Low Testosterone and its Effect on Mood and Behavior
June is upon us and with that we often associate the warmer and sunnier days, outdoor activities, and “summer fun” with an improved mood. Unfortunately, these changes do not bring a better mood for all.
As we celebrate Men’s Health Month, it seems appropriate to take note of an often-missed contributor to mental health issues in the male population – specifically how low testosterone can impact mood and anxiety.
Low testosterone is a clinical condition that can be caused by chronic illnesses, medications, or can simply be part of the natural aging process. Regardless, symptoms can impact more than just libido – men may experience mood swings, depression, fatigue, and anxiety. Sometimes when men present with mood symptoms or problems with anxiety, clinicians are quick to treat with antidepressants or other psychiatric medications. This may not adequately address the problem, and men may be left with unresolved symptoms that are affecting their everyday lives.
While low testosterone is not the only possible differential diagnosis for mental health symptoms, it is one that should not be missed. This month let’s all make a special effort to consider the whole person with symptoms of depression or anxiety and rule out the physiologic possibilities before prescribing.
- Learn more about Men’s Health Month: https://www.menshealthmonth.org
- Men’s Health Network: https://www.menshealthnetwork.org/
- Bain, J.The Many Faces of Testosterone, Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2007 Dec; 2(4): 567-576. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686330/