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Coping Wth Erectile Dysfunction

Most medical conditions cause more physical pain than erectile dysfunction. But ED may be as psychologically difficult as any. Coping with serious medical issues is never easy.

It's difficult for some men to fully believe that ED is completely the result of an underlying physical condition, or that, even so, an act of will alone will not cure it. They feel out of control. For a man, that's always hard.

But coping with ED does not have to be simply an exercise in keeping a stiff upper lip to compensate for the lack of a stiff penis. Coping with ED involves a range of actions, including getting proper diagnosis, evaluating treatment options and above all, being honest about the condition and likely outcomes.

Realism, is the first principle to observe in order to optimize coping with erectile dysfunction. Whatever the underlying causes - be they the result of recent prostate surgery or diabetes, or substantial psychological problems - denial never helps. Being realistic about the effectiveness of treatments is equally important. Even Viagra is only about 90% effective. That's a very encouraging number, but it implies that 10% will need to seek other remedies.

In a small percentage of cases there simply is no short term remedy. That's always tragic, but the psychological impact can be minimized only by facing facts squarely. Only on that basis can a patient deal with possible subsequent effects on one's relationships and self-esteem.

Still, optimism is not only pleasant, it's also a helpful attitude for coping with ED. Far from necessarily being the choice to always live in a fantasy world, optimism can and should be based on facts. Optimism is valid when, as is usually the case these days, real options are available that promise or produce real results.

Optimism is not the same as stoicism, though the latter may be appropriate to some degree. Stoicism is simply accepting whatever happens as inevitable. Optimism goes beyond this and believes that good outcomes are possible, even likely. One then has an incentive to seek them, even if they're not immediately obvious or forthcoming.

Coping with ED involves developing strategies for long term treatment, some of which may involve substantial life changes.

Erectile dysfunction is more likely the older a man becomes. That's not only because of elementary changes such as a decrease of testosterone. It's also because the chances of disease and other conditions that can result in ED increase with age. Life is risky. It gets more risky the older you are. Taking that fact into account can help develop those plans that call for significant change.

Those changes can range from simple adjustments of diet and exercise, to opting for a different line of work, to reaching out for any of the number of typically permanent treatments such as Viagra or a prosthetic implant. They may involve changing one's attitude toward oneself, toward what's possible in life and toward sex. None of those are easy adjustments.

But coping with ED, like many conditions, is done best when one looks at the situation straight on, then summons the courage to do what is necessary to achieve the desired goal.

To learn more about your ED treatment options including our new men's health program or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shah, give Advanced Care Medical Center a call at 772-461-1008 or click here to schedule an appointment online.