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Author Topic: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues  (Read 2847 times)

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Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« on: November 29, 2016, 04:10:04 pm »
First off, this is really embarrassing to even ask this question, but here goes.  Where does one go to deal with psychological issues related to sex phobia?

I had a blow to the head about 5 years ago, which apparently damaged my pituitary.  My T was probably super low for years before I had it checked out.  I just thought I was going crazy.  During this time, sex was not impossible, but pretty close.  If I didn't take some sort of PDE5 drug it wasn't going to happen, and even then it was definitely not 100%.  After 3+ years of that, I'm now on T injections and my T levels are normal.  I do not have erection problems now, libido is good, I get morning wood basically every night, and everything seems A-OK on the physical side of things.  Happy ending to the story, right?  Nope.

While I was going through the low T nightmare, I was a nervous wreck regarding sex.  Just my wife rolling over in bed to hug me would literally give me a full-on panic attack because I thought she might want to have sex, and I knew I couldn't make it happen.  The thing is, even though I have fully functioning equipment now, I still have the same panic reaction as I did then.  It's much less now, to be sure, but definitely there.  And it's not just performance anxiety either (though it is that too).  I get the same feeling when I'm all alone just thinking about sex, seeing a nice-looking woman walk by, or a happy couple walk by.  Basically any random thought about sex or about other people having sex and I feel like I've been punched in the gut.  The killer is that now that my T is at a healthy level, I think about sex all the time like a normal guy.  So I feel sick to my stomach ALL THE FREAKING TIME.  It's my first thought in the morning and my last thought before going to bed, and definitely my constant thought when I lie awake in the middle of the night.  Unless I distract myself with some activity, I feel like this 24/7.

So obviously I have some learned response that needs to be unlearned somehow.  I thought just having normal sex for a while would do the trick, but I've been "healed" for almost a year now, and no dice.  Paradoxically, it's actually gotten worse over the last couple of months.  This is ruining my life almost as much as the low T did.

I don't think there is any physical cause for this.  I'm quite fit for my age, my marriage is very strong, my T is normal (trough is 800ish), I meditate when I can and really try to avoid any stress whenever I can, and I don't use porn whatsoever.  Porn would probably give me a heart attack!  Before all this started, my sex life was really really good for well over a decade, so it's not like this has always been the case.  It all started with the low T five years ago.

What professional can I see to help me with this?  How do I know they can help with this particular issue?
Is there something I can do myself without the help of a professional?


Runnerman

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 05:02:24 pm »
First off, this is really embarrassing to even ask this question, but here goes.  Where does one go to deal with psychological issues related to sex phobia?

I had a blow to the head about 5 years ago, which apparently damaged my pituitary.  My T was probably super low for years before I had it checked out.  I just thought I was going crazy.  During this time, sex was not impossible, but pretty close.  If I didn't take some sort of PDE5 drug it wasn't going to happen, and even then it was definitely not 100%.  After 3+ years of that, I'm now on T injections and my T levels are normal.  I do not have erection problems now, libido is good, I get morning wood basically every night, and everything seems A-OK on the physical side of things.  Happy ending to the story, right?  Nope.

While I was going through the low T nightmare, I was a nervous wreck regarding sex.  Just my wife rolling over in bed to hug me would literally give me a full-on panic attack because I thought she might want to have sex, and I knew I couldn't make it happen.  The thing is, even though I have fully functioning equipment now, I still have the same panic reaction as I did then.  It's much less now, to be sure, but definitely there.  And it's not just performance anxiety either (though it is that too).  I get the same feeling when I'm all alone just thinking about sex, seeing a nice-looking woman walk by, or a happy couple walk by.  Basically any random thought about sex or about other people having sex and I feel like I've been punched in the gut.  The killer is that now that my T is at a healthy level, I think about sex all the time like a normal guy.  So I feel sick to my stomach ALL THE FREAKING TIME.  It's my first thought in the morning and my last thought before going to bed, and definitely my constant thought when I lie awake in the middle of the night.  Unless I distract myself with some activity, I feel like this 24/7.

So obviously I have some learned response that needs to be unlearned somehow.  I thought just having normal sex for a while would do the trick, but I've been "healed" for almost a year now, and no dice.  Paradoxically, it's actually gotten worse over the last couple of months.  This is ruining my life almost as much as the low T did.

