Last updated:

November 4, 2022


 min read

ED and depression are more closely related than you might think

Are you constantly feeling low and also having problems in the bedroom? It might not be a simple coincidence. Well, there is actually a strong link between low mood and erectile dysfunction. Our detailed guide contains everything you need to know about the connection between depression and ED. Although the path to recovery might seem an uphill battle, knowing that both Erectile Dysfunction and depression are reversible might help. ‍

Reviewed by
Written by
Malvika Rathi

What is ED?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a prevalent sexual health issue affecting penis-owners. If you have ED, you probably are unable to develop and/or maintain an erection strong enough for penetrative sex. 

The intensity of ED varies. While it is a minor and occasional inconvenience for some penis-owners, others may experience ED as a severe, chronic condition that seriously impairs their capacity to engage in sexual activity.

You can learn more about ED here.

What is Depression? 

If you haven't personally dealt with depression, you might think it to be the same as 'feeling sad'. However, clinical depression is very different from that. 

Clinical depression, or MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), is classified as a mood disorder. The common symptoms of depression include persistent sadness, feelings of worthlessness, reduced interest in hobbies, suicidal thoughts, and difficulty making decisions. 

How are ED and depression related?

Symptoms of depression can make it challenging to find pleasure in anything, let alone sex. 

Let's break this down further. Your brain is the origin of the sexual impulse that results in an erection. ED happens when there aren't sufficient brain chemicals to boost the blood flow required for an erection. When these brain chemicals are out of balance due to depression, you may experience decreased libido and poor performance in bed.

In some circumstances, binge-watching pornography may worsen both depression and sexual disorders, such as ED. Curious about the link between pornography and erectile dysfunction? Read this

Psychological causes of ED 

Although physical factors account for most causes of ED, psychological or emotional problems also contribute. Depression is one of the many psychological causes of ED. 

Here are some other psychological causes of ED and male impotence:

  • Performance anxiety 
  • Shame and guilt due to religious or cultural norms 
  • Low self-esteem
  • Excessive stress 
  • Strained relationships
  • Other sexual disorders, like premature ejaculation, can also lead to ED 

Signs to watch out for

Listed below are some warning signs which might confirm that depression is a significant determinant for your ED:

  • You no longer feel like indulging in sexual activity, and you don't feel great if and when you do indulge. 
  • Your doctor has prescribed you an antidepressant, and it is having an impact on your sexual life. You can figure this out by tracing back to when problems in the bedroom began and assessing if they coincide with you getting on antidepressants.
  • After a stressful life event, such as the death of a loved one or losing a job, you begin experiencing signs of ED. 
  • You experience a lot of tension, frustration, and worry, in addition to erectile dysfunction. 

Treatment for ED

The best strategy to cure psychological erectile dysfunction is to address the underlying cause of the issue. CBT, often known as cognitive-behavioural therapy, is a popular therapeutic method used for concerns like ED depression and anxiety, and research suggests that CBT can help reverse ED. 

This form of treatment, facilitated by a therapist, aids in identifying and altering negative thoughts and behaviour patterns that could be causing your sexual health problems. This way, you might be able to change your thought patterns and solve your problems if you can learn to comprehend your emotions better in the first place. 

Sex therapy, often known as psychosexual therapy, is another option. This form of counselling is intended specifically to assist you (and, frequently, your partner) in overcoming sexual difficulties like ED.

Taking the first step towards getting treatment might make you uncomfortable (and that's completely alright). The medical experts at Rocket Health are here to ensure you have a hassle-free and safe experience. You can schedule a consultation with our welcoming doctors to start your treatment! 

Your lifestyle can also be a game-changer in treating ED. Keep an eye out for potentially harmful behaviours like smoking, drug use, and binge drinking, which are more prevalent with depression and can worsen ED.

Finally, your partner is vital in helping you navigate ED and depression. To prevent any sexual disorders from hampering your relationship, keep the lines of communication open and be honest with your partner. Remember, since this issue affects you both, it is best resolved as a team through mutual aid and understanding.

Having your partner accompany you to your online consultation or seeing a mental health professional together can also be a good idea. 

ED may seem overwhelming, but having a strong support system while navigating treatment options makes the process less distressing. Our community, Cancel Stigma, is the perfect place for you to share and vent without any judgement. 

References Editorial team. (2022, August 2). Psychological causes of ED - Is it all in your head? Hims. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from Iliades, C. (2013, June 5). Breaking the link between depression and erectile dysfunction. Everyday Health. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from The link between depression and erectile dysfunction. (n.d.) Urology Associates. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from