Almost 60% of men Avoid Sex Due to Performance Anxiety

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Around 11.7 million men in the UK said they struggled with sex, with one in eight experiencing problems every time.

Impotence rates have doubled over the past 25 years with up to half of men under the age of 50 suffering erectile dysfunction according to a report in the Independent in July 2019.

Urologist at Kings College London, Ms Kessler, reported that “young men aged under 40 years had an exceptionally high prevalence of erectile dysfunction.”  Her team reviewed data from studies across the globe, involving tens of thousands of participants, from teenagers to adults in their 80s.  The study follows a survey of young British men earlier this year that found six in ten avoided sex because of “performance anxiety”.

Although erectile dysfunction can be linked to physical conditions or injuries, it is also commonly related to psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders.

“The reality is, erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety is very common. It can be awkward to talk about sexual dysfunction, even with a partner, but there are ways to manage the stress and anxiety caused by these sexual problems. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a very effective tool to overcome sexual dysfunction problems.” said Lee Grant,  CBT Therapist and Clinical Director at Onebright.

Sexual dysfunction problems mean that the usual sexual response cycles of a couple have become disrupted. It may refer to the physical and emotional changes that happen during sexual arousal and participation in sexually stimulating activities.

Getting help for sex problems can be a vital step in maintaining a healthy relationship. A common knock-on effect following dysfunction or performance anxiety is emotional feelings which can put a strain on a relationship which then impact the overall mental wellbeing for a patient.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for erectile dysfunction or performance anxiety is a treatment combining cognitive and behavioural techniques.

The CBT techniques used in the treatment of sexual performance and anxieties are similar to those used for other psychological disorders treated by talking therapies.

The main goals of sex therapy are to challenge dysfunctional sexual beliefs, change the meaning assigned to adverse sexual events, and modify any negative thoughts and emotions experienced during sexual activity that may have become deep-rooted.

CBT, like other talking therapies, take place with specialist therapists who are used to treating sexual dysfunction problems. CBT aims to talk through any associated feelings of anxiety, fear, guilt or low self-esteem, which may be contributing to problems with sexual performance.

What to expect from CBT

Onebright’s trained therapists will teach you methods of turning negative thoughts into positive ones, focusing on effective action-based techniques.

If there has been any historical sexual trauma, CBT can also help you to address the thoughts which may be linked to negative connotations experienced during sexual intercourse in your current relationship.

Attending CBT therapy for issues extending from sexual dysfunction is treated in a very similar to other phycological problems.  The sessions begin with education about your diagnosis, then goal-setting before learning essential thinking and behavioural skills. CBT for both premature ejaculation and erectile difficulties focuses on removing the pressure to perform.

In some cases, couples therapy may also be used to explore issues in communication, to offer practice in listening and self-expression skills, and to examine beliefs the partners have about themselves and their relationship.


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