Everyone wants to have a good sexual desire (except for certain categories of the population such as asexuals). However, the frantic pace of life often leads to a decline in libido. Psychoemotional stress is one of the key negative factors.
What Is Libido?
Libido is sexual desire and sexual instinct. This is one of the basic concepts on which psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud, the famous Austrian psychologist, psychoanalyst and psychiatrist (1856–1939), was built. Deteriorations in this area of life, according to the famous scientist, led to mental disorders and various diseases.
Do not confuse libido and impotence (erectile dysfunction or ED). A person may have a normal sexual desire but be incapable of sexual intercourse due to physiological erectile dysfunction. Vice versa, a man can have a healthy erectile function but experience problems with sexual desire.
Healthy libido is very important for every person, because regular sex is one of the foundations of female and male reproductive health, as well as a guarantee of a good family microclimate, which, accordingly, affects other aspects of life, such as career and well-being.
How Stress Can Lead to a Low Libido
There are several factors that affect libido:
- an unattractive partner in the opinion of another partner;
- psychological problems in the family;
- low self-esteem;
- heart diseases;
- drug addiction;
- a rough upbringing in childhood;
- use of certain medications (for example, antidepressants);
As for the topic of this article, a usual short-term acute stress is even beneficial for the body. It activates the immune system and somewhat encourages the person. In such cases, do not worry.
However, if stress is very frequent and/or long-lasting, it may cause serious harm to the body. Vessels, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and skin begin to suffer. Sexual function also deteriorates. First, a person cannot concentrate on sexual matters because of nervousness. Secondly, stress disturbs the blood flow, which negatively affects erectile function in men (and blood supply to the clitoris in women). Thirdly, constant stress leads first to an increase in the level of cortisol, and then to a sharp drop in it, indicating that the adrenal glands are depleted. Adrenal fatigue diminishes libido.
According to A. Graziottin (San Raffaele Resnati, Milan, Italy, 2000), depression, anxiety disorders and chronic stress may interfere with pathways of sexual response, reducing the quality of sex life in its “motivational root”. The scientist also noted that sexual illnesses, such as dyspareunia, orgasmic difficulties, and arousal disorder may contribute to the secondary libido decrease.
As stated by J. Bancroft (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1993), the influence of the environment on sexual health is complex because of the psychosomatic nature of our sexuality. These environmental factors include situational, social factors, and stress.
How to Protect Yourself from the Damaging Effects of Stress?
It is difficult to protect your body from the effects of stress. You can sleep enough, relax, take baths with essential oils, etc., but anxiety and tension can remain in your psyche. Therefore, the best way to protect is to avoid stress or to minimize it (we understand that stress cannot be avoided as a matter of principle).
Here are some simple tips:
- Find a way to realize the values that are important to you. For example, take a walk with your child, visit your parents…
- Replenish your energy levels. This can be done by listening to music, visiting the gym, swimming, etc.
- Identify the internal and external causes of stress, which reduce energy. If you cannot do it yourself, consult a psychotherapist. There is nothing shameful in this, and a few sessions with a highly qualified specialist will help you understand yourself.
- Practice meditation. Meditation techniques are a proven way to maintain emotional stability. 20 minutes of meditation daily will charge you with additional energy.
The tips are simple, but their implementation can be difficult. Find the power of will to do it.
I’m a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with a dedicated focus on Male aesthetics including surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation.