Symptoms of Mild Depression and Their Link to Low T

Two things men often don’t care to discuss:

  • Their mental health
  • Their sexual health

If you’re struggling with mild symptoms of depression that are holding you back at work and in your relationships, there are treatments available. However, before you either conclude or rule out on your own whether the problem is psychiatric and that antidepressant medication is your best option, we encourage you to take a look at the connection between low testosterone and mild depression.

The root cause could be as simple as Low T.

Man in a gray t-shirt sits on a sofa leaning his head on his hands. He may be feeling the effects of low testosterone and mild depression.

Low T and Mild Depression—The Overlap of Common Symptoms

The common symptoms of minor depression include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and mood swings
  • Decreased libido
  • Fatigue
  • Social withdrawal
  • Difficulty focusing or brain fog
  • Interrupted sleep and restlessness

If you’re experiencing the above symptoms, consider whether you’re also experiencing any of the common physical symptoms of low testosterone, which include:

  • Fatigue
  • Erectile difficulty
  • Decreased libido
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty maintaining sleep
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Weight control problems
  • Irritability
  • Increased breast tissue
  • Loss of body hair

You should definitely see some overlap in the 2 lists, which is the first clue that a connection could exist between low testosterone and mild depression. 

Next, consider whether you’re experiencing symptoms from both lists, for example sudden weight gain or decrease in your sex drive or sexual performance coupled with the low mood and perhaps social withdrawal. If so, it’s time for you to talk to your medical provider about getting your free T levels checked.

A Word of Caution

Before we go any further, if your symptoms of depression are on the serious side, please seek help immediately. The Mayo Clinic has some excellent information for you if you have questions about depression.

If you are experiencing any thoughts of harming yourself in any way, you can reach out to the Suicide and Crisis Hotline at (988).

Research: Co-Occurring Low Testosterone and Depression Symptoms

A study published in the Archives of Psychiatry supports the conclusion that depression often occurs at higher rates in men with a low free testosterone.

Researchers from Australia studied 3,987 men aged 71 to 89 years to determine whether the connection between testosterone levels and mood is overshadowed by other lifestyle and health factors.

Researchers used the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale to define their study group. A score of 7 or higher on this survey indicated significant depression, and the participants’ physical health was later determined by a separate survey.

Significant depression was diagnosed in 203 surveyed participants, and those individuals were found to have lower concentrations of both total and free testosterone.

Depressed participants also exhibited an array of additional health and social challenges at a high rate, including:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Low educational achievement

However, after statistically adjusting for these additional complications, the researchers concluded that men with depression still were far more likely to have clinically low free testosterone.

Hormones and Your Mood: A Delicate Balance

Disruptions to your complex and fragile hormone balance can result in stress, anxiety, fatigue, and mild depressive symptoms, since these hormones (including testosterone) fuel a number of your body’s critical systems.

The problem can also work the other way around, because your hormonal health can be damaged by periods of prolonged stress, anxiety, and sadness, creating a complicated cycle that perpetuates itself, trapping men who don’t like to discuss these issues or seek help in poor health and a state of lessened capacity.

Learn more about the damaging effects of long term stress here.

Mild Depression or Low T?—See Your Medical Provider

Once more, if you’ve been experiencing significant symptoms of depression for any length of time, and especially if the symptoms are worseing, please see your medical provider without delay. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the energy- and vitality-draining symptoms are handicapping the lives of roughly 7% of the U.S. population, and major depressive disorder is also the leading cause of disability among working-age individuals in the nation.

What we’re encouraging by presenting this information is for you to consider that the root cause of how you’re feeling could be hormonal—a set of very treatable conditions that includes low testosterone. 

Normalizing your low testosterone levels could contribute to an improvement in symptoms—restoring you to a condition that feels more like the you that you’re accustomed to.

The Benefits of TRT—Learn More

Medical research continues to conclude that normalizing testosterone levels through Testosterone Replacement Therapy can relieve the debilitating symptoms of low testosterone and can improve your quality of life.

Our comprehensive guide that provides facts and the answers to the most common questions concerning TRT and the treatment of low testosterone.

Read the Guide


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(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

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