It’s normal for men of all ages to experience performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction at some stage, whether due to expectations or personal worries.
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Some basic methods of coping can help men cope with performance-related anxiety ED
What is the link between performance anxiety and ED?
Anxiety about performance and ED can be related in different ways. Stress and anxiety about making a partner perform sexually or pleasingly can cause sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
If these personal sexual desires are not met, it may lead to a spiraling downward feeling of being inadequate or incapable.
These feelings of insufficiency and low self-esteem can turn into physical symptoms in men, such as ED.
Research states that the connection between a man’s state of mind and his ability to perform sexually is obvious.
Causes of performance anxiety
Anxiety about performance is usually induced by negative thoughts about one’s ability to perform well during sexual activity. This may involve feelings of physical inadequacy or a partner’s failure to satisfy.
These feelings may be influenced by body image, penis size, or by perceptions about manliness or a man ‘s role. More generalized negative thinking about one’s life can also lead to anxiety about success.
Dealing with stress at work, in the family or with money can also affect a man’s mental state and lead to anxiety about results.
Causes of ED
- low testosterone levels
- alcohol or drug abuse
- chronic illnesses
- kidney disorders
- nerve damage from diabetes
- pelvic irradiation
- recent surgery
Some medications may also cause ED, especially those that disrupt or alter the hormones, nerves, or circulation in the body. These include:
- anti-inflammatory medicines
- high blood pressure medications
- drugs for irregular heartbeat
- muscle relaxers
- hormone therapy
- drugs that affect the prostate
Before a person starts a new medication, a doctor or pharmacist may help identify these possible side effects.
Anxiety for performance affects people differently, as everyone reacts to stress and anxiety in different ways. This may cause different symptoms in the body, such as premature ejaculation, inability to orgasm, or lack of interest in sex.
ED’s physical signs include difficulty having or sustaining an erection, which can also result in loss of sexual desire.
How to cope
There are also tips for helping people deal with performance anxiety and ED, and encouraging them to have healthy sexual experiences.
Avoid the cycle
Many men can fall into a cycle of anxiety over results. Getting a misleading sexual encounter from time to time is completely common and occasional ED signs typically aren’t a cause for concern.
Men with performance anxiety may therefore dwell on this occurrence or consider it to be a failure. This may cause them to become nervous about potential sexual activity and this fear will cause the ED to continue.
Rather, it is important for men to recognize that what they view as sexual failure is a perfectly natural occurrence.
Rather than concentrating on the bad result, it can help determine what stressor or anxiety has affected ED symptoms. The trigger may be easy, such as planning an upcoming project at work or a family vacation.
Shifting the attention to the cause, rather than the symptoms, may help a person lower the pressure to perform well every time, particularly during periods of increased stress.
Focus on the senses
Many men with performance anxiety often relive their perceived sexual insufficiencies. They should constantly worry about what they think about their sexual partner, or how they will be viewed during sexual activity. A suggestion to deal with this is also to concentrate the mind on the senses.
It may help a man concentrate on sensory experience during sexual activity, rather than analyzing the case.
Focusing on what the hands do, or what the eyes see, will help a man block nervous performance thoughts. The use of scented candles or romantic music may also contribute to the sensory experience and reduce the anxiety of an individual.
Research has indicated that having little to no physical activity is associated with symptoms of ED. A regular workout routine of 20 to 30 minutes a few days a week can also lower stress levels.
Relevant workouts can also help with symptoms, in addition to general exercise. Pelvic exercises like Kegel exercises will help reinforce the muscle that is responsible for pumping blood to the penis during erection. A man can practice a Kegel exercise by clenching the muscles used to stop the urine stream.
Many other methods are used to alleviate anxiety over success and ED. Which involve stuff like:
- guided meditations, such as guided imagery therapy
- couples counseling
- sex therapy
- sexual education
- reducing stress
It can also help a man be open about his performance anxiety with any sexual partners. This may alleviate tension and can help their partner find ways to relieve their anxiety.
When to see a doctor
While taking personal steps to help performance anxiety and ED will benefit many individuals, there are times a doctor is needed to get involved.
Anyone who continues to experience performance anxiety after taking steps to relieve symptoms may want to talk to a doctor about their level of stress or anxiety;
Men with symptoms that get worse or occur more often over time should see a doctor, too.
Doctors may do a physical examination or blood test to help determine the underlying physical causes of ED, and ask questions about the mental health and stress levels of the individual.
Doctors may also have more tips on performance anxiety and ED management. Working with a healthcare professional, many men are able to find a medication or procedure that can help alleviate their symptoms and promote healthy sexual experience.