Testosterone and Mood Disorders


  • It’s common for men suffering from age-related testosterone deficiency to experience mood swings, irritability, and even depression.
  • Although depressive disorders are more common in women [1], Studies [2] show that incidents of depression in men increase with age and often in line with falling testosterone levels.
  • Mood disorders can include depression, persistent depressive disorder (Dysthymia), and bipolar disorder, all of which are often the result of increased anxiety, stress, irritability, and mood swings often associated with low testosterone levels.
  • These mood disorders are conditions that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can certainly help alleviate.
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What is a Mood Disorder?

  • Depression: Having little interest in normal daily activities accompanied by feelings of sadness and hopelessness. If these feelings last for 2 weeks or longer, this could indicate the onset of depression.
  • Dysthymia: This is a low-grade depressed state or irritable mood that lasts for 2 years at least.
  • Bipolar disorder: Sufferers of this mood disorder experience regular highs and lows. With periods of depression followed by periods of mania or heightened mood.
  • Mood disorders associated with illness: Medical illnesses and conditions such as cancer, injury, arthritis, infections, and many chronic diseases can often cause depression.
  • Substance-induced mood disorder: Medicines, toxins, illegal drugs, and alcohol can all cause symptoms of depression.
  • Mood disorders related to significant events: Many significant life events can cause depression, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), divorce, getting fired from your job, and witnessing tragic events.

What Causes Mood Swings in Men?

Age seems to be one of the significant causes of depression and other mood disorders in middle-aged and older men. Multiple factors can cause mood disorders; however, they are often the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain or a reduction in hormones in the body. Significant life events can be a powerful trigger of depression along with disorders such as bipolar disorder, which can also be hereditary. In studies [4], it is shown that testosterone levels in men suffering from bipolar are often significantly reduced, strongly suggesting that normalizing testosterone levels in men should be considered by way of treatment.

Many severe mood disorders are not directly caused by hormone deficiency. But there are many symptoms and triggers of mood disorders that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can relieve because they are so similar.

Symptoms common to low testosterone and mood disorder include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Loss of Libido
  • Decreased energy
  • Weight gain and appetite changes
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Brain fog and reduced ability to make decisions
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of interest in normal daily activities
  • Relationship problems
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling inadequate or worthless
  • Feeling guilty for being the way you are
  • Irritability, hostility, aggression

Thyroid and Mood Disorders

When your thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone, or if you have thyroid resistance, you can experience symptoms of mood disorders such as depression. Although an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and mood disorders are separate conditions, treating low thyroid can improve feelings of wellbeing. In fact, thyroid medication and BHRT can be more effective than antidepressants.

For many people, doctors often don’t connect thyroid, mood disorder, and depression. Low thyroid can cause symptoms similar to depression and low testosterone, so finding a doctor that knows what signs to look for is crucial.

Symptoms common with low thyroid and low testosterone:

  • Fatigue
  • Slower heart rate
  • Sluggishness
  • Decreased motivation
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood swings
  • Short temper
  • Overwhelming feelings of stress
  • Concentration problems, brain fog
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Joint or muscle pain as well as cramps
  • Tingling in your hands and fingers
  • Vague aches and pains
  • Modest weight gain

Have any questions? Schedule a free consult with one of our hormone specialists.