ERECTILE DIFFICULTIES & THE ‘TOUGH GUY’ SYNDROME

DISCLAIMER – IMAGE IS GRAPHIC

A new survey shows some men would rather do household chores than see their doctor about health conditions like erectile dysfunction. And if they do step inside a clinic they may withhold important information.  

The survey was performed by the Cleveland Clinic in the hope of shedding new light on men’s attitudes to health1. And the results were surprising.

Of the 1,174  men aged 18 years and older who responded, the study showed…

  • Around 65% said they avoided going to the doctor as long as possible if they have a health symptom or injury.
  • 72% said they would rather be doing household chores like cleaning the bathroom.
  • 77% of those married or in a relationship would rather go shopping with their partner.
  • 20% said they were not completely honest with their doctor about their health.
  • 46% said they’re most uncomfortable talking about ‘below the belt’ issues like erectile dysfunction.

It’s believed the reasons men have such a tough time seeing their doctor is due to factors such as denial (we convince ourselves our condition will improve on its own), fear (we worry about a bad diagnosis or a bad outcome) and vulnerability (we need to appear capable of handling anything). This attitude is particularly problematic when dealing with sensitive issues like erectile dysfunction (ED), a common condition that often results from serious underlying health issues like heart disease, high cholesterol or diabetes.

That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor or prescribing pharmacist early about any health issue causing concern, ED or otherwise. You’ll get a better idea what’s going on and how to treat it and that’ll mean more peace of mind for you and your family.

So make the appointment and maybe leave the ‘tough guy’ persona at the door. A quick check up can’t be worse than cleaning toilets can it??

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION – WHATS CAUSING THE PROBLEM

Ever heard the term ‘psychological projection’? It’s a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence and attributing them to others. In other words, shifting blame.

Shifting blame can become a major problem when dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED), especially if apportioned to your partner. There’s the obvious chaos it can create in a relationship but it can also slow your recovery. That’s because the longer you look for external reasons for your ED the longer it takes to figure what’s actually causing the issue. These are usually internal in nature and have nothing to do with your partner. 

The overwhelming reason men get ED is due to their own physical or psychological state.  Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, anxiety, depression and even some medications are common causes of ED. Unless your partner is deliberately trying to make your blood boil or encouraging you to eat high fat meals every night, you can’t say these ED causing factors are their fault.

So to beat the blame game, what do you do?

No.1 – See your doctor or prescribing pharmacist ASAP. They’ll look at what the real cause of your ED is and work out a treatment plan. It might involve prescribing Viagra at the same time. 

No.2 – Talk. Your partner should be your greatest ally in the journey back to an ED-less lifestyle so start the chit-chat as soon as possible. No point letting a partner continually blame themselves for a problem they didn’t cause.

No.3 – Don’t use ED as a weapon. It’s no one’s fault and as we’ve discussed, certainly not your partner’s. Treat ED as just another health issue needing to be sorted.

No. 4 – Discuss things outside the bedroom and not right after an ‘ED episode’. Wait until you’re both in a good frame of mind.

No. 5 – Do not resign yourself to acceptance!  Put ED in the too hard basket and it could prevent you finding a solution, slowing recovery further.

Keep in mind a lot of couples have gone through a similar experience as you and have come out better for it. So stay tight, avoid the finger pointing and you might just end up not only ED-free but with an even stronger connection to your partner than before.

WHY ARE YOUNGER MEN GETTING ED?

Younger men, and you can include those in their 40s, often consider themselves bulletproof when it comes to their health. So to begin experiencing erectile dysfunction, a health issue they thought only ‘old dudes’ got, may come as quite a surprise. The fact is, some younger men do get erectile dysfunction (ED) too. And the numbers are surprising. A 2013 study showed as many as one in four men experiencing ED were under 40 years old.

How is this so?
The big difference between ED in younger men compared to those older may be found in the underlying causes. While both groups can be affected by the same causes, older men tend to experience ED due to health related issues such as high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. For younger men it’s believed to be more the result of lifestyle factors.  Here are the common culprits….

Stress and anxiety.

Busy careers, big mortgages, a rocky relationship, even performance anxiety in the bedroom – stress and anxiety can have a big impact on cardiovascular health and blood pressure – both major causes of ED.

Being hard on your body.

Too much alcohol, smoking or taking drugs (illicit or otherwise) can cause ED as can a lack of exercise and living a sedentary life.  Less bad stuff and more of the good is your best bet.

Porn.

As surprising as it may sound, it’s believed many younger men can’t achieve erections because their brains have been ‘rewired’ by watching too much porn. In their mind, real girls can’t compete with the hyper-stimulation of what they see on screen.

Physical Trauma

If your ED occurred after being hit, whacked or smacked ‘down there’ it could be due to physical trauma. This is when things get more serious because if your machinery is broken it won’t matter how much stress you remove or how much you clean up your lifestyle. Get a check up from your doctor ASAP.   

If you’re experiencing ED, young or not, keep in mind that many of the above causes are controllable to some degree. Reassessing work/life balance, dialing back poor lifestyle choices –  these are measures that could make all the difference. Another thing that will definitely help is a trip to your doctor. They’ll have a better idea what’s causing your ED and whether or not a treatment like Viagra is right for you.