Erectile dysfunction, or ED, happens when a man isn’t able to get or sustain an erection long enough to have satisfying sex. ED is considered the most common sexual condition in men and affects up to 1 in 3 men 1.

Difficulty having an erection from time to time is normal. But when you start to notice it more often than not, it could be ED.

Symptoms of ED include 2:

  • Having an erection sometimes, but not when you wish to have sex

  • Getting an erection, but it doesn’t last long enough

  • Being unable to have an erection at any time

Oftentimes, erectile dysfunction is a symptom of another health issue. So, if you’re experiencing any of the above scenarios, we recommend giving us a call so we can get to the root of what’s causing your ED. 

The Psychological Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

While ED is common, it’s not considered a normal part of aging, and aging doesn’t cause ED. In fact, 1 in 4 men (26%) with ED are under 40 years of age 3.

So, if it isn’t age, what actually causes erectile dysfunction?

For most patients, there’s typically an underlying physical cause. However, ED isn’t just limited to physical causes. It can also occur due to emotional or psychological factors.

Up to 20% of ED cases are due to psychological factors 4 and aren’t treated in the same way that physical causes are treated. Psychological or emotional issues that lead to ED are also more complex to detect and diagnose.

The most common psychological or emotional causes for ED 5 include:

  • Anxiety – Many are surprised to find that this is the most regular psychological cause of ED.

  • Stress

  • Depression

  • Relationship problems

  • Fear of sexual issues or dysfunction

How to know if ED is physical or psychological?

Onset Usually abrupt Usually gradual
Nighttime erections Yes No
Partners May occur with one partner only Occurs with all partners
Erections triggered by erotic stimuli other than intercourse Possibly No

How Do You Treat Psychological Erectile Dysfunction?

At Truong Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Anne Truong is dedicated to getting to the core of what’s causing your ED. To do this, we’ll work together to determine what factors are causing your ED.

The first step is meeting with you to discuss your symptoms. Part of that consultation includes a validated and standardized questionnaire. This assessment helps us determine if what you’re experiencing is ED and if the suspected cause is psychological or physical.

For psychological causes, we’ll refer you to a certified sex counselor or therapist who can help you get to the core of your anxiety, depression, stress, etc. For this, we partner with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) as well as the American College of Sexologists.

These highly trained counselors use a combination of therapies that involves an integrated approach of mindfulness, Masters and Johnson Sex Therapy (sensate focus), cognitive behavior therapy, and couples therapy. Sensate focus is a technique that:

  • Strengthens communication and intimacy between partners around sex

  • Lowers sexual performance anxiety

  • Shifts you away from sexual patterns that may not be serving you and your partner

  • Establishing mutual responsibility between partners for addressing sexual needs and concerns

  • Providing information and education about sexual function and sexual activity

  • Being willing to change attitudes about sex

  • Reducing problematic behaviors and sex roles in the relationship

  • Giving homework to help couples change their sexual relationship for the better

An erection occurs when there is a balance between mental and physical states.

But it would be misleading to regard ED as strictly one or the other—either psychological or physical. Often both contribute to ED. In fact, more than 80% of men who have ED as a reaction to an underlying physical illness go on to develop psychological issues that further hamper erections. For example, a man may develop ED as a side effect of a drug, and then become so anxious about his sexual performance that he continues to have trouble with erections even after he stops using the drug.

Psychological ED tends to go away with time with appropriate treatments. The treatment depends on what’s causing your stress and anxiety.

The goal of our initial consultation is to get you answers fast. No more guesswork. No more wasted time and money. You can finally get the correct diagnosis and treatment so you can get your symptoms reversed and your sexual fulfillment back.

Treat Your Erectile Dysfunction – Book Your ED Consultation at Truong Rehabilitation Center

At Truong Rehabilitation Center, we understand how important your sexual health is and how overwhelming it is to consider the possibility of ED.

We want to assure you that oftentimes, finding out the underlying cause of ED and treating it is enough to reverse your symptoms. But to do that, we need to find out what’s really behind your ED.

The first step is to schedule a consultation at our Fredericksburg, VA, clinic. To book your appointment, call us at (540) 374-3164 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to helping you get to the root of your ED so you can get back to fully enjoying your sex life!


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