testosterone and depression

Low Testosterone and Depression in Men

I’m feeling pretty down and out at the moment, which prompted me to write this. Right now I’m doing an experiment to try and get my natural testosterone levels back again, but so far it isn’t working. My last test results came back WAY under normal levels for someone my age, and I’m really feeling it.

In fact, I feel JUST like I felt when I decided I’d had enough and was going to see a doctor in the first place, way back several years ago. He diagnosed me with depression and wanted me to take anti-depressants. Having never been “the depressed type” and knowing what I knew from talking to bodybuilders about steroids, I asked him if he would mind running a blood-test to find out what my testosterone levels were at. As suspected, they were very low. So rather than treat a symptom of low testosterone (i.e. depression), we started treating the low test levels with Androgel. Within days I felt like a new man. I was happy, energetic, full of life, sharp at work, more fun in the bedroom…. just like my old self again.

The moral of the story here is that if you’re a man over the age of 30 and you are starting to feel depressed, yet have never really been the type to get depressed before, get your testosterone levels checked before committing to treatment with anti-depressants. It may be that you really do have depression brought on by all the stress that comes with growing up (kids, job, mortgage…) but it doesn’t hurt to check. And it may be that your doctor will want to put you on anti-depressants for awhile anyway in addition to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) but at least you’ll know what is likely the cause of that depression.

So here I am again with low testosterone, feeling completely depressed, but just knowing what is causing that depression makes it so much easier to deal with. I’ll feel better once I get my testosterone levels up into normal ranges again, whether naturally or through medication.



  1. Bill

    Thanks for posting this.  I am glad I found your site.  Good stuff.

    I know exactly what you are dealing with.  Testosterone replacement therapy has saved my life.  I was on the anti-depressants and all they did was make matters worse, much worse.  By the time I asked my doc to check my T levels I was at my wits end.  I was fat, drugged up, drunk, depressed and had extremely high blood pressure.

    My total T levels came back at 198 on a scale that began at 250.  I felt like crap!

    Doc started me on Testim gel and within two weeks I felt like a new man!  Switched to Androgel for insurance reasons soon after (same thing).  I didn’t feel the need to drink anymore and I started weaning from the anti-dep meds.  I was on effexor, wellbutrin and clonozapam.  By the middle of the second month I was clean and weaning off of the BP meds as well.

    That was a year ago.  Today I am free of all meds except compounded testosterone cream that I apply once daily.

    The stuff really does work and I recommend that any man with the symptoms of low T get tested now and save your own life.


    43 yrs old
    BF 20%

    Good luck,


  2. Bill I am so happy that you have started feeling better. I’m still a little nervous about taking testosterone the rest of my life, but what are the alternatives? Taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds the rest of my life to treat just a couple of the many symptoms of a much larger problem? If I’m going to be taking medication for the next 40 years, it might as well give me a good sex drive and some muscle tone back.

  3. Pingback:The End of Hope for Natural Testosterone Production & The Beginning of Lifelong TRT

  4. Benn Slade

    Dude, I read your post – I used to jab myself (10 yrs) with all manner of steroids and stopped abruptly 18 months ago – I have been having panic attacks all day and really bad anxiety and depression – I have had my t level checked – can it really cause all of these horrendous symptoms…?

  5. Benn (cool last name),

    ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY. Yes, it can cause all of those symptoms. Did your test come back low? Did it come back anywhere under 300? I think that’s 300 ng/ml or something like that.

    By the way, I’m feeling MUCH, much better now that I’ve given in and am on TRT. I hope I continue to feel this good (aka normal).

  6. joe

    I just got diagnosed with low t,  i have major anxiety and depression, i can cry on a drop of a dime. i was never like this, i was the go to person. can low t really cause all of this. Also my joints hurt, i’m always tired, no drive, no short term memory. thanks joe

  7. rick

    Yes joe…it can cause all of that.  I was diagnosed with very low T….I don’t recall the numbers but it was waaay low. I’m 59 and been on Androgel for about two weeks now.  Previously on all manner of anti-Ds off and on for years.  I am off the anti-Ds and on Androgel.  I already feel much, much better than I have in the last ten or fifteen years.  Like someone else posted on this board, I woke up the other morning with an erection….it had been so long since that happened that I was at a loss as to what to do with it.  Bottom line is that I feel great…..I am so glad that my complaints to my doctor led to this..

