Many cancer survivors and others who survive a major illness discover that either the disease or its treatment can cause depression due to sexual dysfunction. This medical side effect disrupts many couples' intimacy.
Depression occurs all too often among prostate cancer survivors with ED and/or a low libido. A large number find that various penile rehabilitation pills, potions and devices are helpful, at least intermittently. But so many others find these are often or consistently unhelpful.
Depression due to loss of sexual function is quite understandable, but it need not be a permanent fixture in your life. There are several ways that can help you avoid "feeling down" when confronted by ED (or for women, FSD) and a low libido. Let's explore a few approaches that can help.
To start with there are ways to titrate or alter an array of medically prescribed pills, potions and devices. Viagra, Cialis or lavitra; vacuum erection devices (VED's); alprostodil (prostaglandin E1) injections, MUSE tablets, or other approaches, in varying proportions, potentially make erections possible by increasing bloodflow to the penis.
But what if these widespread methods for offsetting ED don't work? And what should you do if you've lost your once avid interest in sexual interaction?
At that point a helpful way out of depression is to rethink what sexuality and intimacy are all about. For instance you need to acknowledge that like the rest of us, you have NOT lost the capacity to be gratified by engaging in any number of non-genital approaches, even when intercourse may be hard to come by - pardon the pun!
I refer to the kind of gratification we can get through our physical-emotional-spiritual responsiveness. This often occurs when we get in touch - literally and figuratively, with someone we cherish. Yes, you may well be severely depressed because you've lost penile sensitivity, on top of losing the capacity for an erection. But you're still a sensual human being who can derive pleasure at every level by touching the warm, clothed or naked body of someone you care for. And if they reciprocate, so much the better!
Sure, it's never the same once we have had a radical prostatectomy (in my case), or radiation (in the case of others), and nerve-sparing did not help us "get it up" again, or worse. But there's a lot more to intimacy than penile activity. Of course you first have to realize this to the depth of your being, not simply because someone like me says so.
If other less invasive medical or psychological approahes fail to work, you might want to look into a prosthesis, aka, a penile implant. That is a good option to consider for those who can't seem to regain a sense of manhood that might be at the root of their depression.
It's important for professionals to help offset the chagrin of men and women confronted by adverse side effects of prostate cancer and other illnesses. That's why I've chosen to become a healthcare educator and intimacy coach during the past four years, ever since I retired from the active rabbinate.
I've also guided folks by conducting informative, upbeat teleseminars and webinars. It's not enough to say, "Get over it - others have done so before you!" You need sustained guidance from knowlegable facilitators who have "been there and done that" before you, and can help you through.
For instance, if you and/or your spouse or partner are experiencing sexual issues due to prostate cancer or other illnesses, I invite you to download my free report, Renewing Intimacy after Illness, available at my Great Sex After Cancer website.
My heart goes out to those who are severely depressed because they have lost sexual functions while in their 40's, 50's, 60's or older. But I implore those of you who find yourselves burdened in such a way, not to resign from life.
Your passion about your plight can yet be transmuted to a passion for living and loving in almost every way possible. Trust me, once you revise your outlook, you'll see life differently. Then, even if you've endured the onus of biochemical castration, you can reignite your passion.
So many men and their spouses and partners have learned to regain sexually fulfilling lives with the guidance of sex therapists or intimacy coaches.I urge you follow suit.
If you are in the doldrums, and are severely depressed, seek the help you need to regain the passion you have lost. Thousands have managed to do so after trying to "regroup". You should do no less.
Take the first step now. To learn how to reignite the passion in your intimate relationship, read my free report, Renewing Intimacy after Illness.