When navigating through the ebbs and flows of life, it’s normal for men to experience moments of sadness or despair. However, when those negative emotions persist, affect daily life, and blur into depression, it’s essential to investigate possible underlying factors – and that includes looking into the level of testosterone in the body. In this Phoenix Men’s Health blog post, we’ll delve deep into the relationship between T and depression, exploring how low t levels can lead to depression and examining treatment options to help alleviate symptoms.
What is Testosterone and its Role in Mood Regulation?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone that plays numerous essential roles in a man’s body, from maintaining muscle mass and bone density to regulating sex drive (libido). Interestingly, testosterone also has a significant impact on mood regulation, especially as it relates to depression. Research suggests that men with low t levels are more likely to develop depressive symptoms, while those with higher t-levels may have lower rates of depression.
Moreover, the atypical (vs melancholic) subtype of depression is more associated with testosterone deficiency. Men with atypical depression sleep extra, eat extra, and binge in on a lot cravings as compared to melancholic depression people and normal people.
Exploring the Connection Between Low Testosterone and Atypical Depression
There are several causes of low T, including but not limited to:
- Aging – Testosterone levels gradually decline as men grow older, usually beginning around 30 years of age.
- Medical conditions –Certain health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea, can affect testosterone production.
- Medications – Some prescription drugs, like steroids and opioids, can lower testosterone levels.
Low testosterone levels can adversely affect mood, leading to depression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Additionally, men living with low t may frequently battle feelings of worthlessness, pessimism, and fatigue, all of which can further contribute to depression.
Treatment Options: Boosting Testosterone Levels to Alleviate Depression
Testosterone therapy, which involves using creams, gels, patches, or injections to raise testosterone levels, has the potential to improve depressive symptoms in men. A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry showed that antidepressant medications combined with testosterone therapy led to a higher remission rate in depressed men with low t compared to those who only took antidepressants.
Aside from TRT, lifestyle changes can also help increase testosterone levels and reduce depression symptoms:
- Exercise – Regular physical activity can both boost t-levels and improve mood.
- Balanced diet – Consuming foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals can promote testosterone production.
- Stress reduction – Practicing mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can help manage stress and improve T secretion.
It’s crucial for men living with depression to consult with their healthcare providers to determine if low t plays a role in their mood imbalance. Understanding the links between testosterone and depression and embracing appropriate therapy and lifestyle changes can go a long way in making a positive impact in the lives of men struggling with mood disorders.
Testosterone Therapy at Phoenix Men’s Health Center, AZ
Many men don’t get tested properly for their depression. While a questionnaire regarding your symptoms is necessary, one should get their blood work done as well. At Phoenix Men’s Health Center, AZ, we perform a thorough evaluation of your depression and associated conditions like PTSD. This includes hormone levels of testosterone, thyroid, LH, FSH, and cortisol. Looking at these parameters we, then, ascertain the likely cause of your depression and treat it accordingly. Most importantly, if you have low T levels, we are equipped to treat it.
At our practice, we provide three forms of T therapy i.e., creams, pellets, and injections. We know that there are many formulations in the market, but we only provide the ones that give us results. So, if you are suffering from mental health issues like depression or PTSD, don’t forget to get your T levels checked.
- Rodgers S, Grosse Holtforth M, Hengartner MP, Müller M, Aleksandrowicz AA, Rössler W, Ajdacic-Gross V. Serum T-levels and symptom-based depression subtypes in men. Front Psychiatry. 2015 May 4;6:61. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00061. PMID: 25999864; PMCID: PMC4418274.
- Walther A, Breidenstein J, Miller R. Association of Testosterone Treatment With Alleviation of Depressive Symptoms in Men: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. 2019;76(1):31–40. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.2734
- Ilmari Määttänen, Kia Gluschkoff, Kaisla Komulainen, Jaakko Airaksinen, Kateryna Savelieva, Regina García-Velázquez, Markus Jokela, Testosterone and specific symptoms of depression: Evidence from NHANES 2011–2016, Comprehensive Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 6, 2021, 100044, ISSN 2666-4976, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpnec.2021.100044.