Depression is a complex disease with many causes. But can low testosterone cause depression? Understanding the cause of depression is a major step into finding the best cure.
The symptoms caused by depression and low testosterone can be treated- Click below to get the treatment.
In men, the topic of testosterone vs. depression has been discussed and researched for many years. But what’s the verdict? Can low testosterone cause depression? Let’s find out in this in-depth analysis.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a sex hormone found in the human body. It’s responsible for male characteristics such as body hair and masculine appearance.
It promotes the growth of reproductive tissues and also helps to boost:
- Sex drive
- Red blood cells
In men, testosterone is produced in the testicles, while in women, it’s produced in the ovaries.
The production of testosterone is regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain. Higher levels of testosterone are experienced in the morning and lower levels in the evening.
Testosterone and Men
Though testosterone appears in men and women, it’s more dominant in men than in women. It reaches its peak at around the age of 20. From the age of 30 to 40, it starts to decrease. So, older men tend to have lower levels of testosterone.
Other than age, testosterone may decrease due to side effects from:
- Injury to testicles
- High blood pressure
- HIV AIDs
Low testosterone can affect your mood. Likewise, depression can also affect your mood. But can low testosterone cause depression?
Here’s what research shows.
Can Low Testosterone Cause Depression?
Many studies have been conducted to determine whether there’s a relationship between low testosterone levels and depression. Though not all studies have given consistent answers, most show low testosterone levels linked with depressive symptoms.
One study was conducted to test the effect of testosterone on anxiety using lab mice.
When these mice were administered with testosterone, anxiety levels were found to decrease. If the presence of testosterone could help reduce anxiety, then its absence would more likely cause anxiety.
Moreover, low testosterone in aging men has been determined as one of the factors contributing to depression in older men. This makes sense since testosterone reduces with age.
How does low testosterone cause depression? It’s not very clear. But there’s a bi-directional relationship between testosterone and dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure. Testosterone increases dopamine and vice versa.
A decrease in testosterone leads to a decrease in dopamine which in turn leads to low mood.
How can you tell that you have low testosterone?
Here are some signs to look out for.
Signs of Low Testosterone
Since testosterone is responsible for the development of male characteristics, you can tell that a person has low testosterone when these characteristics don’t show up in time.
This is especially noticeable in young men and boys—where they tend to experience delayed puberty and less facial hair.
In adult men, signs of low testosterone include:
- Gaining weight
- Less masculine appearance
- Loss of sex drive
- Poor concentration
- Poor sleep
- Mood swings
- Reduced bone strength
- Less energy
How do you tell whether a subject’s depression is caused by low testosterone or by other factors? Due to similarity in symptoms, it may be difficult to tell.
Sometimes, clinical depression may have severe symptoms that you may not experience when you have low testosterone. These include hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, lack of appetite, and loss of interest in many activities.
To be on the safe side, whenever you experience any symptom of depression, it’s better to seek medical help.
Let’s explore some treatment options for depression caused by low testosterone.
Click the button below to book your appointment with a mental health professional and get your depression symptoms caused by low testosterone treated.
Testosterone Replacement and Depression
Diagnosis of low testosterone is done through a series of blood tests. This is because the levels may vary during the day, making it difficult to rely on a single test. Your doctor will also consider some of the symptoms and risk factors of low testosterone listed above.
If you’re found to have low testosterone, your doctor will recommend testosterone therapy. Remember, some men may have low testosterone but not show any symptoms.
It’s not recommended to seek testosterone replacement therapy if you don’t have a low level of testosterone or if you don’t show the symptoms.
Testosterone replacement can be taken in various forms such as:
- Skin patches
- Mouth patches
The good thing is, most men who take testosterone replacement report reduced symptoms of depression.
Where Can You Get Help
It’s normal to experience a decrease in testosterone as you age. But when this decrease happens at a higher rate, it may lead to depression.
When this happens, it’s crucial to seek medical help– Click below to schedule your appointment with a mental health professional.
The best thing is that low testosterone can be treated. After treatment, your feelings of depression ought to disappear. If you’re experiencing any symptoms mentioned in this article, why not get tested for low testosterone?
Remember, the best cure for depression can only be found if the underlying cause is identified. At EZ Care Clinic, we treat depression, anxiety, among other mental conditions.
Our experienced and licensed mental health specialists are here to provide you with the needed help. Reach out to us through our contact, and we’ll be glad to help.