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How Anxiety Induces Impotence

Daniel Sher, MA, Clin Psychology
How Anxiety Induces Impotence

It's hard enough to live with anxiety. Every day is spent worrying over issues that may not even be important, or spending time trying to quell the numerous physical symptoms that anxiety seems to cause.

So when anxiety also has a symptom that can cause more anxiety, that can be a tremendous struggle. Unfortunately, anxiety can cause several symptoms that increase anxiety, and one of them is impotence.

Anxiety Can Induce Impotence

Impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is a sexual disorder in which man struggles to get or maintain an erection. The cause of sexual dysfunction in men can be incredibly difficult to diagnose, so if you're concerned you do need to talk to a doctor. Yet anxiety - especially severe anxiety - can cause a host of different issues that affect your libido and erectile function is one of them. 

The relationship that anxiety has to impotence is a complicated one, because each person experiences the effects of anxiety differently. Some people experience the opposite: premature ejaculation, where the man climaxes too quickly as a result of anxiety. Some men experience both. Sexually, some men are not affected by anxiety at all.

Ultimately, anxiety may trigger different changes that could induce impotence. Some of these include:

One of the ironies of impotence caused by anxiety is that it can be self-sustaining. Many men need pride in their sexual prowess to be confident in the bedroom. When they're impotent, that confidence decreases, and it can bleed into their personal life in other ways.

That's one of the reasons that this type of sexual dysfunction can be such a significant issue for men. It fuels anxiety further and can make it even harder to control your anxiety in the future.

How to Overcome Impotence From Anxiety

Overcoming this impotence is a two-step process. The first is to try to ensure that sex is natural for you again, and something that creates a positive emotion. This involves talking to your partner, and making sure they understand that you have anxiety and it's affected your libido.

Many men try to keep it to themselves and hope it doesn't happen, but that just creates more fear and, ultimately, makes it more likely that you'll experience impotence. You are going to need to be open with your partner about the problem, and explain that your anxiety has affected you. Once you've done that, there are several things you can try:

This is the first step - to just enjoy activities that take some of the pressure of you so that you can get used to intimacy being more natural. It has to feel like something that isn't all about your impotence - a way that you spend time with someone else. It needs to also be something that doesn't cause significant anxiety every time, because even if you reduce anxiety you may still experience it in the bedroom. 

The second step is simply reducing your anxiety. Since your impotency is the result of anxiety, reducing that anxiety can help you effectively stop the impotence from occurring. Ultimately, you may also want to consider consulting a sex therapist or a doctor, in order to assess whether your impotence is being caused by factors other than anxiety.

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