Currently one in five men suffer from erectile dysfunction in France. 22% of them consult (Sofres, 1994). The ACS survey (1999), conducted among 1557 men, shows that 42% suffer erectile dysfunction punctually, 24% more than once in five sexual intercourse. 33% of men seek information on this subject, 31% feel the need to talk about it, only 17% have done so with their doctor.
This is, of course, the first symptom of erectile dysfunction and impotence. Its presence is not enough on its own to characterize the disease. In erectile insufficiency, in the constituted helplessness, it is accompanied by other symptoms which are as many factors constituting at the same time aggravating and strengthening of the disease.
They are systematic, generated by erectile insufficiency or caused by its installation. Man with erection capacity may, for example, have a tendency to isolate himself, to be locked in himself, to move away from a partner whom he thinks he can not satisfy.
He will try to avoid any situation of sexual stimulation, any look, any erotic thought that would confront him to the dynamics of failure in which he feels locked up, with no way out. It can also, on the contrary, multiply the unsuccessful attempts of penetrations, out of any erotic context, for example during the least spontaneous erection and in the absence of any preparation of a partner quickly tired of this relentlessness where everything is played without she. Or with an unknown partner with whom he will test himself, observe himself, put himself to the test.
All these behaviors, inspired not by desire, but by the only need of erection, get in shape in the fear of not getting there, and are not adapted to the situation of sexual intercourse. They have nothing in common with the loving behavior that usually helps to develop and maintain an erection.
When a man who is confronted with a sexual breakdown adopts one of these behaviors unsuitable for the resolution of his problem, he unintentionally aggravates his difficulty and puts himself in spite of himself in a state of permanent sexual failure.
They are also systematic. They can evoke a depressive state in situations of inhibition, isolation, loss of momentum in general. We then find negative thoughts, a feeling of confinement in a lasting failure, feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, loss of self-esteem.
When the man in difficulty of erection adopts a behavior of a more compulsive nature with infinite repetition of the action become impossible, the disorders will be more willing of the ideas which he ruminates, of permanent invasion of the thought by negative ideas and failure.
The troubles of anticipation
They are always present, too. Erectile insufficiency and impotence are accompanied by the impossibility of conceiving or renewing one’s sexual project. Ruminated or depressed ideas no longer allow access to an erotic imagination. This imaginary is impoverished, even completely obscured.
It never fails when the erection disorder settles in a lasting way. Anxiety in front of the action become impossible to realize, it ensures the lock-up of the sexual difficulty, by its adrenergic properties (and noradrenergic in the case of norepinephrine): the adrenaline, neuro-hormone of stress and anxiety, makes impossible erection by its very nature of reduction of arterial supply in tissues. When the blood can no longer come to fill the tissues of the penis, erection is impossible.
A real “vicious circle”
The various symptoms involved in impotence play as many factors determining a real vicious circle by entanglement and mutual reinforcement.
The loss of erection can be of variable origin. It can be due to a real organic lesion or to a psychological, relational blockage.
It can be temporary or more rarely, definitive (2 to 4% of cases). But when she settles, she is at the same time responsible for inappropriate behaviors, mood disorders aggravating the situation, phantasmal disorders, which will both reinforce each other and install involuntarily but lastingly the situation.
Pre-existing or superadded anxiety acting as a binding agent. The partner, meanwhile, suffers from being confronted with a man being locked up on himself, or relentless to multiply the unfortunate attempts of penetration.
All these attitudes are often more difficult to bear than the loss of erection itself. It therefore risks by reaction, to adopt a behavior that can reinforce the difficulty of the man (reproaches, isolation, demotivation …). The buckle is thus buckled, and the man who suffers from his loss of erection locks himself indefinitely in a difficulty which appears to him insurmountable.
The number of options available to treat erectile dysfunction has increased in recent years with the introduction of medications that can help men get an erection. While it was once thought that erectile dysfunction occurred because of physiological factors, it is now known that erectile dysfunction can occur following a large number of medical conditions. In fact, it is possible that erectile dysfunction is the main symptom of a serious illness, such as atherosclerosis or diabetes.