  8. joe baker

    man i’m still have this adrealine feeling going thru me. i wonder if i could have another hormone out of wack that is causing all of this. is there other one’s i need to be concerned about? thanks joe

  9. joe

    been on testosterone gel for over 3 weeks no signs of improvement. cab i have another hormone out of wack causing my adrealine problems and low testosterone problems?

  10. JJ

    Joe have you had your TSH levels checked, sometimes I feel that way when my thyroid hormones are high combined with TRT.  

  11. Joe,

    I agree with JJ. That could be one thing to get checked. I take thyroid hormones because I had mine removed. I get very cranky when that’s out of whack, or when my testosterone levels are too low.

    And of course your testosterone levels could be out of whack due to an issue with another part of your endocrine system, which could also be causing your adrenaline to be out of whack. The endocrine system is very complex – so much so that most endocrinologists will profess that they don’t know as much about it as they’d like.

    Sorry it took so long for anyone to reply. Your post slipped by me for some reason. How are you feeling now? Any better?

  12. Benn Slade

    I just realised I used profane language so I cut and paste this and cut the foul language out…
    So here we go again – this is probably going to become a long post!!!

    To be totally honest I had forgotten I had posted on here & was trawling the net trying to reassure myself that there had to be a good reason for feeling the way I do whilst i wait for an appointment with an endocrinologist.  I live in the UK & my doctor has reluctantly booked me into see the endocrinologist after months of my badgering him.  I say reluctantly because he doesnt believe that low T could cause anxiety/depression symptoms (I had my initial blood draw way back in March).  The results of that blood draw – our readings are different to yours (im guessing you are american).  There were two ranges and I was bang on the lowest reading on one scale and just below the bottom of the other.  I feel like total shit dude – it aint funny – Panicking frequently – anxiety – my arms are tingling and i just cannot relax and depression!?  I cannot take any more of it – it is horrible.  My plan is as follows (my depressed mindset is telling me that the endo will find I am just on/in the “normal range” and not prescribe) get my results and email E.Barry Gordon (Testosterone Deficiency – The Hidden Disease) to ask him how much I need to stick in my backside again to get my mental health back.  I NEED REASSURANCE that the docs in my country are just not up to speed ref this matter – How bad was your depression/anxiety?  I feel so bad I just find it hard to believe that it could be “JUST THAT”.   I am reading all over the place that LOW T causes anxiety attacks-depression – Panic – but Ihavent conversed with someone that has been through this.  My story is complicated but long story short I was on antidepressants for years for stress and I was bodybuilding in a big way – I was rammed with testosterone and felt on top of the world – I stopped taking steroids & my whole life fell to bits – I became agorophobic or so i thought because I quickly overcame that but remained so bloody anxious it aint funny.  When I go to work my work colleague finds it hilarious if I bend over to pick something up or kneel down to get something because I creak and groan like an old man… 

  13. Benn you should also get your thyroid hormones checked. But if your testosterone levels were low and you are exhibiting the symptoms I don’t see why an endocrinologist would have an issue prescribing you testosterone. After years of abusing it your natural production is probably screwed up. Maybe you could talk to your doctor about ways you might boost your natural production again, such as HCG. If it hasn’t been more than a year since you stopped taking steroids you might want to wait awhile longer (it can take that long to get natural production back after extended steroid use or HRT) and see if you feel better.

    If you don’t mind the idea of having to take medication every week and deal with doctors for the rest of your life (yay!) then I’d say find a new doctor and get on TRT. You’ll feel much better, which is what really matters.

    I hope you figure it out soon. No worries about profanity. I doubt many kids come to this site.

  14. Benn Slade

    cool – cheers – Questions i have questions – i still would like to hear from others & the level of their anxiety due to low level t – is it a typical phenomenon.  will raising t levels above normal levels enhance confidence reduce social anxiety – does testosterone have a relationship with dopamine?

    Benn Slade

  15. Benn Slade

    TRT:  I have steered away from steroids for 2yrs now.  I am lining myself up in preparation for my blood draw.  I want to know what t to buy…  In answer to your question the reason why i have not been put on testim or androgel etc is that the quacks over here are reluctant to or slow to catch up with this relatively new medical fact?!!!  When i see the endo i will get him to check thyroid too (thanks for that).  So the important question – which t? sust? enanthate?

