How Psychiatric Disorders Impact Men’s Sexual Health

How Psychiatric Disorders Impact Men's Sexual Health

The effect of our mental health doesn’t only stay confined in our minds—it also shapes and influences our physical health.

The mind-body connection is inextricably linked, and an illness on one side can cause the other side to have its own set of shortcomings.

For men diagnosed with clinical depression or severe anxiety, it’s typical to develop physical symptoms such as chest pain, fatigue, and back pain.

It’s also very possible for men with mental disorders like depression to develop one or several cases of sexual dysfunction because of said illness.

And unfortunately, depression isn’t the only condition that can lead to sexual failings. Various psychiatric disorders can manifest themselves in ways that men might not expect.

Let’s uncover how male sexual health and psychiatric disorders are linked, and what this can mean to your sexual function and sexual performance.

What Constitutes Male Sexual Health?

Male sexual health encompasses a broad spectrum of physiological, psychological, and emotional aspects that influence a man’s sexual prowess.

Besides holistically encompassing the proper physical functioning of a man’s sexual organs, this also includes the presence or absence of male sexual dysfunction in the body system.

Here are some male sexual dysfunctions that play a role in influencing men’s sexual health.

  1. Erectile dysfunction: This sexual dysfunction refers to a man’s persistent inability to form and maintain a firm erection.
  2. Low sexual desire: Diminished libido pertains to a reduced interest in sexual activity.
  3. Premature ejaculation: This condition is marked by an uncontrollable ejaculation that can cause strain to sexual relationships.
  4. Delayed ejaculation: This condition significantly slows the sexual response as they may find it difficult to ejaculate.
  5. Painful erections: Sharp pain in the penis caused by priapism or Peyronie’s disease can interfere with normal erectile function.

A vast majority of sexual disorders often develop with age or due to underlying physical health problems. That said, a smaller but sizable fraction of sexual problems also occur as a direct result of psychiatric disorders.

Let’s look into how these psychiatric disorders influence sexual health at large.

Depression and Sexual Health

Depression, particularly clinical depression, is a serious mood disorder that causes persistent sadness and general apathy towards life.

This loss of interest also impacts sexual interest, erectile function, and sexual intimacy—causing a diminished quality in one’s sex life.

This phenomenon affects mostly the under-40 crowd, as one 2022 study has reported that out of all the cases of ED for males under 40, about 85% of them had psychogenic underpinnings.

With depression, the sufferer and their partner may not be able to experience sexual pleasure due to the rewiring of their brain chemicals, which can be a major cause of relationship concerns. This depression-induced low libido can also lead to erectile dysfunction.

Furthermore, depression can also lead to anorgasmia, or an inability to achieve an orgasm.

While treating depression can mitigate this risk, it’s important to know that certain depression medications like SSRIs can worsen symptoms—so it’s best to talk with a doctor for a more suitable diagnosis.

Anxiety and Sexual Functioning

Anxiety, a widespread mental health condition, often manifests as excessive worry, heightened stress, or intense apprehension about everyday situations.

While it predominantly affects the mind, it also has physical manifestations that can wreak havoc on one’s overall health.

If you feel anxious before the lead-up to sex, anxiety can manifest in the form of performance anxiety—or the inability to fully relax and enjoy the moment.

Such concerns can cause erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, a condition in which you ejaculate quicker than anticipated.

Moreover, plain old anxiety can also stunt the sexual experience overall. This negative sexual experience can create a vicious cycle of you wanting to avoid sexual encounters in the future.

PTSD and Sexual Health

ptsd and sexual health

According to a 2021 study, there’s literature that suggests that men with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to face adverse sexual outcomes than healthy individuals.

The reason for this lies in the fact that patients with PTSD have an impaired “fight-or-flight” response. For one, this response spikes cortisol levels (hormones responsible for stress), which has a negative association with erectile dysfunction.

Secondly, in this survival mode, more blood flow enters the head and less volume flows through the penis. This consequently makes it more difficult for men to achieve an erection.

Lastly, PTSD and depression and anxiety symptoms overlap. These emotional factors can work together to make harnessing an erection difficult.

Bipolar Disorder and Sexual Health

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that can cause a person to experience great difficulty managing their emotions. Bipolar disorders and sexual dysfunctions also have symptomatic overlaps.

More specifically, BPD can cause manic episodes wherein a person becomes hypersexual, or has an increased sex drive. This can cause relationship concerns when a partner’s needs aren’t met.

Schizophrenia and Sexual Health

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that can incite hallucinations and delusions. Similar to BPD, men with schizophrenia are also prone to hypersexual lifestyles.

This can lead them to engage in risky, sexual behavior, increasing their risk of contracting UTIs and developing unhealthy habits and viewpoints towards sex.

How to Improve Sexual Health Naturally

If you have any case of sexual dysfunction, it’s important to treat the underlying medical conditions—such as high blood pressure and cancer—first and foremost.

Furthermore, you can consider natural treatment strategies to supplement your goal to improve sexual function.

Here are some ways to do so:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Sleeping at least 7 hours a night
  • Exercising regularly
  • Decreasing alcohol consumption

Besides lifestyle changes, you should also talk with a healthcare provider to get access to some treatment plans. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re getting adequate treatment for your health problem.

Elevate Your Sex Life with Jacksonville, Florida’s Best Doctors

Elevate Your Sex Life With Jacksonville Florida’s Best Doctors

Don’t avoid whatever’s causing your sexual dysfunction. Get help today.

Here at Jacksonville’s Prime Men’s Medical Center, we offer the most modern and comprehensive treatment plans in the state, from ED treatment and PE treatment to RestoreWave therapy and andropause.

Contact us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.

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