Can erectile dysfunction have psychological causes?

Answers from Carl F. Anderson, M.D.

The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. A number of psychological factors can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns

The best way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to make healthy lifestyle choices and to manage any existing health conditions. Seek help for anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns, and take steps to reduce stress.

Apr. 24, 2014 See more Expert Answers