Psychological Problems That Affect Sexual Life


Sex is a core activity in most adults lives. People engage in it for varying reasons including, pleasure and stress relief. However, your sex life is not always at a high, and sometimes you and your partner may experience some lows.

Sexual desire begins in your mind thus your mental health is one of the main factors that may influence how your sexual life fairs.

Some of the psychological problems that may cause sexual dysfunction include;


People who have gone through traumatic events such as the victims of sexual assault or any other type of violence may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).

This may lead to them developing problems in their sex life and their relationships because they might associate the feeling of pleasure with aggression, which might trigger fear which is not suitable for healthy sex.


Research indicates that stress results in sexual dysfunction. Depressed people tend to have a low sex drive or even lack interest in engaging in sexual activities.

For instance, men who are stressed may experience trouble with getting an erection. Taking antidepressants meant to improve a person’s mood makes matters worse sometimes.

They may have the side effect of dampening your libido and affect your sexual response. However, all is not lost, you can consult your doctor to prescribe you other antidepressants which counteract the side effects.

Bipolar disorder

For people with a bipolar disorder(BP), sex is no less important than it is for the rest of us. However, having this condition may complicate your sex life.

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Mania especially when coupled with compulsivity may lead to hypersexuality, poor judgment and an increased need to take risks. People suffering from BP have also been associated with low self-esteem which makes them insecure about their attractiveness to their sexual partner.

It is recommended to identify these signs of bipolar disorder early to prevent the compulsivity from developing a sexual addiction. The sudden mood changes seen in bipolar people may affect a person’s intimate relationships.


Studies indicate that about 75% of people with social anxiety disorders(SAD) tend to have sexual problems. SAD has been associated with a fear of performance and social situations which are the two things sex is about.

Men with anxiety issues may have erectile dysfunction while women may develop an aversion to sex. Sexual aversion involves the fear of sexual contact.

This disorder is common in people who have experienced sexual assault or may have grown up in environments where sexual relations were prohibited. Some medications used to treat SAD may also lead to low sexual desire.

Eating disorders

Many people with eating disorders have negative perceptions about how people view them. They develop low self-esteem and may even become depressed which makes it difficult for them to be physically intimate with their sexual partner.

Studies done have indicated that low body weight and poor nutrition(restricted or binge eating) have a significant impact on sex hormone production.

For instance, eating foods rich in healthy fats helps in the production of the female sex hormones, estrogen as well as testosterone, which are necessary for libido. Also, the anxiety associated with self-consciousness due to eating disorders may distract you from enjoying sex.

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This mental health disorder is known for its effect on a person’s feelings, behaviors as well as their thoughts.

It can also impact a person’s sex life by affecting their capability of developing social and sexual relationships depending on its severity. Women and men who have schizophrenia have low sex drive mostly due to the stigmatization associated with mental illness.

The medication given to schizophrenic patients may have the side effect of affecting their sex life. Research indicates that women with this condition have a better chance of having better sex lives than their male counterparts.

Fear of failure

Fear is a dominant force in life. It affects your actions as well as the outcomes you get. Although it is there mostly for your own protection, it can sometimes be an obstacle to you achieving your goals.

You anticipate all the adverse outcomes of failing. Fear of failure in sex may lead to it becoming a reality, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Many people fear the consequences of them not performing up to the expectations of their partners.

You fear the rejection by someone you love, hence end up fearing sex. You become so absorbed in your mind with trying to meet those expectations that you end up either orgasming too early or failing to reach climax at all.

Relationship issues

If you are going through some relationship problems, it may spill over to your sex life. For instance, if you are mad at your partner, you may have a problem getting aroused by them.

You may not be able to get an erection or even stay erect during sexual encounters until you and your partner are on the same page again. When a relationship is undergoing some issues, its common for couples to not have sex for a while.

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This abstinence is detrimental for their sexual life as it may lead to them losing the desire to have it especially when it is prolonged.

Pornography addiction

People who are addicted to watching pornographic material while masturbating may have problems when having sex with other partners.

Your brain is trained to need pornography for a person to be sexually aroused which may cause issues with your relationships.Having a healthy sex life depends a lot on your mental health.

It is recommended to identify the cause of your sexual dysfunction and solutions. Be open with your partner about any issues you may be having with sexual intimacy and also strengthen your emotional bond.

Talk to a therapist to get it out of your chest. Consider requesting a change in medication from your healthcare provider. Know that these problems are common, can happen to anybody and that there are solutions for them.

Author Bio:

Dylan Menders is a psychologist and a health blogger. During his practice, he worked with hundreds of people in self-development, mindset and human behavior. He makes people feel confident, helps to get rid of their fears, psychological and physical complexes and start communicating with people, adopt in the socium. Dr. Menders is author of researches in the area of sexology and Editor in Chief at Potency Up. Social networks: Facebook: Twitter:

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