Depression and Erectile Dysfunction (ED) are sometimes diagnosed together. Once a diagnosis is given, it is important to develop skills that can help increase and improve essential positive emotions like enjoyment and happiness. Treatment options depend on medical factors and may include medications.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Even though depression often goes undiagnosed or unrecognized in males, there are several early warning signs that indicate you need to seek a doctor’s help.
When it comes to the medical issue of depression, men tend to notice and address the physical symptoms first. Symptoms such as feeling tired more than usual, a loss of interest in activities that used to bring joy along with feelings of irritability, aggression, or sadness are just some of the symptoms that may lead a male to seek the expertise of a medical professional.
Depression and Erectile Dysfunction
Often, it’s the physical symptoms of depression that motivates men to seek treatment. Symptoms of depression can manifest in the form of a physical inability to achieve erections.
While the inability to achieve an erection may be a sign of erectile dysfunction and a doctor should be consulted immediately, it is often connected to depression. It may be associated with medications and treatments for the infamous mood disorder. If you recognize any of the aforementioned symptoms and have problems with achieving erections, you should talk to a doctor/specialist who can determine what treatments may benefit you.
It’s important to report all side effects from medication to your treating physician in order to truly recover. Some signs and symptoms include a change in hormone levels that can be identified through blood tests. Other symptoms that cannot be scientifically measured include increased stress, a change in emotional well-being, and even the nervous system or muscle tone changes.
Health Conditions that cause ED
There are two common health conditions that can cause impotence. Issues such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes can affect blood flow and therefore cause erectile dysfunction. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study determined a direct correlation between ED and these illnesses, including hypertension and depression. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking, are associated with a higher probability of erectile dysfunction.
Also, there are some hormone disorders that can be identified when a patient presents with erectile dysfunction symptoms. Often, doctors look to treat the underlying illness first. When the mood disorder is under control, doctors can focus on treating the ED.
ED Medications and treatments
Treatment for erectile dysfunction may start with counseling to address anxiety and depression issues. There are four drugs commonly prescribed for men suffering from erectile dysfunction – the most common, and well-known, medications are Viagra (Sildenafil) and Cialis (Tadalafil). Others include Avanafil (Stendra) and Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn).
Typically, these oral medications are taken from minutes to hours prior to sexual activity, but there are side effects to this type of treatment, such as headaches, stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Patients taking heart disease medications or blood pressure pills should consult a physician and use these medications with extreme caution.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction with a dual diagnosis of depression starts with counseling. Doctors may treat patients with pill form medications like Viagra and Cialis. If pills are not helpful, doctors have other options for erectile dysfunction treatment that could include injections or suppositories. Rarely a doctor may prescribe an injectable medication. Injected into the side of the penis an injectable ED medication has a high risk of prolonged erections. Suppositories, pellets placed inside the penis, are often called MUSE (medicated urethral system for erections). However, suppositories are not considered as effective as injectables.
Most physicians will start treatment protocol for erectile dysfunction by prescribing a boost in testosterone. Testosterone injections are popular with men who’ve only just reached the age of 40 or 50 years old. Due to the natural loss of testosterone that starts at age 40 (low testosterone is the most common cause of ED in healthy men over 40), many doctors consider testosterone therapy as the best treatment for erectile dysfunction.
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