Depression and Erectile Dysfunction
Depression and Erectile Dysfunction (ED) seem to go hand in hand. ED often produces feelings of inadequacy, depression and frustration, in both the person suffering from ED and within their unsatisfied partner. While this seems exceedingly obvious, studies are often showing that depression is twice as likely in men with ED. Experts from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that men who have the symptoms of depression are significantly more likely to develop ED than those who are unaffected by depression. When you take a look at what depression actually is, it seems only natural that erectile dysfunction would be yet another unfortunate side effect. Depression is characterized by:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety or emptiness
- Frequent feelings of negativity, feeling as though nothing will ever get better
- Frequent feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, helplessness, isolation
- A lack of interest, desire or enjoyment when it comes to activities that used to bring happiness or fulfillment or pleasure.
Read that back to yourself: a lack of interest in things that once brought pleasure. That can be as simple as no longer wanting to attend your bowling league, and as debilitating as no longer wanting to have sex. Not being interested in sex, or having a lower libido than you used to, can make it difficult to attain an erection, or to maintain an erection for long enough to have complete, satisfying sexual intercourse.
When you look at other behavioral patterns among those with depression, depression seems to only facilitate further sexual impairment. Depressed people often have trouble sleeping. Feeling unenergized can greatly inhibit sexual desire or performance. Alternatively, depressed people frequently want to sleep all the time. Eating habits can also be greatly altered - eating too much on a regular basis, or maintaining a poor diet, can lead to physical unease or a lapse in energy, while eating too little can also steal a person's energy. In a case where depression is robbing you of your sex life, it seems like the solution might be simple enough: take antidepressants, get back to normal.
Unfortunately, many antidepressants also inhibit the libido, making decrease sexual function one of the most common side effects experienced by people prescribed antidepressants. Therefore, it's necessary to determine the root source of ED. It could be poor blood flow, decreased testosterone, relationship troubles, emotional stresses, depression or medication. Treatments for ED are available, and they range from severe to totally painless. Surgeries involve inserting implants into the penis to force it to become erect. Pumps work by drawing blood into the penis, facilitating an erection. A ring is then placed around the base of the penis to prevent the blood from flowing back out. Prescription medications are available, but have their own set of additional negative side effects, including headaches, congestion, and discomfort after eating. Natural remedies rely on using only natural ingredients, which made them safe and devoid of side effects. It also allows them to be sold without prescription.