The Medical Journal of Australia warns, “A large proportion of patients experience negative psychological consequences of organic ED, which may result in progressively worsening performance anxiety and further deterioration of erectile function.”
The psychological impact of ED is highlighted in comments included in a study published in the British Medical Journal:
- “You are not a man if you can't get an erection.”
- “I'd got to a point where I thought it's no good, I can't live like this.”
- “Nobody's going to have any respect for you if you can't get a hard-on.”
- “You just feel inadequate.”
- “I suppose in the most simplistic terms, I associate getting an erection with being a man.”
A study in men aged 18 to 40 found that in the year before their diagnosis, ED sufferers were more likely to have experienced depression and anxiety (17.1% vs 12.9% of men without symptoms). The psychological stress associated with ED is also likely to contribute to depressive illness.