Men and testosterone are pretty much synonymous. When most of us think of testosterone, we think of big muscles and a big libido. And while testosterone is a hormone that definitely plays a large role in muscle mass and sexual function, it plays a role in mental health as well.
Testosterone and Mental Health
As men age, their testosterone levels naturally decrease. But a decrease in testosterone can actually happen at any age. Men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s can also experience low T-levels due to chronic disease, stress, and prescription medication.
While sexual dysfunction and a hit to energy levels are key indicators of potentially low testosterone levels, there are mental health symptoms that also point to a hormonal imbalance. There are cells in the brain that have testosterone receptors. When T-levels become low and these receptors are left high and dry, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
Of course, these are the direct symptoms of low T-levels on your mental health. But low testosterone levels can also have indirect effects on your mental health. For instance, if you are experiencing a loss of sexual desire or erectile dysfunction, you may naturally feel stress, anxiety, and depression as a result.
Taking a Two-Pronged Treatment Approach
If you believe you are experiencing low testosterone, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor and get your levels checked. Your doctor may put you on a hormone replacement plan to get your levels back up. He or she may also recommend a specific diet and exercise plan that can naturally increase testosterone levels.
In my experience, it can take some time – and trial and error – before men get their t-levels back into a consistent normal range. While you are supporting your physical well-being, it’s equally important that you support your mental well-being.
Speaking with a mental health therapist can help you deal with your stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. There is no shame in experiencing low T-levels. All men will at some point in their life. And there is also no shame in needing to speak to someone about your mental health.
If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s bothering you, please reach out to me.