Low testosterone vs depression

Discussion in 'Men's Health Forum' started by Martin777, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. #1

    Martin777 Junior Member

    Hi, first post. Great forum. I might make a new thread asking for informal medical advice once I do a second test to confirm my hypogonadism.

    Meanwhile, i had some thoughts about low testosterone and depression.

    As you know, these two are linked together.
    It's said often here "low T causes depression" etc.
    Well, that's true I guess.

    But can depression cause low testosterone? :confused:

    Basically, your gf breaks up with you, you lose your job, your friends forget about you, your parents are divorcing. You put on weight, get overweight, can't find a new job, can't find a gf.

    Basically, you get frustrated, angry, sad, you name it.... well, most people would also say - you are DEPRESSED. Then you discover you have low T levels.

    Well, but since your life basically sucks already to begin with, then couldn't that be the reason (+ being overweight, there's a medical link between excess weight and low T) for your secondary, temporary (?) hipogonadism?

    Wouldn't getting your life back on track (as hard as it might be in such scenario, considering low T makes you constantly tired) cause your T levels to go significantly up in future?

    Just wondering about your opinions guys :eek:
  2. #2

    Pericles Member

    In short, yes....a positive attitude, good spiritual/mental/psychological life will definitely result in better health and
  3. #3

    HeadDoc Psychologist; Super Moderator

    here's one study, a bit dated and unfortunately rats.


    Clinically, I have had a few referals from some local PCP's for clients who were not responding after a few rounds of antidepressants. I sent the clients back with a list of assays to collected, teamed up with the docs and started some HRT. The clients were all around males, 50 or older. The physicans started TRT and the depressions lifted. I also did concurrent cognitive behavior therapy.
  4. #4

    Martin777 Junior Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    I realize it might be reasonable to offer TRT to those who were depressed and didn't respond to antidepressants.

    However, I'm asking about a similar situation, like I described in my first post.
    Could hypogonadism (in a younger man, around 30 y.o, T level measured only once so far, of 295 ng/dl) be simply caused by a series of unfortunate life events?

    As TRT is basically for life, a young person should probably avoid it.
    Could just getting someone's life in order, finding new goal, new job, new friends or a life partner, resulting in a better , much calmer state of mind, just cure you of secondary hypogadism, (+weight loss of around 35 lbs) just like a depression can be cured without medication....

    I'm not aware if I had low testosterone levels in the past, however, my life was much better and I had reasons for happiness, as opposed to the frustration, sadness, emptiness and grumpiness nowadays. I'm quite sure in my case all of the unfortunate events were not caused by low T levels, they just happened at the same time, getting me into a state described above..

    Perhaps the T levels went down because of all that ...

    I wonder if there have been any studies measuring T levels among prisoners, especially "ordinary" guys put into jail.

    Could Bernard Madoff still have high testosterone nowadays, when his life got totaly ruined and he lost everything and is going to go from a billionaire to spending life in prison? :confused: (I know he is not young anymore, so he could have low testosterone naturally anyway, but what if he was young and facing the situation he is in...? Couldn't his levels just go down from 600 to 200 because he lost it all ? ).
  5. #5

    flyfish1000 Junior Member

    " Basically, your gf breaks up with you, you lose your job, your friends forget about you, your parents are divorcing. You put on weight, get overweight, can't find a new job, can't find a gf.

    Basically, you get frustrated, angry, sad, you name it.... well, most people would also say - you are DEPRESSED"

    Correcting The way you might be thinking about these events in your life would go a long way toward curing a depression. You could beat yourself up in many illogical ways on all those situations you describe. You might come to the distorted conclusion that you are a loser. Trying to fix this with TRT without addressing these basic distorted thoughts and beliefs will predictably fail as will mono therapy with an SSRI. Correcting the distorted thinking should come first. Losing weight and healthy eating and a more positive outlook on your life might even help your T levels. There is a great book that can help with changing distorted thinking. " Feeling Good The new mood therapy" by Dr David Burns
  6. #6

    Martin777 Junior Member

    Thx for the book recommendation. I overall share the same point of view on my issues .. like you said..

    So let's say I failed on a few of most important issues in life (relationship, job, social life) , or just life fucked me (dependent how you see it [}:)] )
    I gained weight, it worsened my health and effected self image.

    i suffer from borderline hypertension, doc told me 6 months ago, I need to lose weight and exercise or I would need meds for it, but I havent done anything about it :(

    Low testosterone makes it actually harder for you to lose weight as I read (your body accumulates fat, not muscle) and makes you constantly tired, you just don't have the drive to exercise as much as you should. Finally, slight ED, or perhaps rather - libido issues, make it hard to realistically think about getting into a relationship soon.