I don't think there is any physical cause for this.  I'm quite fit for my age, my marriage is very strong, my T is normal (trough is 800ish), I meditate when I can and really try to avoid any stress whenever I can, and I don't use porn whatsoever.  Porn would probably give me a heart attack!  Before all this started, my sex life was really really good for well over a decade, so it's not like this has always been the case.  It all started with the low T five years ago.

What professional can I see to help me with this?  How do I know they can help with this particular issue?
Is there something I can do myself without the help of a professional?

I'm sure others will have some suggestions. Just wondering if you have discussed this issue with your wife? Would it help to let her know what is going on or is it too difficult at this point? Just thinking that might relieve some of the anxiety around the issue.
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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 05:02:24 pm »

PakMan

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 07:11:16 pm »
First off, this is really embarrassing to even ask this question, but here goes.  Where does one go to deal with psychological issues related to sex phobia?

I had a blow to the head about 5 years ago, which apparently damaged my pituitary.  My T was probably super low for years before I had it checked out.  I just thought I was going crazy.  During this time, sex was not impossible, but pretty close.  If I didn't take some sort of PDE5 drug it wasn't going to happen, and even then it was definitely not 100%.  After 3+ years of that, I'm now on T injections and my T levels are normal.  I do not have erection problems now, libido is good, I get morning wood basically every night, and everything seems A-OK on the physical side of things.  Happy ending to the story, right?  Nope.

While I was going through the low T nightmare, I was a nervous wreck regarding sex.  Just my wife rolling over in bed to hug me would literally give me a full-on panic attack because I thought she might want to have sex, and I knew I couldn't make it happen.  The thing is, even though I have fully functioning equipment now, I still have the same panic reaction as I did then.  It's much less now, to be sure, but definitely there.  And it's not just performance anxiety either (though it is that too).  I get the same feeling when I'm all alone just thinking about sex, seeing a nice-looking woman walk by, or a happy couple walk by.  Basically any random thought about sex or about other people having sex and I feel like I've been punched in the gut.  The killer is that now that my T is at a healthy level, I think about sex all the time like a normal guy.  So I feel sick to my stomach ALL THE FREAKING TIME.  It's my first thought in the morning and my last thought before going to bed, and definitely my constant thought when I lie awake in the middle of the night.  Unless I distract myself with some activity, I feel like this 24/7.

So obviously I have some learned response that needs to be unlearned somehow.  I thought just having normal sex for a while would do the trick, but I've been "healed" for almost a year now, and no dice.  Paradoxically, it's actually gotten worse over the last couple of months.  This is ruining my life almost as much as the low T did.

I don't think there is any physical cause for this.  I'm quite fit for my age, my marriage is very strong, my T is normal (trough is 800ish), I meditate when I can and really try to avoid any stress whenever I can, and I don't use porn whatsoever.  Porn would probably give me a heart attack!  Before all this started, my sex life was really really good for well over a decade, so it's not like this has always been the case.  It all started with the low T five years ago.

What professional can I see to help me with this?  How do I know they can help with this particular issue?
Is there something I can do myself without the help of a professional?

There is a form of Vitamin B1 called Sulbutiamine that is known to help with psychological problems. You also may try lemongrass tea which can calm you and if nothing works there are always the anti anxiety pills (benzodiazepines).
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PeakT

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 09:53:25 pm »
First off, this is really embarrassing to even ask this question, but here goes.  Where does one go to deal with psychological issues related to sex phobia?

I had a blow to the head about 5 years ago, which apparently damaged my pituitary.  My T was probably super low for years before I had it checked out.  I just thought I was going crazy.  During this time, sex was not impossible, but pretty close.  If I didn't take some sort of PDE5 drug it wasn't going to happen, and even then it was definitely not 100%.  After 3+ years of that, I'm now on T injections and my T levels are normal.  I do not have erection problems now, libido is good, I get morning wood basically every night, and everything seems A-OK on the physical side of things.  Happy ending to the story, right?  Nope.

