Depression can affect everyone, men and women. In fact, depression is rated as the leading cause of disability in the US among people ages 15 to 44. For men who have ED or who are at risk of ED, it can be especially common. Here we look at what you should know about depression due to erectile dysfunction and what you can do about it.
A cause and a symptom.
It’s important to recognize that for men, depression and ED can be a cyclical concern. Experts say depression can affect a person physically and mentally, and that psychological factors are responsible for up to 20% of all cases of ED. Depression can be a root cause of ED even if men are not experiencing any sexual issues. In addition, medications used to treat ED can also cause depression.
At the same time, ED itself can cause depression. Sources indicate it is common for men to feel angry, frustrated and unsure of themselves, which can all lead to low self-esteem and ultimately depression. Sometimes ED can bring feelings of being “less than a man.” Sadness and hopelessness about their abilities or even their relationship can add to these feelings.
Either way, depression can be either a cause or a symptom of ED, which can create a cycle that can be difficult to break.
What to look for.
Whether you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction due to depression, or depression due to erectile dysfunction, it helps to know if you are at risk. Experts say symptoms of depression include:
- Trouble concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Overeating or undereating (appetite loss)
- Digestive problems
- Sad or anxious feelings that don’t go away
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Loss on interest in things you used to enjoy – like sex!
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get help.
Treatment for depression varies. Antidepressant medications are often used to treat depression, but again, it’s important to know that certain drugs can increase the risk of ED. Your doctor can recommend a treatment that doesn’t exacerbate ED symptoms.
Alternatively, depression can be treated by talking with a licensed and trained mental health professional. This person can help identify what’s bothering you and provide tools to combat negative thoughts when they occur.
Oftentimes, just understanding that there is an association between depression and erectile dysfunction can provide perspective. Knowing that ED is common, that it is treatable, and that it is not a reflection of your abilities or “manhood” can help. And sometimes a boost of confidence can go far in resetting your mood and alleviating doubts and pessimism.
One way to gain this perspective is to take a proactive step that can get results. If depression stems from erectile dysfunction, it can help to achieve a firm, satisfying erection again. The use of vacuum therapy can eliminate the guesswork and turn your penis over to the power of science, providing a go-to answer to how to have sex with ED. Unlike with medications, you do not have to be “in the mood” for vacuum therapy to work. The pump creates a vacuum pressure in a penile tube, drawing blood into the penis and creating an erection. Once the erection is achieved, a support ring is placed around the base of the penis holding the erection in place.
As both a symptom and a cause, erectile dysfunction and depression can go hand in hand. But understanding it and being aware of your risk can make a big difference. If you’re struggling with depression, don’t assume it will just go away. Consult your doctor, explore your options, and trust that help is out there. And if your depression stems from sexual performance, know that is it possible to have sex with ED. Download our free ebook.