult a specialist with a view to an in-depth medical and psychological assessment and proper treatment.
When the man suffering from erectile dysfunction lives with another person, it is of paramount importance for both partners to attend the consultation together, in order to receive comprehensive treatment.
Finally, it is important not to give way to the temptation of « systematically medicalizing » erectile dysfunction without seeking its real causes. Chemical substances used alone are not a suitable answer to this type of disorder, and after a short-lived improvement, disappointment will set in and simply make the symptoms worse.
2. PSYCHOGENIC CAUSES :
This is the field of sexology, the aim of which is to explore the pyschogenic causes of erectile dysfunction and treat them.
EMOTIONS are directly linked to the quality of the erection ; an emotional disorder may suffice to reduce or even dispel an erection.
Another upsetting element is the visibility of what is experienced as an inability. The organ no longer obeys, and visibly so, even when the feeling of desire is present.
Moreover, in certain cases, if the « other person» appears censorious, the performance lapses into failure !
It is worth stressing that an erection is also the manifestation of a gift : desire of the other person. When the partner is not in a position to receive this present, recurrent rejection over the years causes frustration and incomprehension on the part of the desirous man, which leads to a disappearance of erection. This creates a vicious circle linked to anxiety over performance and fear of failure.
Lack of erotic imagination spawning boredom and routine is also responsible for a lack of urge and deficient erection.
Finally, erectile dysfunction may be due to stressful individual events (loss of a loved one, separation, health, unemployment, financial or family problems, etc). However, the erotic relationship and intimacy of a couple are closely linked to the quality of the erection. One must NO LONGER accept the idea that the