Erectile dysfunction (ED), or the inability to get/keep an erection during sexual activity, is a major problem. Estimates suggest it may impact up to 30 million people with penises. It’s an issue that has obvious ramifications when it comes to the mechanics of having penetrative sex, but it is also something that can have a devastating impact psychologically. ED is linked to shame, guilt, depressive symptoms, performance anxiety, and relationship disruption. It can be tough for the person with ED to cope with not being able to “perform” when the time comes and it can be easy for their partner(s) to fall into the trap of feeling that they did something wrong or they are not desirable enough for their partner to get an erection. Recently on episode 160 of the Hardcore Self Help Podcast, I got the following question about ED:
Finding the courage to take the leap and get some therapy for yourself can be hard. It also takes time to develop a relationship with your therapist that allows you to trust them enough to be open and honest. This is especially true when you might be someone that has a history of trauma, abuse, or problematic relationships. That trust is hard earned and you may even feel like your therapist is one of the only people that you can actually be honest with about your feelings. Unfortunately, therapists are normal people too (well, most of us). That means that sometimes life gets in the way and they are no longer able to keep seeing you for therapy. This could be do to relocating, changing jobs to a different agency, not being approved as a provider for a specific insurance panel, or other personal reasons that you would never learn about. And when this happens… it usually doesn’t feel so good. Here’s a question that I recently got on episode 158 of the Hardcore Self Help Podcast:
Since I created my online course for anxiety, I have gotten a lot of questions about online courses for mental health issues in general. I totally understand. They aren’t super common yet and people want to make sure they are doing something that is safe, effective, and cost-effective. In this post, I’d like to compare and contrast typical in-person therapy with online courses for mental health.
You are lying down to go to sleep. Things are progressing well. You close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. You try to think of happy things instead of the stressful things that you need to take care of tomorrow. After a few minutes, you’re just about to slip off into happytime dreamland and BAM. Suddenly your whole body jolts for no reason. Well that was weird. Why did that happen? You start scanning your body for signs of trouble, because that’s too weird to ignore. Sure enough, there’s some weird shit going on. You notice your heart feels like it’s beating faster and faster. Uh oh. But wait, now it skipped a beat. Oh god… Now your breathing is starting to catch up with your heart, but no matter how hard your breathe, you can’t seem to get enough oxygen. Your fingers and toes feel tingly and you are getting weird random pains. Putting two and two together you think that it has got to be a heart attack, right? Hurry, take an aspirin and call 911! Whoa whoa whoa… slow down. You aren’t dying. You also aren’t the only one who has gone through this sort of progression before.
A few weekends ago, I was out with my wife and a few friends without the kids. All was great until my wife looked at her phone and just said “Holy shit, the Oaks.” Without her saying another word, I knew there was a shooting. Just a few cities away from us, at the other big mall in the area, there was a murder and attempted suicide by firearm. That made the evening take on a little different tone.