  16. Benn,

    I don’t know if testosterone has a relationship with dopamine, but I can say that either too much or too little testosterone can cause social anxiety, and too little can certainly cause low confidence and depression. The only time I’ve ever had a full on panic attack was when I was taking too much testosterone though (as in bodybuilding levels of 500mg per week or more) and since being on TRT / HRT doses I have not had anxiety beyond normal.

  17. Which T depends largely on what you have access to. You may have a “source” right now but will you in ten years? It is best to get a prescription so the doctor will probably make that decision for you. As for HRT doses, I’d guess either Sustenon, Enanthate or Cypionate injected once per week at 100mg would be fine. I take cypionate, but I’ve taken enanthate in the past and didn’t notice a difference in how I felt with weekly injections.

  18. Benn Slade

    you have no idea how happy (well not properly happy – let’s call it hopeful) you have made me feel…  thankyou very much…  looks like the m.d’s over here need to learn a thing or two….

  19. Benn Slade

    dude – im sorry to be a pain in the arse – but could you describe the symptoms you suffered whilst low t was the cause??

    how bad did your depression get?
    how debilitating was the anxiety?

    appreciate your help big time?

  20. Ben,

    I felt depressed, although not so bad that I was having suicidal thoughts (which I think would be indicative of another problem, such as clinical depression) and I definitely felt tired and lazy. My body / self image was crap too. I didn’t feel like having sex. I was very moody and my wife and I were arguing a lot more (due to my attitude, no sex, etc…).

    Things aren’t “perfect” now but they are “normal”. That’s all anyone can ask for, I think.

    Good luck to you. I hope you feel better soon.

  21. Benn Slade

    i don’t mean to be a pain but can you cast an eye over this?

    My Serum Testosterone = 8.7nmol/l (norm = 10-30)

    conversion 1nmol/l = 28.843ng/dl

    8.7 x 28.843 = 250 ng/dl

    my serum fsh = 3.7 iu/L
    my serum LH = 3.6 iu/L
    serum prolactin level = 208mu/L (norm = 100-500)
    Serum free t4 = 8.5pmol/L (norm=9-21)

    any thoughts at all would be cool…

  22. Ben hopefully some people who know more about this than me will chime in. I’m not a doctor; I’m just another average guy who is on TRT. The ranges used in the UK differ somewhat from what’s used here in the US, which makes it a little more difficult to interpret.

    It looks to me like you definitely need TRT as both Serum and Free testosterone are below the lowest “normal” level. Keep in mind that range is probably “normal” for 50-year-old men too, so if you’re in your 20’s or 30’s it is REALLY low.

    Without knowing the reference range for FSH and LH I can’t help there. You need those ranges to tell if you are primary or secondary hypogonadal.

  23. Benn Slade

    thank you so very much for your reply…  The temptation to go and bang some t in my arse is unbearable but must wait til my endo appointment.  Training in the gym feeling like this is a nightmare – I’m now benching (max) what i used to warm up on when i was on the go juice.  This has cost me my marriage/my family home/my job of 14yrs etc etc – what a fool i was – a steroid junkie that could only see veins and ripped muscles – i was amazing 294 pounds with not an ounce of fat.  I wasn’t afraid of anything or anyone – now shit –  im a nervous wreck 250 pounds & my shape – well I hate it.  just one question – in your last post you mentioned my free t?  – i thought free t4 was thyroid?  Im a bit confused to be frank -so dearly want a big part of the way i feel to be chemical reason for this indescribable nightmare…

  24. joe

    i have been on trt shots for over 6 weeks and before that i was on the gel, neither one has worked very well. just got my numbers back, i’m still only at 254, i feel like crap, i asked them to test my estrogen levels, haven’t heard back from them. why would my t numbers not be rising? this has me alittle worried. thanks joe

  25. jjambow

    I go and see a endocrinologist on Nov. 3, any questions I should ask

  26. Ask if you can inject from home. Going to the doctor every week, or even every two weeks, sucks.

  27. jjambow

    I just got results back from doctor my estergen level is 43 range of 7.6-42.6 and t level 252, what is causing this

  28. I’m glad you got it figured out. Time to move forward then.

    One thing about having your stuff all messed up like that is it gives you a new sense of appreciation for what women put up with all the time. We’ll think twice about calling them crazy next time they get all “monthly” on us.