While I was going through the low T nightmare, I was a nervous wreck regarding sex.  Just my wife rolling over in bed to hug me would literally give me a full-on panic attack because I thought she might want to have sex, and I knew I couldn't make it happen.  The thing is, even though I have fully functioning equipment now, I still have the same panic reaction as I did then.  It's much less now, to be sure, but definitely there.  And it's not just performance anxiety either (though it is that too).  I get the same feeling when I'm all alone just thinking about sex, seeing a nice-looking woman walk by, or a happy couple walk by.  Basically any random thought about sex or about other people having sex and I feel like I've been punched in the gut.  The killer is that now that my T is at a healthy level, I think about sex all the time like a normal guy.  So I feel sick to my stomach ALL THE FREAKING TIME.  It's my first thought in the morning and my last thought before going to bed, and definitely my constant thought when I lie awake in the middle of the night.  Unless I distract myself with some activity, I feel like this 24/7.

So obviously I have some learned response that needs to be unlearned somehow.  I thought just having normal sex for a while would do the trick, but I've been "healed" for almost a year now, and no dice.  Paradoxically, it's actually gotten worse over the last couple of months.  This is ruining my life almost as much as the low T did.

I don't think there is any physical cause for this.  I'm quite fit for my age, my marriage is very strong, my T is normal (trough is 800ish), I meditate when I can and really try to avoid any stress whenever I can, and I don't use porn whatsoever.  Porn would probably give me a heart attack!  Before all this started, my sex life was really really good for well over a decade, so it's not like this has always been the case.  It all started with the low T five years ago.

What professional can I see to help me with this?  How do I know they can help with this particular issue?
Is there something I can do myself without the help of a professional?

I guarantee this is a much bigger issue on here that everyone admits.  Almost anyone with significant E.D. has had to deal with this in one degree or another. 

However, I really don't know how to solve this using pyschological or mind-body techniques.  There has got to be a way, but I've never seen anyone discuss it.
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Kierkegaard

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2016, 12:15:37 am »
First off, this is really embarrassing to even ask this question, but here goes.  Where does one go to deal with psychological issues related to sex phobia?

I had a blow to the head about 5 years ago, which apparently damaged my pituitary.  My T was probably super low for years before I had it checked out.  I just thought I was going crazy.  During this time, sex was not impossible, but pretty close.  If I didn't take some sort of PDE5 drug it wasn't going to happen, and even then it was definitely not 100%.  After 3+ years of that, I'm now on T injections and my T levels are normal.  I do not have erection problems now, libido is good, I get morning wood basically every night, and everything seems A-OK on the physical side of things.  Happy ending to the story, right?  Nope.

While I was going through the low T nightmare, I was a nervous wreck regarding sex.  Just my wife rolling over in bed to hug me would literally give me a full-on panic attack because I thought she might want to have sex, and I knew I couldn't make it happen.  The thing is, even though I have fully functioning equipment now, I still have the same panic reaction as I did then.  It's much less now, to be sure, but definitely there.  And it's not just performance anxiety either (though it is that too).  I get the same feeling when I'm all alone just thinking about sex, seeing a nice-looking woman walk by, or a happy couple walk by.  Basically any random thought about sex or about other people having sex and I feel like I've been punched in the gut.  The killer is that now that my T is at a healthy level, I think about sex all the time like a normal guy.  So I feel sick to my stomach ALL THE FREAKING TIME.  It's my first thought in the morning and my last thought before going to bed, and definitely my constant thought when I lie awake in the middle of the night.  Unless I distract myself with some activity, I feel like this 24/7.

So obviously I have some learned response that needs to be unlearned somehow.  I thought just having normal sex for a while would do the trick, but I've been "healed" for almost a year now, and no dice.  Paradoxically, it's actually gotten worse over the last couple of months.  This is ruining my life almost as much as the low T did.

I don't think there is any physical cause for this.  I'm quite fit for my age, my marriage is very strong, my T is normal (trough is 800ish), I meditate when I can and really try to avoid any stress whenever I can, and I don't use porn whatsoever.  Porn would probably give me a heart attack!  Before all this started, my sex life was really really good for well over a decade, so it's not like this has always been the case.  It all started with the low T five years ago.

What professional can I see to help me with this?  How do I know they can help with this particular issue?
Is there something I can do myself without the help of a professional?

Check out the "depression and anxiety guide" in my signature to make sure you're optimal with other hormones.  Hypothyroidism, for example, can cause anxiety through increased norepinephrine.  There's no point in putting in the hours needs for slow psychological change if your anxiety can be more quickly ameliorated. 

For the best chance to get a good result, go to a PhD psychologist who specializes in sex-related issues.  I'm a MA-level therapist (mental health counselor) with a lot of contempt for the lackadaisical learning requirements of my MA-level peers, so I recommend clients I refer out to PhD folks who are more likely to be more intelligent and backed in research given their level of education.  If you can't find a psychologist who specializes in sex, that's fine, because your issue is pretty straightforward as a phobia -- you nailed it hard by describing it as a sex phobia.  Bibliotherapy is an option, particularly books that deal with anxiety disorders.  Unfortunately because the field as a whole is so split along classic CBT and mindfulness traditions (rather than fusing them like a good therapist would), I can't make high recommendations.  The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook is a good, albeit thick, volume to consider.  A personal favorite that doesn't focus exclusively on anxiety (but does have chapters on panic and flooding, etc.) is Thoughts and Feelings by McKay et al. 

Note that there are technical differences that need to be considered.  Anxiety is the expectation of danger with the concurrent belief in your inability to adequately handle it.  Panic is extreme anxiety that happens because your mind and body get caught in a positive feedback loop: you have an anxiety-arousing thought or image, leading to anxiety, leading to the negative evaluation of your body being anxious (e.g., "oh shit!  I'm anxious!  This will be really bad!", etc. etc.), which causes more anxiety, ad infinitum; panic attacks can last tens of minutes, and even an hour or more in some cases because of this feedback loop.  A phobia is basically anxiety associated with a specific trigger, although stimulus generalization usually occurs (e.g., needle phobia generalizes to an extreme anxiety about bee stings). 

What a good therapist will do is two things: 1) help you realize that the basis if your anxiety is cognitive (i.e., having to do with thoughts, images, and/or beliefs) and that a good deal of treatment (in some cases all) has to do with challenging negative cognitions underlying the anxiety; and 2) help you gradually expose yourself to the feared stimulus of sex -- or alternatively not so gradually -- until you gain a sense of confidence or courage that usually but not always results in the reduction of anxiety.  We call this latter part exposure therapy, and the gradual part systematic desensitization, the more immediate type (which is definitely harder but works much better faster) called flooding; basically in either case you're "convincing" your more primitive fear center of the brain, the amygdala, that the stimulus you immediately interpret as anxiety-arousing is actually okay.  Which leads to the next point that's part and parcel of anxiety disorders: avoidance.  The most natural response toward something we have anxiety toward is to avoid the anxiety-arousing stimulus (really mediated by thoughts, beliefs, and/or images) is to avoid it, but this avoidance prevents us from developing coping strategies for dealing with the stimulus, doesn't allow us to "apply" challenged thoughts or beliefs underlying our anxiety, and ultimately keeps the monster under the bed as it is -- when in reality there isn't a monster there at all.  This sheet does a good job summarizing this idea. 

Some of this will probably need your partner to be part of the therapy process.  There's a technique called dereflection that's sometimes used for people with sexual problems where they learn to stop thinking about their sex-related (or whatever), which make it impossible to perform sexually or even be aroused, by basically lying side by side naked next to each other until the urge for sex naturally takes hold -- rather than forcing it, which usually results in failure.  This could be part of your desensitiztion training, e.g., you learn to lay next to your partner fully clothed, wait until your anxiety reduces (scaling is helpful, anxiety on a 1-10 for example) a few points, then maybe moving to partly clothed until anxiety reduces, then naked, etc.  A good therapist will help create this desensitization hierarchy, and the best therapist will help you practice it with imagery, literally having you close your eyes in the therapy session and practice any cognitive disputations (challenges to your original anxiety-arousing cognitions) while also utilizing emotion regulation techniques (deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, etc.), and most importantly imagining the worst-case scenario in full or broken down ways via a hierarchy.

You basically have to give your brain time to convince itself that things are okay.  You do this through exposure and through challenging and replacing anxiety-arousing cognitions.  There are multiple ways of doing exposure (imaginal exposure, flooding, systematic desensitization, etc. mentioned above).  You also need to learn emotion regulation techniques, staring with deep breathing, to help your body begin to learn when to relax when needed. 

To get started you should ask yourself what's the worse-case fear scenario that goes with your anxiety.  Is it the belief that you won't be able to perform?  That your partner will be disappointed, etc., with you?  Ask yourself "what does this mean to me?" or "what's so bad about this?" to help you get to the deeper beliefs that might be pushing the anxiety on a cognitive level. 

Most importantly, though, you have to learn the paradox of leaning into your anxiety.  This obviously easier said than done, and approaches like mindfulness meditation can be helpful in learning to tolerate and even welcome (which isn't the same as agreeing with) your anxiety.  This is because, especially in panic disorder where the body sort of learns to fear its own anxiety response, lots if not all of anxiety also is anxiety about your anxiety happening, i.e., metaanxiety.  You can even pinpoint this metaanxiety cognitively, and it's usually something along the lines of (in panic disorder), "my body is doing something awful," "I'm going to die," etc. -- these being examples of anxiety-inspiring cognitions that are about anxiety itself. 

I know this is a lot of stuff.  Feel free to ask here or PM me for more detail.  Your problem is definitely treatable.  A general treatment program (please do not take this as therapy, because it isn't) goes something like:

1) Learn emotion regulation techniques to manage anxiety: controlled/diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, stretching, etc.
2) List anxiety-related triggers and underlying thoughts, beliefs, and images (e.g., worst-case fears)
3) Create a list of rational, realistic responses to each anxiety-related cognition (e.g., "I can handle this", "if I can't perform, that's okay," etc.), and practice these with another person if possible (to "feel them out")
4) Create a hierarchy of anxiety-arousing situations, real or imagined, rating them on a 1-10 and trying as much as possible to keep anxiety-arousing situations close in anxiety scaling (e.g., a 2/10 involving the image of your partner smiling at you with a 3/10 of your partner making a sexually suggestive behavior, as opposed to keeping this 2/10 next to a 6/10)
5) With the help of a therapist, utilize imaginal exposure, involving emotion regulation and cognitive responses paired with one or multiple anxiety-arousing images or worst-case fears.
5b) Alternatively, you can record yourself going through these fears, narrating very slowly, which allows you as a listener to imagine the situation in detail and develop responses discussed above, as you practice listening to the tape in 20- or 30- or 60- minute trials, which should see a gradual reduction in anxiety as you practice in the long run.
6) Put the last point into practice in the real world again in a broken down way if possible.
6b) Alternatively, utilize flooding, which can cause a lot of anxiety but if persevered can result in big improvements in much faster periods of time.  You can also utilize a recording to help with flooding (I recommend the book Thoughts and Feelings book chapter if you're interested in trying this).

This is just an example.  You can get a lot of this stuff from the books I've recommended, but again the best course is to find a good therapist -- PhD psychologist if possible, but an MA counselor can be very good as well, but you're just taking more of a gamble because many of my MA-level colleagues are, er, let's say, not very good. 
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 12:20:52 am by Kierkegaard »
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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2016, 12:15:37 am »


Nocturne

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2016, 06:18:19 am »
Peak is right -- this is a huge deal for guys with even a little touch of ED (it has been for me, anyway).  Even when things are going well, and have been going well for a relatively long time, there is that lingering fear and anxiety, always there in the back of your mind -- as though the EDemon were lurking just outside of sight, leering at you, still in confident, cruel control: "I'll allow you to have your penis back...  For now."

And you know that inevitably, as a man, you will slide back into whatever dysfunction you had previously, eventually.  It's all just a matter of time -- you know it, the EDemon knows it.  That's why it's grinning there in the shadows.

Years ago, I was married to a woman (my ex-wife) who had been molested by her father and older brother from a very early age.  Sex remained a major issue for her and her lack of desire/receptivity was one of the major problems that ended our marriage.  I'm not saying that developing ED is the same as being molested as a child, but it is a traumatic thing and I now have a much better understanding (although I wish that I did not) of where she was coming from with her reluctance to have sex and her anxiety about it.  I certainly have more sympathy for her -- but I can also sympathize with my current wife, to the point where I don't ever want to make her feel rejected.

The main thing, in the here and now, is to relieve the anxiety that has become connected to sex. 

A couple of things that have helped me:

* Lesbian porn.  There are a few reasons for this.  First, my current wife has had sexual relationships with women in the past, and gotten sexual satisfaction from sex that could not possibly have involved an erect penis.  Knowing that helps me.  Similarly, watching lesbian porn is witnessing two women enjoying sex that cannot possibly involve an erect penis, getting sexual satisfaction in other ways.  Also, I find that I am generally slower to arouse even after Clomid or whatever factor it was has improved things -- I tend to start sex more like a woman than I used to, and I can empathize better with the generally slow and sensual way that two women begin sex.

* Go to www.franktalk.org and check out the "implants" section of the forum.  There are a great many happy guys there who went from "zero to hero" by having implant surgery.  I found just knowing this to take a lot of the edge off of my anxieties.  I'm no fool -- if I'm having problems in my early 40s, I pretty much know where I will be at by my mid 60s, if not sooner.  Knowing that as bad as things may get, there is still hope for a return to a pretty much normal sex life is relieving.

Also, as trite as this sounds, it really is true -- it could be much worse.  I am assuming you do not have heart disease or cancer or something truly awful other than ED and low T.  I remember feeling horrible and hopeless about my low T and ED.  Then I learned about my heart disease.  It gave me a new perspective.  I would be incredibly happy if I woke up tomorrow morning  and learned that my ONLY health problems were back to being just ED and low T.

Best of luck to us both!

« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 06:24:57 am by Nocturne »
43 years old
5'7", was 220 pounds when trouble started, now down to 165
Trouble began with abrupt ED Early May '15
Initial T level 130
Started Clomid in hopes of rebooting system June '15
Currently taking 25 mg eod and .25 mg Arimidex every 4 days
T level 480 or so at last reading
ED in check with 2.5 mg Cialis eod and supplements:
POM juice, L-Cit, Pycnogenol

Morning anxiety currently in check with GABA taken every night

Biggest current worry is heart health:
Aortic stenosis (very mild for now)
CAC score 156(!) at age 42
Lp(a) is a shockingly bad 390 nmol/L -- TRIPLE the "extremely high risk" level!
Homozygous for the bad "G" variant of SNP rs10455872, which increases Lp(a) as well as odds for aortic stenosis and coronary artery lesions. 
I think I know what trashed my heart...

40 mg Crestor and baby aspirin every day
CoQ-10, Vitamin K2, and Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract every day too
Walking 10,000 steps a day

golfboy307

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2016, 10:18:46 am »
I cant really add anything more to K and Nocture's excellent replies.  As you can tell, K is a mental heath professional, and his advice is spot on.  I can only offer my sympathy.  Performance Anxiety has been a huge problem for me the last four years of dealing with low T and intermittent ED.  I can remember that exact feeling of knowing the wife was interested, and feeling my hands get clammy and breaking out in a sweat (and of course losing a good erection).  Fortunately, it did not progress for me to panic attack.  Avoidance became the rule.  Now that things are much better physically, I have taught myself to relax, and actually talk to her while it is happening. Sadly, it never goes away completely, but I am much more relaxed now and as a result sex is easier (and fun again). 

Best of luck to you! 
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BP  120/78 (using plant based diet and 10 mg Lisinopril ACE Inhibitor)  145/90 prior to meds.

Current protocol:  70 mg Test Cyp IM every 5 days. 
2/15/17 labs:  Total T (peak day): 1169 (250 - 1100 ng/dl).  Free T 198 pg/ML (46-225).  Sensitive E2: 40 High.  Previously 32. PSA 0.2  Hemocrit 44.2. SHBG: 32


Supplements:  Multivitamin, plus additional B12, B6, D, K2, Fish Oil, Magnesium, and Coq10

Evening stack:  3g Cittruline, 100 mg Pycnogenol, 2.5G Kyolic garlic, 1 LEF Endothelial defense   2 mg Cialis EOD, or as needed

Mr.L

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2016, 11:45:08 am »
It may benefit you to speak with a cognitive behavioral therapist. It sounds like PTSD to me. I know that sounds over the top but PTSD can occur whenever there is trauma/stress associated with a specific behavior. I had a similar experience, though less severe, with trying to get to sleep at night. I had a bout of insomnia that was particularly stressful for me. It got to the point that whenever I laid down to go to sleep or thought about getting ready for bed, I worried so much I nearly gave myself a panic attack. My wife had a similar problem associated with the death of her father.  I would caution you against any medication if it is possible simply because you will trading one problem for another IMO. CBT is very useful and backed by plenty of research. The only issue would be finding someone who knows what they are doing that you felt comfortable working with. When you do find that person try to be open minded and give yourself plenty of time. Good Luck man.       

