Depression is a mental illness that affects every aspect of your life. While you may think of depressed people as being listless and blue, men who are depressed might actually lash out in anger or feel perpetually irritated or grumpy.
Our men’s health specialists at Low Testosterone & Weight Loss Center in Allen, Texas, recognize the varied ways that depression manifests in men. Although depression could have many causes, we know that low testosterone (T) could be one of them.
How T levels affect your brain
Mental illnesses are basically a malfunction in the way that your brain works. Your brain’s functions are controlled by a variety of mechanisms, chemicals, and substances, including your hormones.
Testosterone (T) is the sex hormone that’s primarily responsible for your sexual characteristics, including the hair on your chin and chest, your deep voice, and your muscle mass. You have plenty of T during adolescence and young adulthood, but as you age, you lose more and more T each year.
Not only does T give you a healthy libido, energy, and strength, it also helps your brain to work optimally. For instance, when your T levels are normal, the hormone activates the ventral processing stream in your brain, which helps you perform spatial cognition tasks.
As your T levels drop, you start to lose the benefits of T, including the benefits in your brain. One of the complications of low T is that your brain can’t function at its peak, leading to a lack of energy, fatigue, and depression.
Depression is different in men
You may dismiss the thought that you’re depressed because you don’t feel sad or blue at all. In fact, your mood seems to be just the opposite of depression: You’re angry, or you strike out at others. Nothing seems fair or right in the way that the world works anymore.
A negative mood — even crankiness or anger — is a sign of depression. If you or your loved ones have noticed that you’re excessively irritable or enraged, you may have depression. Signs that you’re depressed include:
- Irritable mood
- Low libido
- Withdrawing from activities
- Lack of joy in life
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Lack of energy
- Weight gain or loss
- Brain fog
Depression can be treated. During your workup, we look for all of the factors that could be involved in your depression, including underlying diseases or conditions and lower than normal levels of T.
TRT can boost your mood
Even if blood tests indicate that your T levels are in the “normal” range, they might not be normal for you. If you have other symptoms of low T in addition to depression, you could benefit from testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Signs of low T are:
- Fat gain
- Muscle loss
- Bone loss
- Brain fog
- Hair loss
Other hormones also affect your mood. For instance, we test your levels of thyroid hormone to be sure they’re in the normal range. Depending on our findings, we then customize a treatment plan for you, which could include TRT, mental health counseling, and thyroid replacement therapy.
Feel better about yourself and the world by undergoing a work-up for depression and low T. Call our team at 469-912-2113 or use our online form to schedule a consultation today.