The psychological impairments of self-esteem and shame that can cause ED can be just as common and just as potent as physiological causes, playing havoc with those two essentials to sex, arousal and relaxation. Not just a man’s problem but a couple’s problem, a man’s ED can affect their partner’s psychological well-being, too. And vice versa. The women in a man’s life can make his ED better, or make it worse.
Below is a story showcasing The Psychological Side of ED. If you believe you are experiencing some form of Mental ED, we recommend you grab the guide to curing your psychological ED >>
The story below was told by a young man who struggled with psychological ED after being traumatized early in life. He will explain how he overcame erectile dysfunction by changing both his thinking and his behavior patterns. The professional we chose to comment on his story is Dr. Joel Block, a psychologist renowned for his work with psychological erectile dysfunction.
Joel Block, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychologist–excellence in couple therapy–practicing couple and sex therapy on Long Island, New York. Board Certified in Couple therapy by the American Board of Professional Psychology, Dr. Block is a senior psychologist on the staff of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center and an Assistant Clinical Professor (Psychology/Psychiatry) at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ Medical School. Dr. Block is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Couple and Family Psychology) and for twenty years he was the training supervisor of the Sexuality Center at Long Island-Jewish Medical Center. Dr. Block is the author of over 20 books on Love and Sex, his specialty.
The Sufferer is in his 30’s. He struggled with ED at a time when most of us are at our prime. His high school and college sex life was traumatizing, and filled with awkward moments he desperately wanted to end. He came to find out what was happening to him was purely mental. The next few years he spent his intimate moments with girlfriends trying anything that would work to get over his psychological ED - medication, alcohol, sex with strangers, waiting months with the right girl until it felt comfortable... Until finally figuring it out. Dr. Joel explains what was happening toThe Sufferer along the way. Here’s his story.
“We are in a new era of relationships. I never expected to find myself sexually active at 12 years old, but it happened and created insecurities that plagued me throughout my teenage years.”
“I will have to leave out details, but the story is of a 12-year-old terrified virgin (me) being “dared,” in a game of truth or dare by two 14-year-old girls, to have sex with one of them while the other watched. This may sound like a great situation for a guy to be in, but at the time I could not have been more terrified. I attempted anyways, and failed. I was traumatized. And it would take years to recover.”
Dr. Joel: “First of all, trauma is trauma.The Sufferer had a terrible trauma which should have been treated directly and promptly. Aside from the very important element of trauma, self-condemnation is an anxiety disorder and that is central.”
“The next several years went by without any more opportunities arising. But sex no longer had the allure it once did. I wasn’t exactly eager to be intimate with anyone. The mere thought of having sex frightened the hell out of me.”
Dr. Joel says: “When pressure and pleasure compete in the sexual arena, pressure always wins. I would have addressedThe Sufferer's self regard. He was devastated and self-condemning. I would have taught him relaxation techniques to help counter his anxiety. Breathing heavily impacts your entire autonomic system and drives anxiety.The Sufferer needed to work on being calm, and slowing his breathing.”
If you believe you are in the same boat asThe Sufferer, or having a unique form of Psychological ED, then click the link below. The next page could be an answer to your problems.
“Towards the end of high school, I finally began dating. My new girlfriend and I would meet up after school and while our parents were at work. After a while, she began wanting more than make-out sessions. But each time I saw the situation becoming sexual, I would I make up an excuse and leave.
After her numerous failed attempts to get what she wanted from me, I began to feel ashamed. At that time, I had no access or any real education on the subject. Prescriptions were not marketed towards, or made available to someone my age. The internet was no help. Everyone online at that time was attempting to sell something. I had a good feeling the ED was a mental issue I had to overcome. So, I resulted to trial and error.”
Dr. Joel: “There are evidence-based treatments for this. One specific treatment is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In the sexual performance anxiety discussion, CBT is a common necessity. For less complicated issues, like a failure not stemming from trauma, it comes down to progress away from “I MUST have an erection,” to “I WANT to have an erection.” Removing the demand for an erection is a proven psychological approach.”
“At first, I would try things to get more turned on - watching videos before hand, or overly-drawn-out foreplay. But this would only turn her on more and would only make things worse when it came time to perform, and I couldn’t get an erection.
I tried Viagra, which did give me confidence, but I felt like the blood was literally pushing through my skin. My stance on any medication is to use it as a last resort. Anything that can potentially affect your health should not be used unless it’s absolutely necessary.
It’s counter-intuitive, I know, but sometimes I would drink to calm my nerves. This strategy worked to a degree, but I had get myself perfectly buzzed. Too many and I would be intoxicated, too few and I wouldn’t be calm enough. Drinking is by no means a cure or solid strategy.”
Dr. Joel: “When failing, most men try harder, and that is precisely the problem when it comes to ED. The harder they try, the worse it gets.”
“What finally worked for me was something so simple, I found out how to turn my brain off by controlling the situation. I want anyone with psychological ED to try it. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed by a woman in bed try these steps:
- Slow the progression.
- Take control of the situation.
I discovered it has to be on my terms. If I was feeling forced or pressure, it would never happen. As a last resort, you can stop everything, make a valid excuse, but wake her up in the middle of the night, when your brain is completely shut off. At that time, you won’t have any mental barriers.”
Dr. Joel: “In my experience, most men with ED approach an encounter showing the wrong movie in their head. They see themselves failing, and that is exactly what happens. This is exactly how men perpetuate their ED. If this is occuring, I will have my patients practice imagery - imagining themselves being successful repeatedly. I suggest at least 10 times a day to create new neuro-pathways which will increase the likelihood for success.”
“I was only open with three women during my struggle with erectile dysfunction. One woman was very happy to know it had nothing to do with her. Another actually suggested I try out my new method on her, and
said she will be ready when I am. The last girlfriend I had during the struggle with ED reacted negatively and made me feel awful. She would argue with me all the time. But if you are in that situation, you know she isn’t the right girl for you anyways, so I’d advise you not to waste your time.”
Dr. Joel: “When a man has a willing partner, I work with both of them in a slowly progressing manner that moves incrementally from being sensual, then communicative, and finally to intercourse. It is practice for staying in the moment because his anxiety is anticipatory. Learning “naked mindfulness” is extremely helpful.”
“Today I no longer struggle with ED. One of the reasons I believe has kept the issue at bay, is by staying healthy, and keeping my mood and confidence high. I work out on a regular basis, eat clean natural foods, and dress nicely. I now hold myself in a higher regard. I can tell you with certainty, if you always feel great about yourself, you won’t have to worry about Psychological ED. “
It doesn’t matter when or where it came from, or how it got there. Whether its physical, psychological, or both, erectile dysfunction is something that no man boasts about. ED is a game-changer that can make a man and his partner feel incomplete, inadequate, and even ashamed. Things change, and sometimes body parts don’t work like we think they should, but ED can change too. While it may be part of your life and your relationship now, it doesn’t need to be in the future.