Low testosterone and the link to depression

The depression that is associated with low testosterone levels may not be obvious. Having a vague feeling of not being yourself or being anxious and irritable might have a lot of causes and quite frequently low testosterone levels won’t be the first thing you would think of.  However there is a solution in the form of testosterone supplements that can help you get back to feeling more normal.

Although men and women both have testosterone men have significantly higher levels of testosterone because it is this hormone that is responsible for developing a boy into a man.  It is what makes voices deepen and hair grow on boys when they hit puberty.  It defines their shape in terms of musculature and it ensures a healthy sex drive.  It also boosts the production of red blood cells and keeps bones strong and healthy.  These are things you may already know but perhaps less obvious is the role that testosterone has to play in affecting your mood and enhancing your ability to concentrate and focus.

When testosterone levels drop your mood may also be affected but how can you tell if you are suffering from low testosterone induced depression or depression from other causes?

The symptoms of low testosterone:

If you have low testosterone, along with your low mood you are likely to be suffering from some of the other symptoms we have already covered in this book including low libido, difficulty in concentrating, a feeling of tiredness, you might be putting on weight especially around the middle, hot flushes and the loss of your normal muscle mass. There will also often be sleep disturbance.

The symptoms of depression:

For those suffering with depression they may lose interest altogether in anything that’s pleasurable such as sex and might lose weight. However they might also gain weight through comfort eating. As with low testosterone levels sufferers may have an irritable mood and difficulty in focusing but they will also feel sad and hopeless and may even have suicidal thoughts, along with other symptoms similar to low testosterone induced depression such as fatigue, loss of appetite. They may also have difficulty in sleeping.

Because these symptoms are similar making it difficult to distinguish which applies to you and you should always see a doctor as a first port of call so that he or she can identify what you are suffering from.

A lot of research has been done into how, specifically, low testosterone can affect men’s mood but so far no specific pathway has been identified between low testosterone levels and depression, however it seems obvious that testosterone must play some part in making a man feel good. It is known that testosterone will increase the release of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter located in the brain responsible for generating feelings of pleasure.

There are ways that you can mitigate the effect of low testosterone on your mood such as:

First it be a good idea to have a good look at your lifestyle.  As we always say there is no substitute for getting enough sleep and this should be regular hours in the week and at the weekend too, because these are the times when testosterone is produced. Spending time outdoors is also an excellent mood booster and doing some exercise while you’re at it will also help.  An excess of carbohydrates or sugar will do you no favours so you should limit your intake of both.

Don’t suffer in silence. Let your partner know how you are feeling and let them be involved in how you try to address your problems. When somebody becomes withdrawn or in a bad mood it is easy for their partner to assume that they are part of the problem.  Make sure that you let your partner know what’s happening and how you are attempting to resolve the problem.  If, as well as your low mood or maybe part of the cause of your low mood is the fact that you’re suffering from difficulty in getting an erection, be open about this with your partner.

There is no doubt that life can be very stressful and there is a very strong link between stress and low testosterone levels.  Have a look at how you manage stress and try to avoid putting yourself into situations that will make you anxious or stressed.

You may want to consider testosterone replacement therapy which will give you a head start on getting your testosterone levels back to a point where they don’t cause you symptoms such as depression. This kind of therapy can be a God send and can really help you start to feel more like yourself again.