When my partner casually mentioned to me the other night that he’d heard of instances where testosterone has been used, successfully, to treat depression, my ears perked up.
From what I’ve learned over the years, depression is a pretty sneaky demon. Scientist actually haven’t yet nailed down why people get depressed. No, seriously, they haven’t!
I’ve always been one to believe that depression is multi-causational. I’m not of the opinion that any one thing causes depression. I’ve come to think of it like this: depression is really just your body’s way of screaming “SOMETHING IS WRONG!”
What if for some people that ‘thing’ happens to be low testosterone?
Once you realize how low testosterone can effect a person, you realize how reasonable an idea this idea really is. In fact, one of the main symptoms of of low testosterone is depressed mood, and some other symptoms that could look like, well, depression.
Take a look:
What I was really interested in finding after our conversation was some anecdotal evidence. That’s when I came across this article by Jon Nelson documenting his journey with depression, which (spoiler alert) lead him to begin taking testosterone illegally to treat it. And guess what? It’s worked for him.
Anecdotal evidence aside, where is the science at? One study on middle aged men, with similar depression and testosterone levels, showed that between a control and treatment group, the treatment group showed significant improvement in their depressive symptoms.
Another meta-analysis aimed to compile evidence from controlled clinical trials to analyze the effect that introducing testosterone to the body could have on mood. The meta-analysis concluded that exogenous testosterone helped improve symptoms of depression in men, especially so when the depression was mild but long lasting, rather than severe and acute.
Evidence on this subject is really lacking for women – possibly because introducing testosterone into a women’s body can have more potentially life-altering side effects. It could also be because the subject of low testosterone being a potential player in depression is still a new subject. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Now, I’m not advocating by any means that any of you should begin taking testosterone, legally or illegally, to treat your depression. However, this is another really valid avenue to explore with your doctor if you’ve been struggling with depression and have yet to find answers.
You deserve those answers – exhaust all options – and as always, advocate for yourself!