Testosterone and its role in depression in men

4 minutes

Testosterone is not only a sex hormone but also plays a vital role in the health and disease of both women and men. What? Do women need Testosterone? Yes, not only men but also women need testosterone. Let’s dig deep into the roles of testosterone in men and women.

Testosterone deficiency is a common cause of depression in men and it can often go unrecognized. A depressed man who doesn’t get much improvement with antidepressants or the man who’s not particularly sad but instead he’s more angry, irritable, anxious, or even just negative indicates the low levels of testosterone.

Here are some of the other signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency

  1. Behavioral
  2. Decreased assertiveness/increased submissiveness
  3. Decreased stress tolerance
  4. Irritability
  5. Depression or lowered mood
  6. Anxiety
  7. Dermatologic
  8. Loss of body and pubic hair (scalp hair is preserved)
  9. Diminished beard growth
  10. Thinning and drying of the skin (decreased sebum production)
  11. Metabolic
  12. Mild anemia
  13. Diminished bone mineralization
  14. Obesity or increased body fat (men)
  15. Headaches
  16. Reduced muscle volume and strength
  17. Reduced general vigor and hardiness
  18. Asthenia
  19. Frailty (elderly)
  20. Sexual
  21. Decreased semen volume
  22. Erectile dysfunction 
  23. Decreased sexuality (decreased libido, arousal, responsiveness)

if you suspect you may have this problem you would see your primary care doctor for evaluation and treatment.

To determine if you are testosterone deficient your doctor would get your blood levels and a useful screen is getting total serum testosterone concentrations before 9 in the morning. The reason for the early-morning level is because your testosterone Rises and falls over the course of the day and the highest levels are usually between 7 and 8 a.m. and the lowest levels are between 7 and 8 p.m. 

So you want to get the level at a time when it should be at its peak and see if it falls within the normal range. what causes this problem you may ask, Well testosterone starts to drop after the age of 30 and but it’s usually a slow drop such that by age 60 about 30% of men have low testosterone. There are some things that have been linked to having low testosterone, They don’t necessarily cause it but we’ve seen a link. 

The things that can cause low testosterone are

  1. Having diabetes that’s been treated 
  2. Obesity
  3.  having chronic headaches
  4.  being over age 60
  5.  having asthma that’s been treated
  6.  sleeping less than 5 hours a night consistently

There are also some medications that can cause low testosterone 

  1. cholesterol-lowering agents such as Lipitor saw palmetto which is in the counter agent used to treat an enlarged prostate also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. 
  2. Another agent that can cause low testosterone is flaxseed seed oil lots of it.
  3. Zinc deficiency

 If you take anti-psychotic drug-like risperidone, this drug can cause elevated prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormone that produced in your pituitary which is in your brain and elevated prolactin levels can lower testosterone as well as cause breast development and this is not just extra fat on your chest, you could actually feel breast tissue and even get a small amount of milk production not always but sometimes.

As far as treatments go, if the problem is due to a drug you could potentially discontinue the medication if you can or you would need to check with your doctor if it’s a prescription medication and He or She may actually have a substitute for you to take instead.

If it’s due to a zinc deficiency you could supplement with zinc.

If the problem is due to your testicles not producing enough testosterone and this problem is called hypogonadism. The treatment is testosterone supplementation and the supplementation can come in the form of a patch, pills, a gel, or even an injection. If you get treated with testosterone supplementation and it raises your levels to the mid normal range, you can see an improvement in your depression and your anxiety within 4 weeks.

So that’s a pretty quick response, I mean it’s not overnight but in terms of how long it takes things to improve in general, that’s a pretty quick response. However, it could take a little time though for your levels to rise depending on how low they were, to begin with, and what form of the medication you take. An injection is going to work faster but it’s not convenient. so once you get your levels corrected you can see a big improvement and how you feel, including improving your self-esteem. Some men with low testosterone can become very self-loathing and hard on themselves.


If you feel that you have low levels of testosterone or low libido, Before coming to the conclusion on the causes of testosterone consulting a doctor helps you the cause and there are many testosterone boosting programs available and clinics like “The ED Clinic” are offering guaranteed testosterone boosting program.