In important news for male sufferers of depression, a recent study has shown evidence of a link between low testosterone and cases of the illness.
Dr Michael Irwig told the Endocrine Society in July 2015, that researchers at George Washington University had sampled 200 men with low testosterone levels and found that over half showed signs of depression.
56% of the guys aged between 20 and 77 displayed clear depressive symptoms, had a diagnosis of depression, or were on some form of anti-depressant. This is a much higher rate than in the general public.
In the same group, researchers found many examples of situations or behaviours that are known to negatively impact healthy testosterone production. including that:
- 39% were overweight
- 43% could be classed as obese
- 51% admitted they did little or no exercise
A possible link was also supported by the fact that many of the men described symptoms common to both low T and depression. For example:
- 89% reported erectile dysfunction
- 69% had low libido
- 52% struggled with low energy
- 42% had problems sleeping
Dr Irwig said, “In an era where more and more men are being tested for ‘”Low T’ – or lower levels of testosterone – there is very little data about the men who have borderline low testosterone levels. We felt it important to explore the mental health of this population”
Stats actually suggest that men are less likely to suffer depression than women. The rate is about 1 in 10 for guys, compared to 1 in 4 for girls in both the USA and Europe. Many believe this is because male biology – higher T and all – is better able to guard against depression.
That’s not much help to the millions of men who already struggle though. So if low T is the chink in some guys’ armour which this study suggests, we should all take steps to raise our levels in a safe and natural way.
No one’s saying that testosterone alone is a cure for depression. But hopefully this news and any follow up research will give new hope to men who battle an incredibly debilitating disease.