  29. Benn Slade

    well! i went to the endo and they were not going to rely on an old test result which showed low/borderline t levels & ordered a battery of new tests (fsh/lh/shgb/t4/prolactin etc etc etc).   I will have to wait three months for the follow up – I can’t wait.  I have just bought some pharma grade cyp 250.  Im going to inject myself 1/2 a ml per week.  I feel so shockingly ill i cannot wait for the national health service to grind into action – my blood serum t level is 250ng/dl – my body is used to being in the 800-1200 mark.  i will keep you posted as to my progress or not as the case may be…

  30. joe baker

    went to endo wed. he is upping my testosterone shot values, he said my estorgen was high because my testosterone was low, man i just don’t beleive that. one thing i do agree with is blood results don’t always tell the whole story, but i have to wait 3 months before i go back. today has been along day, i feel very weak, my internal body is trembling. my toes are burning up and the rest of me is freezing. there is something wrong here, or could my low testosterone be causing this?

  31. jjambow

    Yes my free and total are low, I feel like crap today, what do I do

  32. JJ

    Try taking zinc, some people have low zinc because they have difficulty aborning it. You know your taking too much when nausea sets in. Sometimes that helps me get to my next Endo appointment.

  33. JJ

    jjambow try taking a Zinc Supplement, it could help lower your Estrogen levels and raise up your t levels.   I read that Zinc will slow down the conversion of T to Estrogen.  I am going to a HRT Clinc and they put me on a liquid zinc supplement.  I noticed a little change, less shakes and a little more mojo, but not enough to take away all the symptoms of low T though.  
    Joe Baker, it sounds like your endo is a quack and it is time to find a new one.  If he raised your dose of T, with out addressing the conversion to estrogen, the estrogen is only going to go higher with it’s new supply of T (especially is you have a higher BMI)  Making your problem worse.  You need to find away to stop it from converting.  

    My endo is a quack too, I went to him for 9 pain full months before moving on, he would not agree that I had low T.  My levels were between 274 to 310.  He tried everything from jacking up my thyroid to 300mcg from 125mcg, putting me on pre-diabetic Victoza, taking me off my anti-depressant, and telling me that i am fat (my BMI was 40 at the time) to get my numbers higher.  But he would not put me on TRT.  I am so mad at that man, I could knock him off and still go to church feeling like a did the world a favor the next day.  That is what happens when your a guy and you have enough estrogen as a crazy women without anyone wanting to help you..

    Mean while going to this endo I couldn’t help but think if my t levels are not low enough to do anything about, but it is low enough to make me tired all the time, not feel comfortable in my own skin, have hot flashes so that I wear shorts all year round, and make feel like it is ok to want to kill people, and get emotional about every little thing; than what can I do to make it lower so that he will do something, since he is obviously mis-informed about what normal t-levels should be.  I have since decided that it wouldn’t matter how my T low I went, going to this endo, if my levels were not low at 274-340 and I got them down to 150, then the endo would only want to get them back to the 300 hundred range.  

    The endo’s nurse said that I should follow up with my family doctor, that is where i started over a year ago when I begin trying figure out why I could not be intimate with my wife and that something was really wrong with me.  It went 360 on me, back to the family doc.? I decided that the endo was useless and I need to find someone that would help.  I am in the midwest so I thought it was going to be hard to find a HRT clinic but then I found one in Indianapolis, not to far way.  Long story short, the doctor at the clinic thinks that I have a zinc deficiency, put me on a liquid zinc supplement for the short term to see if that drops the estrogen and raises my t.  I will be going back for a Total T test and Estrogen test in a week to find out if it help.  

    Hypothyroid Side note, when my endo jack my synthroid from 125mcg to 300mcg it raised my t levels from 274 to 310.  I wonder if this was because now my metabolism was moving faster, and I lost a few pounds, or if there is a direct relationship between thyroid hormone and T?  This is yet another reason I left the endo’s, I told the endo that 300 was to high and he wouldn’t listen to me.  I ended up needing to come back down to a more reasonable level.  What good is a doctor that doesn’t listen to his patients?  