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2016, 11:45:08 am »

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keep

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 12:54:24 pm »

Check out the "depression and anxiety guide" in my signature to make sure you're optimal with other hormones.

For the best chance to get a good result, go to a PhD psychologist who specializes in sex-related issues.  I'm a MA-level therapist (mental health counselor) with a lot of contempt for the lackadaisical learning requirements of my MA-level peers, so I recommend clients I refer out to PhD folks who are more likely to be more intelligent and backed in research given their level of education.  If you can't find a psychologist who specializes in sex, that's fine, because your issue is pretty straightforward as a phobia -- you nailed it hard by describing it as a sex phobia.  Bibliotherapy is an option, particularly books that deal with anxiety disorders.  Unfortunately because the field as a whole is so split along classic CBT and mindfulness traditions (rather than fusing them like a good therapist would), I can't make high recommendations.  The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook is a good, albeit thick, volume to consider.  A personal favorite that doesn't focus exclusively on anxiety (but does have chapters on panic and flooding, etc.) is Thoughts and Feelings by McKay et al. 

Wow, what an amazingly detailed response, Kierkegaard!  My local library had both of those books, so I just reserved them.  It will take me some time to digest your whole response, let alone what I find in the books, but THANK YOU!

Hypothyroidism, for example, can cause anxiety through increased norepinephrine.  There's no point in putting in the hours needs for slow psychological change if your anxiety can be more quickly ameliorated.

I've been tested more than once for a thyroid condition, so I know that's not it.

Some of this will probably need your partner to be part of the therapy process.  There's a technique called dereflection that's sometimes used for people with sexual problems where they learn to stop thinking about their sex-related (or whatever), which make it impossible to perform sexually or even be aroused, by basically lying side by side naked next to each other until the urge for sex naturally takes hold -- rather than forcing it, which usually results in failure.  This could be part of your desensitiztion training, e.g., you learn to lay next to your partner fully clothed, wait until your anxiety reduces (scaling is helpful, anxiety on a 1-10 for example) a few points, then maybe moving to partly clothed until anxiety reduces, then naked, etc.

This is something I've heard about before, and considered trying for a very long time.  If I can talk the wife into trying this, I think it would be very helpful.

Regulus

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2016, 02:19:53 pm »
Can't offer anything of the depth the other guys have, but I've certainly experienced the same issues.   Even though ED hasn't been a huge issue for me for a couple of years now, I still have some confidence scars from when it was.   And, for whatever reason, I still seem to get into the occasional libido funk where it just stops working for a week or two.

What I can tell you has helped enormously is this:  your wife or partner probably understands that this is not about her, it's not about the two of you, it's about your body not always working the way it should.  Make sure she knows it.  You've got a prblem, the problem has nothing to do with your feelings for her, and it's a problem you're trying to solve.   If she can't understand that and cut you all necessary slack, there are other much bigger problems in the relationship.   Odds are she's probably more frustrated with you being frustrated than anything else.

Before I found out I was low T I went through a two-year or so period where I had ED issues almost all of the time.   PDE5 inhibitors didn't do me any good, and I thought I was permanently broken down there.  I felt completely asexual, even to the point of questioning whether or not I actually was.   But I knew my wife wasn't, and I knew I had a responsibility to her.  So I got serious about the rest of my game.   There's a lot you can do to satisfy a woman that does not require an erection ... and actually the stuff women seem to complain most about not getting is that stuff.   Put on the sunglasses and the fake mustache and head over the your nearest Barnes and Noble, and you'll find a shelf or two of books just on that subject.

Think about it this way.   Suppose your wife/partner had a condition where she couldn't have vaginal intercourse a lot of the time.   Sure, you'd miss it, but suppose she responded to the problem by mastering her bj skills and putting those skills to frequent use.   Most guys I know complain about getting too few bj's.   I don't know about you, but I'd feel pretty damn happy to be on the receiving end of that, and I'd be pretty damn appreciative that she understood that I still had needs and did everything she could to satisfy them.

I know that if my equipment happens to be out of order, I can still get the job done, and get it done really well.   Knowing that takes all the pressure off, which for me at least just completely takes care of performance anxiety issues.
Late 40's, on TRT since 2011.
Test cyp 50 mg twice per week
Vegan and loving it since late 2015

electrify

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2016, 02:25:16 pm »
Really interesting topic.

