In the United States, over 30 million men experience erectile dysfunction (ED). Medical experts say that ED is a combination of many physical as well as psychological factors. Most of the drugs available commercially, like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, are made to target the physical hurdle of ED. But for some men, the drugs just don’t seem to work for them.
So the question is: Is there therapy for ED?
The answer is yes. If physical elements of ED can’t be solved, then the mental causes can. A survey done in 2001 by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization which provides reviews and information on healthcare interventions, found out that about 43% of the studied men had ED because of physical factors, 43% had ED due to psychological factors, and the rest attribute their ED to both. In some cases, doctors recommend a patient to undergo psychotherapy, when a patient experiences ED because of anxiety or low self-esteem towards sex. This is done to relieve the stress associated with ED or when undergoing other treatments for ED. Other times, the man’s partner undergoes psychotherapy as well, so both can benefit from techniques to improve their lovemaking and overcome ED. In a follow-up study done from 2000 to 2005 by the Cochrane Collaboration, they tested the effect of group psychotherapy on men with ED.
About 400 men with ED were chosen for the experiment, and were divided into five groups. The first will undergo ED medication only, the second used vacuum devices only, the third group underwent group psychotherapy only, the fourth group used medication plus psychotherapy, and the fifth served as the control. Half of the men were Americans, while the other half were from Latin America, with their ages averaging to 47.4 years. The research found out that 95% of the men surveyed were successful after participating in group psychotherapy. They reported that taking Viagra or other ED drugs and attending group therapy increases the success rate of overcoming ED.
However, they found no significant difference with the success rates among the men who used drugs alone, vacuum devices alone, or only group psychotherapy. The primary goal of group psychotherapy is to help the men regain their confidence after experiencing ED. Men who undergo a problem are more comfortable confronting the issue in the presence of others who feel the same. Group therapy works better when coupled with medication, but experts say results do not come instantly. Dealing with psychological problems involves time and progression.
Furthermore, drugs like Viagra and others will work best when the user is in the right state of mind. If you think that drugs will not help you solve your problem with ED, consider the option of group therapy to supplement your medication. Healthcare providers have support groups you can contact for any inquiry you may have. But if you believe you’re not ready to talk to a group about it, the next best thing is to be open to your partner. Her love, support, and understanding may perhaps be better than any medication available.