What Is The Difference Between Performance Anxiety And Erectile Dysfunction?

There are a lot of misconceptions about erectile dysfunction and other sexual health issues. Many people are not aware of performance anxiety, and they confuse it with erectile dysfunction problems. In this article, let us try to understand these concepts in a detailed manner and also look into other reasons why you may be suffering from low libido.

In simple terms, erectile dysfunction is the problem associated with not being able to get an erection or not being able to sustain an erection for a few minutes. When it comes to sustaining an erection, it is considered the duration that is enough to give sexual pleasure to the individual. When you cannot maintain an erection for that duration, it is safe to assume that you are suffering from ED problems.

On the other hand, performance anxiety also leads to not getting an erection or not sustaining an erection. However, the reason is not medical and mostly psychological in this situation. If you are not experienced enough in sexual activities or afraid of the encounter, you may not get a proper erection, which does not mean that you have ED problems.

Erectile Dysfunction

Ways to handle performance anxiety

  • The best way to handle performance anxiety is to reduce stress. This can be done by indulging in your favorite hobbies that distract you from everyday stress. You can even try meditation to calm the mind to focus on a sexual activity without any disturbance.
  • Most people face performance anxiety while having sex due to a lack of the right information. In this regard, proper sex education is essential, and you should have realistic expectations about your sexual performance.
  • You can even discuss the issues with your partner so that everything can be sorted out without causing any anxiety during the sexual act. You may even try a couple of counseling sessions if both the partners are suffering from some level of anxiety.
  • If you do not have much experience in sexual activities, you need not worry about performance as it takes time for many people to have an excellent sexual experience. You will eventually get better as you gain better experience in such activities.
  • If you are suffering from other mental health conditions like depression, make sure to get proper treatment for such issues.

Treating performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction

While ED needs proper medication, performance anxiety is generally treated by counseling the patient. If the person is stressed about sexual activity, doctors will discuss the reason for such stress and provide them with proper suggestions that can help them to get over the stress. When patients understand the difference and develop confidence about the sexual act, they can easily overcome performance anxiety and get good satisfaction. On the other hand, erectile dysfunction has to be treated with proper medication, and it is not possible to overcome ED permanently. You may have to take medication every time you want to engage in a sexual act when you suffer from erectile dysfunction problems.

Other reasons why you may not be able to get an erection

There are several other reasons why you may not be getting an erection or able to maintain one apart from erectile dysfunction problems. These things should not be confused with ED problems, and they will usually go away once your situation gets better. If you are also facing erection problems due to the reasons mentioned below, get in touch with a counselor, and things should get better in due course.


It is scientifically proved that the loss of loved ones can push people into grief that can trigger many illnesses. One among them is erectile dysfunction, and many people lose interest in sexual activities when they are suffering from grief. In this situation, there is no need to take any medication, and you can visit your doctor for regular consultation. They may offer some counseling and refer you to a psychiatrist if needed after examining your condition.

Stress at work

Too much stress at work can lead to loss of libido, and there are no age criteria for this situation. Even young people can suffer from ED due to work stress or other problems in their personal lives. It has got nothing to do with physical problems. In this situation, treatment in the form of medication is not needed and reducing the stress is essential to return to normalcy. You can focus on activities that reduce stress levels and choose some hobbies that will take your mind away from the stress for some duration. In the same way, you should make way for some pleasurable activities and deviate from work stress to enjoy satisfactory sex life.

Lack of interest in partner

This happens with many people, and they do not even understand the main reason behind erectile dysfunction. When you are not emotionally connected with your partner, it can be difficult to get aroused, which may seem like an erectile dysfunction problem. However, counseling can help you get over such issues, and you should not be worried about ED if it is only happening with one partner. If you can have a satisfactory sexual experience with another person and if you are facing problems with one person, it may be a psychological issue, and there is no need to take ED medication in this situation.

Not getting enough privacy

This happens when partners are not able to get enough privacy. It is usually seen even in youngsters when they try having sexual intercourse in a not so private place. In this situation, you should understand that sex is not just a physical activity, and it needs the complete cooperation of your mind. You should find a peaceful place that will not disturb you and then get involved in sexual activities. By doing so, you can easily get over erectile dysfunction that is caused due to anxiety.

Other Health conditions

When you are suffering from a long-term illness like cancer, heart problems, arthritis, etc., it can become difficult to have a normal libido. Most people feel that having sex under such circumstances is a burden, and they lose interest in sexual activities. This can also cause temporary ED, and you need to recover from your illness to get back to normal life.


In some cases, the medication you are taking to treat existing health conditions can cause side effects and show symptoms of erectile dysfunction. The loss of libido in such cases will be temporary, and your sexual performance will come to normal once you stop using such medication. You can consult your doctor and discuss the side effects. They may prescribe an alternate medication that does not lower your libido.

These are some of the main differences between performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. While it is possible to treat performance anxiety with simple counseling therapy, erectile dysfunction cannot be treated completely, and it can only be managed with proper medication. People suffering from performance anxiety often lack the confidence to engage in sexual activities due to various reasons. Once they can overcome such negative thoughts, they can become normal. However, erectile dysfunction is a physical problem that needs medication on a long term basis.

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