  34. joe

    i have read that upping my testosterone will up my esterogen, should i go to a hrt specialist? i feel like crying all day, i feel depressed. i have no reason to feel depressed, i have a great wife and daughters. i have these internal body tremours that feels like im hooked up to a battery charger. i’m on 2.5cc every two weeks, i have very very little sexual desire, and i have a beautiful wife that i have been married to for over 25 years. i just don’t feel right, i use to be a horney man all over my wife, now its like, blah, not her its me. what do i do? i’m very concerned that i’m not going to be able to get this solved. thanks joe

  35. Joe,

    2.5CC of what? How many milligrams of testosterone are in each CC of what you are taking? And what exactly are you taking?

    #1 – Anything over 100mg per week is too much for long-term TRT in my opinion. I bump mine up as high as 300mg per week for “blast cycles” from time to time, but that is a steroid cycle, not ongoing TRT.
    #2 – Yes, raising testosterone will raise estrogen. More accurately, the enzyme aromatase converts testosterone into estradiol (aka E2). Some drugs, like Nolvadex (tamoxafin citrate) can block estrogen’s affects on breast tissues to minimize gynocomastia side effects. Others, such as the aromatase inhibitor Arimidex (Anastrozole) can help keep the excess testosterone from aromitising into estradiol in the first place, which could also help raise free testosterone even further.
    #3 – Certain substances, like Decca Durabolin, can have profound negative effects on your sex drive and cause erectile dysfunction. Testosterone in most forms (cypionate, enanthate, sustenon, etc…) do not typically do this.

    I am not a doctor but I hope my experience as a TRT patient can be of some assistance.

  36. joe

    They was giving me me 1cc then bumped it up by half. It cypinat. Every 2 weeks. I was up every morning feel like I’m plugged into an electrial out let, my body just is vibrating on the inside. This has been going on for over 2 years. Then I feel like I could cry for no reason. Today my gonads are starting to hurt, and my toes tingle and burn. This really stinks. Is this from high estrogen or low T or what. I’m wondering if this is a hormonal problem. Or what, thanks joe

  37. Joe you still didn’t tell us how much you are taking. 1 CC could be anything depending on how many milligrams of the drug are contained in a CC of the solution. Look on the bottle. If it is 200mg per cc then 1 cc every week is too much long-term. But your symptoms do not sound to me to be testosterone or estrogen related. You may have some other issue going on. You should definitely talk to your doctor about this.

  38. joe

    I was on 1cc of testosterone cypinat, then bumped it up by 25 percent. I take a injection every 2 weeks. I feel like I never started the injections. I have no more energy or sex drive. They said I could have depression and anxiety. I don’t feel depressed, but anxiety yes. I have another symptom, my gonads are aching, this is worrying me. sorry for rambling on, but I don’t feel myself I feel miserable. Also I feel like I’m freezing all the time, my temp is running around 96.8, even durning the day time. I just feel like crap

  39. joe

    1cc is the only thing I’m sure of then bumped it up by 25 percent every 2 weeks. Sorry can’t b more help

  40. Joe if you don’t even know how much testosterone you’re taking then it’s no wonder you’re not feeling well. You need to be more responsible for your own health and know what, and how much of it, you’re putting into your body. You could be taking 100mg every two weeks or 200mg every week for all we know. That’s a BIG difference. I’m sorry I can’t be of more assistance but without that information it’s pointless to speculate about what is causing your symptoms.

  41. nosepipe

    Hi Joe, just noticed your post.  I have low testosterone and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which basically means I have very low thyroid function.  Classic symptoms are feeling cold all the time and feeling really bad mentally, I suffered it for years without knowing.  I’d advise getting a T4 and TSH blood test and seeing a doctor that specialises in thyroid disease as most GP’s have very poor knowledge on this in my experience.  Even if blood tests are in range you can still have symptoms.  Let me know if you need any more pointers, I’ve read a lot on these two conditions.

  42. larry donoho

    I took testosterone injections for 8 weeks straight becuase my numbers were low 102 total ands 6.5 free…They caused horrible depression and anxiety…any one else deal with this????

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