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I just started getting serious with a girl, and I find myself struggling to achieve an erection. Can you develop erectile dysfunction from relationship anxiety?

Whether it’s a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, one thing is universal about relationships: Anxiety. For many men, settling into a relationship can be nerve racking; after all, transitioning from a swinging bachelor to a committed partner can be a jarring change. And while relationships are fulfilling and rewarding in a way the single life can never be, many men struggle with settling down. In fact, many men find committed relationships so nail biting that it causes the development of erectile dysfunction.

This is due to anxiety, and the way the brain interprets extreme feelings such as anxiety. Whether it’s a new relationship or the possibility of a promotion at work, anxiety has a way of weaseling into a person’s mind, becoming an all-consuming feeling.

As a man becomes consumed with focusing on the subject that is causing anxiety, the brain will subconsciously begin to prioritize the anxiety. As the anxiety becomes prioritized, the brain will struggle to focus on other, non-anxiety related activities, including sex.

Yes, the erection depends upon brain signals to work, and too much stress can actually cause the signals needed for an erection to get lost in the shuffle. A man’s brain can become some preoccupied with anxiety that the brain actually neglects important signals for pleasure, leading to the development of erectile dysfunction.

And it isn’t just anxiety that causes erectile issues; depression, guilt, and a litany of feelings can lead to ED by becoming too important in the brain.

So, yes, a newfound relationship can lead to a lifetime of happiness, but it can also lead to anxiety-induced erectile dysfunction. If you find yourself struggling to consistently achieve an erection, seek help from a mental health professional, and you can confront and overcome these feelings.

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