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 PTSD and Erectile Dysfunction

83Erectile dysfunction can refer to a wide range of issues surrounding sexual pleasure. For instance, a reduction in the desire for sex, premature ejaculation, inability to achieve an erection, or even the inability to sustain an erection long enough to satisfactorily have sex are all forms of erectile dysfunction. PTSD may be caused by direct encounters of a traumatizing situation, witnessing a traumatic occurrence to someone, or repeated exposure to unpleasant occurrences.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be a major cause of erectile dysfunction especially if the affected person has suffered a traumatic experience like sexual assault or rape. It is even worse if the person sustained injuries during the ordeal. As such, any intimate environment will automatically cause anxiety and discomfort to the person hence interfere with the whole sexual activity.

Apart from victims of rape and sexual assault, there are other people who suffer from PTSD due to their line of work. The best example is the soldiers serving in the military or who have fought in a war and survived who are likely to experience one or more forms of erectile dysfunction.

PTSD and its Relationship to Erectile Dysfunction

It is important to first understand the symptoms of PTSD:

  • The affected individuals are prone to have nightmares of past experiences, avoid situations that serve as reminders of past ordeals, develop emotional numbness, difficulties sleeping, poor concentration, easily angered, withdrawn, and highly irritable.
  • An individual suffering from PTSD, especially sexually related, will be highly anxious when exposed to sexually arousing environments hence tamper with their responsiveness thereby an increase in erectile dysfunction.
  • Withdrawal will make PTSD patients keep away from friends and loved ones. This will affect intimacy with them due to the feelings of disconnection and detachment.
  • Since the patients suffer from anger and are highly irritable, this affects their relationships and directly impacts on their sexual productivity as they tend to have reduced sexual desires.

The flashbacks and memories of past traumas make PTSD patients associate sexual intercourse with harm, hurt, or trauma. As such they will tend to avoid it at all costs and by so doing become victims of sexual dysfunction.

What to Do

PTSD does not go away even with time and will require special attention from experts like shrinks or counseling experts to help reduce the sharpness of the occurrences even more if it starts to affect your sex life in one way or another. Specialists have come up with several effective treatments for PTSD which once done, will alleviate erectile dysfunction and restore your sexual experience. The medications work hand in hand with counseling therapy for better results.

If you know someone who suffered a traumatic experience, help to direct them to a specialist for attention so as to also help them resolve erectile dysfunction as they will most likely be suffering from it. This is because the relationship between suffering from PTSD and suffering from ED is very strong and has a high chance of likelihood. However, note that the treatments for both conditions are different and should not be assumed to work vice versa. Consult a qualified medical practitioner for expert advice.

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