Doesn't have to do with the OPs specific problem but I have been wondering if low T or other imbalances create neural nets or thought patterns beyond the imbalance. Like not just related to performance anxiety or ED but overall in general.

For me im having issues with social stuff more.
Age:23

Boxcar

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2016, 02:44:45 pm »
Keep, are you on an AI, by any chance?  Overusing an AI, or using it when not needed, could cause you to have both more erections and more anxiety.

I actually had something similar to this, so I can empathize with your situation... I was easily aroused throughout the day, which would trigger my pelvic pain (aka, chronic prostatitis).  The pain and anxiety improved with TRT, but it was actually putting on weight that made me less excitable.  Putting on weight is not really a great approach, of course, but there may be some other way you could tweak your hormonal balance.  Particularly if your excitability was less when you were younger, that might be an indication that your TRT protocol could be tweaked a bit.
Age: 36
178 lbs 5'8''

Current Treatment: 50 mg testosterone cypionate IM, twice a week
Low T Symptoms: Chronic pelvic pain, and other neuropathic pain.  Mild anxiety, low energy and low motivation
Meds: Amitriptyline (for pain, not depression), Clonidine (for sleep, not blood pressure)

cujet

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2016, 05:43:52 am »
Can't help with the mental side. I will say that humans desire affection and to be touched. It's upsetting to those of us who experience a spouse who withholds affection. I went through years of that. Even simply holding hands is a necessary part of affection. It's how we bond, and strengthen that bond. When it's withheld, that bond weakens, and one day, it rather suddenly breaks. Completely.

I will admit that I absolutely adored my wife. So much so, that I was willing to put up with a good bit of misbehavior. But when the affection dried up, I went for years, slightly confused about it. Then one day, unexpectedly, I simply fell out of love with her. It was sudden, happened at night, prior to falling asleep, and it was complete.

She's made all sorts of effort, from weight loss surgery, to hormone replacement therapy to increase her affection. I don't want to claim it's too late, but really it is. I want to feel towards her like I did before. It's just pretend, the damage was done. Furthermore, my health has declined in recent years and I am now utterly exhausted at the end of the day.

I now clearly see that her misbehavior and her issues led to the best decade of my life being mostly sexless. I fell out of love, slowly at first, but when it finally and suddenly happened, it was complete. Leading to much regret and resentment.

My point is simply that you need to carefully consider your partners needs. "You can't have me, but you can't have somebody else" is absolutely unfair and selfish. As it can waste decades of someones life.

Get the help you need and do it now. Explain what you are doing to your partner. I promise you, suddenly it will be too late otherwise.

Now, do I still love my wife? You bet. I am "in love" with her, sadly, no, AND, I don't think she is "in love" with me either. If she is, she certainly can't be bothered to show it.

EDIT: There are many things you could do to show effort and love. I suggest trying some of them before you make a big production out of this. They really are simple and easy, and appreciated!!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 03:29:41 pm by cujet »
54 years old
Autoimmune Hashimoto's, near zero natural T production
Cause: severe mononucleosis in my early 30's
Weight 200
Height 5' 10"
Very active, daily workouts and some cardio.
Topical 0.75g compounded 10% T cream, rotated daily to shaved armpits, shaved shoulders, remainder on scrotum
190mg NPthyroid (natural dessicated pigs thyroid)
Labs (Oct 2017) , my T=730, TSH 0.03, T3+T4 mid-range normal.


Daily workouts with weights, low-glycemic diet, high in clean protein, very low carb (salad/fish/low fat meats, uncooked veggies, nothing else, ever) Carbs/starch can cause me to have intestinal problems, so I avoid them.

PeakT

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2016, 07:09:28 am »
Again, I think this is a big issue for a lot of young men even.  Cant remember who I was talking to but someone's college age daughter said that half of her boyfriends had ED.   You know rhat is why.
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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2016, 02:26:55 pm »
Great thread, but I am going to de-sticky this for a bit and push up Balderdasher's story for a bit.

Comments?
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON TRT/TESTOSTERONE:
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And check out my New Peak Testosterone Program: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/peak_testosterone_program.aspx
If you are on medications or have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements.  And low testosterone is a medical condition.

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Re: Help! Where to go to deal with psychological issues
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2016, 02:26:55 pm »