A common problem that men may experience in their life is being unable to maintain or achieve an erection during sexual activity. For many, this lack of functioning can be traced back to a health problem such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. However, for approximately 13%-21% of men between the ages 40 and 80, the lack of sexual functioning can be attributed to psychological factors (, 2013).
In such a case, it is possible that he is experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED). According to the DSM-5, to be diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, a man must be experiencing at least one of three prominent symptoms for a minimum of six months for 75-100% of the time during sexual activity, while also experiencing distress from the problem. The three symptoms that are essential to proper diagnosis are having difficulty achieving an erection, having difficulty maintaining an erection, and a noticeable decrease in erectile rigidity (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Though it is not an uncommon situation to be in, it has been found that men who are experiencing ED tend to have low self-esteem, low self-confidence, a decreased sense of masculinity, and may experience symptoms of depression (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Although ED affects men in a physical sense, it is many times derived from external circumstances such as partner/relationship factors, individual vulnerability, co-occurring psychiatric disorders, life stressors, and/or cultural/religious factors (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Because of these many factors that can influence erectile dysfunction, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been proven to be an effective treatment in both individual and couple’s counseling settings. Cognitive-behavioral approaches to treat sexual dysfunctions have been well-favored since the 1950s and continue to be considered a reliable treatment for ED and other sexual dysfunctions today. With offices in , and , the professionals at Cognitive Behavior Institute are here to help. Contact us today!