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Can Low Testosterone Make You Emotional? (From a Doctor)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Last updated: January 4, 2023

Throughout my fitness career, I've spent many months trying to know all the effects of low testosterone levels.

Recently I came across the notion that low testosterone can affect our overall emotional state.

So, I decided to consult my endocrinologist and spent hours researching how low testosterone levels can disrupt our mental health.

Here's what I discovered.

Quick Summary

  • Low testosterone might cause you to feel depressed, fatigued, and weak.
  • Your symptoms of sadness or anxiety may worsen if you have low testosterone levels.
  • You can address low levels of testosterone and depression by modifying your lifestyle through exercising and having healthy meals.

Can Low Testosterone Affect Your Mental Health?

an emotional person suffering from low testosterone

Yes, low testosterone can affect your mental health, as testosterone is a neuroactive steroid that impacts the central nervous system.

Thus, a drop in this hormone can cause physical and emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression [1].

Testosterone is a male hormone known as androgen. It helps with sperm production, bone density, muscular strength, sexual desire, and body fat distribution.

Despite being regarded as a male sex hormone, women also produce testosterone at a lesser level than males.

However, low testosterone can cause depression, one of the many mental health and emotional symptoms in both men and women [2].

Large-scale scientific investigations in recent years have found a connection between testosterone deficiency and mood changes, anxiety, and depression.

For instance, a study on men discovered a statistically significant link between low testosterone and depression [3].

Furthermore, the physical symptoms of reduced testosterone can be emotionally unpleasant, resulting in a slow decline that might eventually lead to depression.

"Low testosterone levels can result in a pattern of a man having reduced energy, not training, putting on weight, as well as feeling less attractive."

- Michael A. Werner, Doctor of Medicine

How Low Testosterone Impacts Your Self Esteem

A guy in suit holding his head with his fingers

Low testosterone impacts your self-esteem by inducing obesity, fatigue, muscle mass, and hair loss in men, as well as hirsutism in women.

Even though nobody is expected to keep the figure they used to have in their 20s and 30s, these physical characteristics may indicate that testosterone levels have dropped.

In addition, testosterone has a significant influence on the body's metabolic rate.

Low testosterone levels can result in a loss of bone density and muscle tone and an accumulation of abdominal fat [4]. It can also lower energy levels and impair motivation.

All of these factors might lead to a decrease in self-esteem.

Signs of Depression Caused by Low Testosterone

man suffering from emotional effects brought by low testosterone

The signs of depression caused by low T include:

  • Mood changes
  • Reduced sexual function
  • Exhaustiona
  • Absence of motivation
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Anxiousness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Having trouble focusing
  • Sleep disturbance and agitation

When we say somebody is depressed, we frequently mean that they have little energy and have lost interest in engaging in activities that usually bring them joy – both of which are symptoms of reduced testosterone.

Occasionally people are misdiagnosed as having clinical depression when they actually experience low T.

Various physical signs could be connected to either depressive episodes or reduced testosterone.

People who are depressed may exhibit signs of irritability, anger, and agitation, but they may not suffer other symptoms linked with low testosterone, such as:

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Development in breast tissue
  • Loss of strength
  • Rapid weight growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

If you also suffer from sadness or anxiety, your symptoms may worsen as your T levels fall too low.

It is essential to check your overall and free testosterone levels, as hypogonadism (a condition where the body does not produce enough testosterone) might be the root of these symptoms.

Tips for Boosting Mood

A person in a good mood showing thumbs up

The great news is that lowered testosterone, emotional fluctuations, and other mental health issues may be treated and corrected by a combination of medicine and lifestyle modifications.

Here's what you can do:

  • Control your stress: The link between reduced testosterone and anxiety is substantial. High levels of stress are another key cause of low levels of testosterone. If you're worried and in a continual fight-or-flight state, your body will prioritize dealing with the stress. However, if stress is taking over your life, it might be tough to address the underlying emotional health difficulties associated with low T [5].
  • Examine your lifestyle: Being overweight and less active are major contributing factors to low T levels. The first step is to address not only the low levels of testosterone but also your general lifestyle habits. Similar to any mental health condition, obtaining adequate sleep and sunshine exposure is critical. This can be achieved either outside or using a natural light designed for seasonal depression symptoms.
  • Exercise frequently: Exercising is important, as it drastically reduces the quantity of sugar and carbs in your body. Excess glucose and starches have been demonstrated to lower mood, whereas exercise increases testosterone and improves mood.

FAQs

Does Testosterone Change Your Emotions?

Yes, testosterone changes your emotions by affecting a section of the brain known as the mesolimbic pathway. This brain region is responsible for releasing dopamine.

How Does Low Testosterone Affect Mental Health?

Low testosterone affects mental health by triggering depression, anger, mood swings, and anxiety due to hormonal fluctuations.

Can Low Testosterone Cause Empathy?

Yes, low testosterone can cause empathy. Previous studies have linked lower testosterone levels with increased cognitive empathy in healthy humans.

Low Testosterone and Emotions

Low testosterone can negatively affect your emotions. It can lead to depression, loss of muscle mass, weight gain, and mood swings.

Therefore, maintaining normal testosterone levels is critical. But that doesn't mean you need testosterone replacement therapy.

Starting with a natural testosterone booster may be a good option.

We’ve tested and compiled a list of the best-recommended testosterone boosters for both men and women. Check out our list below:

They contain natural ingredients that boost testosterone and improve mood and motivation towards your workout and daily activities.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6199678/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11955793/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3376477/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16117815
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15618989/
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