Is it Low T or Depression?
It can be difficult to differentiate between some of the emotional symptoms of Low T and Depression. Often, it presents by robbing you of the joy you typically would feel while doing things you love. Imagine this; it’s Superbowl Sunday, the team that’s been “your team” since you were a little boy is up by a touchdown with less than a minute left on the clock, and… you really couldn’t care less.
Not only are you having trouble getting excited about the big game, but you’ve recently noticed that you aren’t really interested in a lot of the things you used to love doing like reading a good book, fishing or spending time with your family. Maybe you’re not sleeping well and your favorite foods no longer seem appetizing. You have no energy and your home and work performance is starting to suffer. Maybe your relationship with your wife isn’t what it used to be, or your activities in the bedroom aren’t as active as you remember them.
Depression In Men With Low T
The truth is that all of these things, and more, are symptoms of depression, which is something that is suffered by seven percent of men in the US. Depression statistics for men are often hard to report accurately, however, because many guys don’t like to talk about it and are less likely than women to report symptoms to their doctors. If you are staring down middle age, and these symptoms are mild (less that one would experience with clinical major depression) and/or accompanied by other symptoms of Low T, it could be part of a larger issue – low testosterone, or Low T.
What is Low T?
Levels naturally decline with time, but testosterone levels should remain normal until your twilight years. As you age, testosterone production decreases but if it falls faster than it should, you may begin to see changes now that you would normally associate with much older individuals. For women, it is normal for their body to stop producing estrogen entirely. For men, a rapid and severe decline represents an abnormal testosterone production due to either a loss of stimulation from the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary gland), or a failure of the testes to respond to normal stimulation.
There are symptoms that are more specific to Low T that, if present, can help you determine if you need to seek treatment. These symptoms include:
Sexual Changes – Not only can you see a decrease in your desire to have sex, you may also find that it is becoming more difficult for you to achieve orgasm. You could also see a decline in your ability to achieve or maintain an erection; while this may have many other causes, Low T is often involved.
Loss of Muscle/Strength – Even if you’re not a gym rat, you may notice your muscle mass declining. You may begin to lose the strength to do the more strenuous chores you were once able to do quite well.
Weight Gain – If you haven’t changed your diet or exercise routines, you may still see some weight gain. Or, you have even just notice more fat without a significant jump on the scale. This is often because simultaneous muscle loss.
Testing For Low T and Depression Screening?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with the depression, loss of energy and fatigue, then it may be time to talk to a provider who specializes in the treatment of Low T. Even though you may be uncomfortable discussing some of these issues, it is important to let him know everything that has been plaguing you so that an accurate assessment and plan can be made. Definitely don’t leave anything out for fear of embarrassment, this can cause a misdiagnosis.
Performing a screening for depression helps as well. Here, it is also very important to be honest with your symptoms so that if clinical depression is found, you can be referred to the proper medical professional. This is, of course, no substitute with being forthcoming and direct when it comes to depressive symptoms.
At TCT we focus on your overall health and we will evaluate all of your symptoms and refer out when appropriate. Because Low T and depression share many symptoms, it is important that neither are overlooked during your initial assessment.