Psychological Effects of Erectile Dysfunction

While the majority of medical conditions cause more physical pain than male impotence, the psychological effects of erectile dysfunction are as difficult as any. Coping with any serious medical issue is never easy. It is hard for some men to come to terms with the fact that erectile dysfunction is completely the result of an underlying physical condition, or that; even so, an act of will alone will not cure it. They feel out of control and for a man that is always difficult to deal with.

Nevertheless, coping with impotence does not simply have to be an exercise in keeping a stiff upper lip to compensate for the lack of a stiff penis. Coping with ED involves a range of actions, including getting appropriate diagnosis, evaluating treatment options and above all, being honest with yourself about the condition and the possible outcome.

Living in the real world is the first step in coping with erectile dysfunction. Whatever the underlying causes, be they the result of recent prostate surgery, diabetes or significant psychological problems, denial never helps. Being realistic about the effectiveness of treatments is equally important. Even Viagra is only about 90% effective and although that is a very encouraging number, it still implies that 10% of sufferers will need to seek alternative remedies.

In a small percentage of cases, there simply is no short-term remedy. That is always tragic, but only facing facts squarely can minimize the psychological impact. Only on that basis can a patient deal with possible subsequent effects on one's relationships and self-esteem.

Nevertheless, optimism is not only pleasant; it is also a helpful attitude for coping with erectile dysfunction. Far from necessarily being the choice to always live in a fantasy world, optimism can and should be based on facts. Optimism is valid when, as is usually the case these days, real options are available that promise or produce real results.

Optimism is not the same as stoicism, though the latter may be appropriate to some degree. Stoicism is simply accepting whatever happens as inevitable. Optimism goes beyond this and believes that good outcomes are possible, even likely. One then has an incentive to seek them, even if they are not immediately obvious or forthcoming.

Coping with erectile dysfunction involves developing strategies for long term treatment, some of which may involve substantial life changes.

Erectile dysfunction is more likely the older a man becomes. That is not only because of elementary changes such as a decrease of testosterone. It is also because the chances of disease and other conditions that can result in ED increase with age. Life is risky and it gets more risky the older you are.

Considering that fact can help develop those plans that call for significant change. Those changes can range from simple adjustments of diet and exercise, to opting for a different line of work, to reaching out for any of the number of typically permanent treatments such as Viagra or a prosthetic implant. They may involve changing one's attitude toward oneself, toward what is possible in life and toward sex although none of those are easy adjustments.

But coping with erectile dysfunction, like many conditions, is done best when one looks at the situation straight on, then summons the courage to do what is necessary to achieve the desired goal.

Page Updated: December 25, 2016
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