Can anxiety cause erectile dysfunction?

Can severe stress and anxiety really lead to erectile dysfunction?

Can severe stress and anxiety really lead to erectile dysfunction? How long does it last and what can I do to improve it? Is it physical, or all mental?
I'm a male in my mid-30s. A year ago, I realized I would need to break things off with my wife. We'd only been married a couple years, but we almost never had sex and had grown apart emotionally, professionally, etc. In addition, she is bipolar. For years I had been realizing I was increasingly attracted to other women, but never acted on it. Yet thoughts of sex with other women consumed me. I couldn't think of anything else. I was masturbating 2-3 times daily. My wife was very sweet, but very fragile and sad, and I felt tremendously guilty over a period of years that I wasn't more attracted to her because of the emotional complications.

Just around the time I broke things off, I was hardly sleeping, my heart was constantly racing, it felt like my body was breaking down. Suddenly, I woke up in the morning with no erection. And then every morning. This hadn't been true in 20 years. I began to obsess over it because I was also taking Propecia, but I'd been taking that for 10 years and, as many doctors since then have corroborated, it would be extremely unlikely to suddenly have sexual side effects after that long.

A year later now, I barely have the desire to masturbate. Mostly I've missed my wife and felt horrendously guilty how things shook out. The only times I've felt "normal", sexually, was when it seemed like I had a chance of working things out with her, but I'm 90% sure those chances are gone. Of course, the irony is painful - now that I finally have the freedom to pursue other women, I can't even get aroused.

I have seen multiple urologists and family doctors and they've all said it wasn't the Propecia, it's just mental. But no real gameplan to getting better. A lot of days, my urethra and pelvic muscles feel "tight" and vaguely sore, kind of like the fatigued sensation men have after having sex. It's like there's a lack of circulation. I'm vaguely tempted to masturbate a few times a week, and even then it feels forced and my erections are weak.

Has anyone ever experienced this? Did anything help? I've tried sleeping more, meditating, prostate massage, antibiotics just in case there is prostatitis. I don't know what else to do and I feel virtually suicidal, as I've lost my wife, my ability to reconcile with my wife, and my ability to have other women, all at the same time. I am not working and am having a hard time getting out of bed each morning.

Springer Vascular Andrology: Erectile Dysfunction, Priapism and Varicocele
Book (Springer)

You aren't the problem

by -

I completely understand why he would immedietely deflect the blame from himself.
It may be anxiety related, or a health problem. A lot of different factors can cause erectile dysfunction. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Almost all men have trouble with it at some time in their life. There are real easy solutions, too.


by funguy4134

No problems. If I do..its very frustrating and I become almost angry at myself for have such a problem haha. It's not uncommon for a male to have issues once in a while. All the time is erectile dysfunction. Which is when one should go see a doctor. Sometimes it can be just because you're really not into sex at the moment..or you're tired. Other times its just something that just doesn't wanna happen. Anxiety can cause this as well. If the male puts pressure on himself to perform can cause things not to happen. Size has nothing to do with getting an erection. It does NOT mean that you are...

Oh you went to the urologist. That explains it.

by Miss_Conduct

He obviously isn't up on all the latest research on the sexual benefits of drinking and smoking that you and your wife have uncovered. You should really make copies for him. I'm sure he'd appreciate it.
Wait, let's see what those ignorant idiots at the Mayo Clinic have to say:
As you get older, erections may take longer to develop and may not be as firm. You may need more direct touch to your penis to get and keep an erection. This isn't a direct consequence of getting older. Usually it's a result of underlying health problems or taking medications, which is more common as men age

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