    I am not even that depressed I feel, I have some goals, I can see myself losing weight, getting a girl again and flying with her for an exotic vacation next summer (if I have the $$$$).
    But as for today, I look throguh the window and say "fuck it, it's snowing, let's do it tomorrow" when I just need to drive to some store etc, even though I don't have much to do the whole day..

    I feel Like I can achieve things again, but I completely lack the drive needed to start working on them TODAY.

    anyway, thx everyone, It's a great forum for sure.
  7. #7

    HeadDoc Psychologist; Super Moderator

    great post. The thread, and I stand corrected, asked about younger men. This poster makes a better argument for younger men. Given the type of acute conditions cited this makes good sense. If any one reading this thread has a chance to hear Dr. Burns present, he is very entertaining----and very empirically oriented.
  8. #8

    Martin777 Junior Member

    we posted at the exact same minute

    i made a post just above yours with some additional info on my life
  9. #9

    zkt Member

    Everything effects everything else

  10. #10

    flyfish1000 Junior Member

    I have clinical depression off and mostly on for 5 years now. I am 55 years old next week. I can honestly say that Dr Burns techniques are the only thing that has broken the depressive cycle and given me periods of complete relief. I have always relapsed back into depression however. When I am feeling good I always stop doing the Burns techniques and I think that is why. 5 months ago I had my testosterone tested and although I was in the normal range for total T 488 my free was only 5.9 so my Dr let me give TRT a try. So far It has given me little to no relief from depressive symptoms. I have also adjusted my thyroid meds and have had no relief. The direct t3 that I added in to my T4 has given me high blood pressure. I am on BP meds now too because of this treatment. I am glad for those that hormone adjustment has helped with their depression. For me the search will continue. I think perhaps therapy or self therapy using the techniques I know along with an AD I was hoping to avoid may be in my future. I am seeing a TRT expert.
  11. #11

    HeadDoc Psychologist; Super Moderator

    ff1000, stay in touch. Let us know how things go with the follow ups.
  12. #12

    flyfish1000 Junior Member

    Will do. What chance do I have of stopping the TRT now after 5 months and restarting my own production without too much pain?
  13. #13

    jlguitar Junior Member

    there have been studies to suggest when men win at sporting events their testosterone levels go up and when they lose their levels go down,i guess that winning has its rewards in life.
  14. #14

    cvictorg Member

    Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;65(3):283-9.

    Low free testosterone concentration as a potentially treatable cause of depressive symptoms in older men.
    Almeida OP, Yeap BB, Hankey GJ, Jamrozik K, Flicker L.

    WA Centre for Health and Ageing, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. osvaldo.almeida@uwa.edu.au

    CONTEXT: Serum concentrations of gonadal hormones have been associated with various measures of well-being, but it is unclear whether their association with mood is confounded by concurrent physical morbidity. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the association between serum testosterone concentration and mood in older men is independent of physical comorbidity. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Community of Perth, Western Australia. PARTICIPANTS: A community sample of men aged 71 to 89 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We used the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) to assess depressed mood. Clinically significant depression was defined a priori as a GDS-15 score of 7 or greater. Physical health was assessed using the weighted Charlson index and the Physical Component Summary score of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey. RESULTS: Of 3987 men included in the study, 203 (5.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.4%-5.8%) had depression. Participants with depression had significantly lower total and free testosterone concentrations than nondepressed men (P < .001 for both). However, they were also more likely to smoke and to have low educational attainment, a body mass index categorized as obese, a Mini-Mental State Examination score less than 24, a history of antidepressant drug treatment, and greater concurrent physical morbidity. After adjusting for these factors and for age, men with depression were 1.55 (95% CI, 0.91-2.63) and 2.71 (95% CI, 1.49-4.93) times more likely to have total and free testosterone concentrations, respectively, in the lowest quintile. CONCLUSIONS: A free testosterone concentration in the lowest quintile is associated with a higher prevalence of depression, and this association cannot be adequately explained by physical comorbidity. A randomized controlled trial is required to determine whether the link between low free testosterone level and depression is causal because older men with depression may benefit from systematic screening of free testosterone concentration and testosterone supplementation

    In men older than 70 years, total testosterone remains stable while free testosterone declines with age. The Health in Men Study -- Yeap et al. 156 (5): 585 -- European Journal of Endocrinology

    In men older than 70 years, total testosterone remains stable while free testosterone declines with age. The Health in Men Study

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