What Is the Difference Between Performance Anxiety & Erectile Dysfunction?
Sexual issues of any kind are troublesome and embarrassing to talk about. It doesn’t help that the terms are so similar, it is hard to tell them all apart. Men can suffer from one or several sexual disorders at any age. Two of the hardest to differentiate between are sexual performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. While they have several distinct differences, people tend to mix them up because some of the symptoms mingle. It is possible to suffer from one or both at any stage in life.
What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?
Sexual performance anxiety occurs when a man is so worried about his performance in bed that it actually interferes with his abilities. Sufferers ask themselves questions such as:
• Can I make her orgasm?
• Is my erection hard enough?
• Is my penis big enough?
• Am I skilled enough?
• Will she hate me if I can’t perform?
These kinds of questions run on a continuous loop in his thoughts. It doesn’t matter if he is trying to have sex or not. Anytime he thinks of doing the deed, he is immediately overcome with thoughts of possible inadequacy. Sometime pornography is the culprit. A man who overindulges in pornography will begin to think of it as reality. He will assume his own sexual experiences are lacking because they are not filled with the flamboyant situations of the adult film world. This is a self-induced problem culminating from a personal view of outside circumstances which cause stress and anxiety. Sexual performance anxiety can be the cause of erectile dysfunction. It activates the manufacturing of stress hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones narrow blood vessels in the penis and make it much harder for blood to flow in and form an erection.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is the new name for impotence and it occurs when a man cannot conjure an erection, or he cannot maintain it for long enough to have sexual intercourse. Health situations are often to blame. Conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, low testosterone, thyroid problems, heart disease, and high blood pressure all cause erectile dysfunction. Other factors also contribute to a failure to become erect. Things like medications, smoking, alcoholism, nerve damage, and stress factors such as sexual performance anxiety can also contribute to erectile dysfunction. There are several different treatments for erectile dysfunction that vary from rub on creams to pills and chewable tabs.
There are a few types of medicines prescribed for erectile dysfunction. They include:
All of these medications improve the effects of the body’s own nitric oxide — a chemical your body makes that relax the penis muscles which increases blood flow and allows an erection to form in response to sexual stimulation.
Performance anxiety doesn’t always occur in sexual situation. Sometimes it happens before a big ball game, a public speaking engagement, or stage fright before an artistic performance. Just as sexual performance anxiety can lead to erectile dysfunction, it can also be the other way around. Erectile dysfunction can also lead to sexual performance anxiety. Once trouble with an erection has happened, it is easy for a man to worry about it again in sexual situations. Often to the point of distraction.
Both Erectile Dysfunction & Sexual Performance Disorder Are Treatable
Luckily, both erectile dysfunction and sexual performance disorder are successfully treatable. Sexual performance anxiety is best treated by a sex therapist. They are trained to help men regulate their expectations with reality, address their concerns, and refocus. Erectile dysfunction has several successful treatments.
The bottom line is that while both of these ailments are sexually related, that is about all they have in common. Sexual performance anxiety is a continual worry that your sexual performance is lacking. Erectile dysfunction is an inability or produce a working erection. While one may lead to the other, and it is possible to suffer from both simultaneously, they are not the same malady.
While it can be embarrassing, it is important to consult with a physician before making a self-diagnosis. Erectile dysfunction and sexual performance anxiety are extremely common and nothing to be ashamed of. Doctors see patients and treat these issues every day to men of all ages and lifestyles.