Last Updated on August 18, 2019 by Dr. Philip Schein MD
Depression and erectile dysfunction are widespread conditions nowadays. Moreover, they often coexist. A patient then faces a doubled formidable problem which seems to be hard for overcoming. But one shouldn’t fall into desperation, there is a way out.
Depression – a Modern-Day Scourge
According to the study by Jinghui Wang, Xiaohang Wu et al. (BMJ Open. 2017), the prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms amongst outpatients in different specialties was in a range of between 17 and 50%. Their presence is more widespread in developing countries than in developed ones. Along with anxiety disorders depression is one of the most dominant mental illnesses. It may lead to disability, worsening of personal and social relationship. When it coexists with other diseases, it may complicate the treatment process.
The most common psychical manifestations and physical symptoms of the condition include:
- persistent sadness
- impaired self-esteem
- pessimistic outlook
- no desire to do everyday activities
- appetite changes
- problems with falling asleep and/or sleeping
Depression should be diagnosed by psychotherapists. There are no reliable medical tests (like blood testing or X-rays) which can precisely indicate its presence. There are two widely accepted ways of combating depression: using medications and talk therapy. However, some pharmaceuticals may lead to ED or worsen it, so be careful in choosing the right remedy.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Its Causes
The erect penile organ has always been a symbol of sexual prowess, so any problems with achieving and/or maintaining an erection may be perceived as a personal tragedy.
Erectile dysfunction is a multidimensional disorder which may have different causes (organic, psychogenic, and mixed). Organic causes, in their turn, are divided into endocrine and nonendocrine (Faysal A. Yafi et al., Nat Rev Dis Primers, 2017). Nonendocrine ones are the most common, they include abnormalities of blood flow, medical treatment, and physical damage caused by surgery. Endocrine causes are associated with decreased testosterone levels; however, the exact mechanisms have not been completely revealed.
It should be borne in mind that ED might be a predictor of cardiovascular events. That’s why it is important to conduct a completed diagnosis once a patient notices first warning symptoms.
An interesting tidbit: too frequent watching of adult entertainment videos (pornography) may cause symptoms of ED when it comes to real sex with a partner. Studies have shown that some males over 40 need to watch more and more extreme videos with time to achieve successful erection. Along with this, they experience erection troubles with their partners. Thankfully, the problem can be easily eliminated, a man just needs to refuse to watch porn for several weeks in order to put the normal sexual performance back the way it was meant to be.
Correlation Between ED and Depression
Males suffering from erectile dysfunction often feel anger, sadness, lowered self-esteem, etc. If the condition is left untreated (or treatment doesn’t provide desired help), depression may develop. Vice versa, a depressive disorder may develop first, and ED accompanies it some time after. This may be associated with declining in testosterone production caused by the so-called “bad stress” (while “good stress” boosts synthesis of “T hormone”). According to estimates by some researchers, about 13-20% of men with ED also have anxiety or depression.
Read a closely related topic by Canadian Health Care Mall specialists: Viagra and Antidepressant-Associated Erection Problems
How to Deal with these Problems Simultaneously?
The most important thing is that antidepressants may worsen erection problems. It has been proven that anti-depression pharmaceuticals are often a cause of impotence or its deterioration.
There are two possible scenarios.
- The first one: a male had depression and was prescribed antidepressants which led to ED. Probable solutions: (1) cancel antidepressants’ administration under a doctor’s guidance, apply for a psychotherapy or use another alternative method of therapy; (2) continue therapy with antidepressants in the same or decreased dosages and receive an anti-ED treatment like Viagra (less preferred option), cancel their intake if possible or switch to another medicine for treating depression (preferable options). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a group of antidepressants that are linked to sexual problems.
- The second one: a man developed erection disorder. Amidst it, a depressive condition appeared. In this case, prescription of meds for treating depression might lead to exacerbation of ED. The solution is to treat impotence ASAP and consult a sexologist or psychotherapist.
Remember: both depression and ED are treatable. If you encounter one of these problems or both, don’t despair. There are many options that can help you with both mental issues and ED.
I’m an Oncologist and Hematology Specialist primary located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. I have over 55 years of experience in the medical field and more than 20 years of practice. I’m skilled at the treatment & diagnosis of a large array of ailments & diseases in adults.
- American Board of Internal Medicine Certification in Internal Medicine
- American Board of Hematology Certification in Hematology
- American Board of Medical Oncology Certification in Medical Oncology