Low T: What Does Depressed Mood Really Mean?
Low T can lead to changes in your mood. This has been referred to as moodiness, irritability, mood swings, dysthymia, low sense of well-being and finally, depression. Including true clinical depression as a symptom of low testosterone, however, would be a gross overstatement or at the very least, presumptuous.
While there is a lack of clinical data that formally establishes a cause and effect relationship between Low T and clinical depression, it is well documented that irritability and other negative mood alterations are strongly linked with sub-normal levels of testosterone.
These mood changes associated with hypogonadism (Low T) can manifest in a plethora of ways. Perhaps you are experiencing mood changes that sap your motivation or prevent engagement in those activities from which you previously drew great satisfaction and enjoyment. It may be that by the end of your workday (when testosterone levels are approaching their lowest point) your deteriorating mood might shorten your “fuse” at home with your spouse or children.
Irritability vs. Depression
Irritability is an often seen symptom of Low T and is one way that “depressed mood” is often characterized. Depending on your levels, it may be a fairly constant feeling or it may slowly worsen throughout your day. Just being irritable can have a profound effect on your relationships and therefore your life. That hair trigger that comes along with being brooding and petulant can lead to arguments with your mate or resentment between you and your loved ones. In this way, your bad mood can poison not just you, but those around you as well.
Having a healthy and balanced self-esteem is vitally important to one’s self image and is closely linked with your overall sense of well-being. While this is definitely a “soft” symptom, and one difficult to define or quantify, it is simply intuitive that if you feel better about yourself you will be more likely and able to perform to the best of your individual abilities. People who feel better, do better.
What About TRT And “Roid Rage”?
When discussing mood changes and Low T, or the effects of testosterone in general, questions about “roid rage” are often raised. With recent stories like that of Oscar Pistorius or the claims of the vacillating Charlie Sheen that testosterone was to blame for his erratic behavior, it is natural to wonder what kind of “mood elevation” might be expected with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Steroid abuse is responsible for the phenomenon known as “roid rage”. The levels that are reached with the abuse of anabolic substances are achieved with doses that are 5 – 15 times higher (or more) than what doses used for testosterone replacement purposes. That being said, this hyper-aggressive state is not seen in patients undergoing TRT that is ethically and responsibly managed.
Multiple studies indicate that when Low T is treated appropriately, it can stabilize and improve the overall mood and sense of well being of the patient. This can obviously be very subjective, but in a clinical setting we have seen the moods of many, many men respond favorably and significantly to TRT.
What Can Be Done About Depressed Mood Caused By Low T?
As with anything, each person is unique and each treatment and response may vary. Ultimately, what should matter to you is how you feel and how your mood might respond to treatment. Low energy levels and decreased libido are certainly the hallmarks of Low T, but many other aspects of your life can be affected. Depressed moods have negative effects on your relationships with family, friends and co-workers. Irritability can rob you of joy and decrease your quality of life. These changes undoubtedly also contribute decreased productivity and motivation.
Low T is treatable. If your mood is suffering because of low testosterone levels there is a strong possibility that these symptoms could improve with treatment. If you feel like a more irritable and depressed version of who you once were, we urge you to CONTACT US today to talk with one of our experienced and knowledgeable providers.