Depression and Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

It is not uncommon for men with erectile dysfunction (ED) to feel angry, frustrated, sad, or even unsure of themselves. While there are many medical causes of ED, studies have shown that men with ED may be twice as likely to develop clinical depression as compared to those without ED.

Depression that accompanies ED is treatable. The first step in overcoming depression is to be honest with yourself, your partner, and your doctor. After depression has been brought out into the open, coping with it will be easier and less stressful.

Recognizing Depression With ED

Depression is an illness marked by persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, and a pessimistic outlook. The most common symptoms of depression include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in formerly pleasurable activities
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Apathy

Depression affects the way one feels about oneself and the way one thinks about life. People who are depressed cannot simply "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms of depression can persist for months or even years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression get back on track.

Diagnosing Depression With ED

If you have ED and think you may be depressed, do not suffer in silence. Depression is not a sign of personal weakness. Tell your doctor how you are feeling so that you can start feeling like yourself again.

There is no single test that can diagnose depression; however, there are certain patterns that doctors look for in order to make the diagnosis. As a result, your doctor will ask you several questions. Be honest with your answers so that you can receive the care you need.

Treating Depression With ED

Treatment for depression may include medication, psychotherapy (talk therapy), or a combination of both.

  • Antidepressants: Many different drugs, including Prozac, Zoloft, Elavil, and Wellbutrin, are used to treat depression. Some antidepressants can cause or worsen ED, so be honest with your doctor about your condition so that he or she can prescribe an appropriate treatment.
  • Talk therapy: During therapy, a licensed and trained mental health care professional helps you identify and work through issues related to ED and depression. Types of talk therapy include couples therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy.