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Is Your ED Physical or Psychological?


Erectile dysfunction can result from physical or psychological causes – and often a combination of the two. When physical causes begin to trigger ED, men often worry about their ability to have an erection… and this performance anxiety makes the problem worse.

Psychological, or psychogenic erectile dysfunction, can also be caused by:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Relationship issues

(See our article on Causes of Erectile Dysfunction for more information.)

To determine if your ED is primarily due to physical or psychological factors, you’ll need to see a doctor. However, there are a few indicators that help to narrow down the cause.

Do you have morning erections?NoYes
Did your ED come on suddenly or gradually?GradualSudden
Is you ED occasional or consistent?ConsistentOccasional
Are you experiencing general feelings of stress or
depression in you daily life?
(Take our online depression assessment.)
Do you have feelings of stress or anxiety during
sexual encounters?
Are you able to achieve and maintain an erection
while masturbating?

Bear in mind that your answers to these questions will give only a general indication. For a full diagnosis of your condition, consult your doctor.

If your doctor determines that there are psychological causes for your erectile dysfunction, counseling can help.

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