Testosterone has many vital roles to keep our body in full health, both mentally and physically. Many people are aware of the physical effects that low testosterone can have on the body but often, they aware of the impact that testosterone levels can have on mental health, usually when levels are low. The physical effects can put strains on relationships and further impact your mental health. Below, we look at the impacts of testosterone on the body and how this can influence your mental health and wellbeing in a negative way.
What is Testosterone?
For many, testosterone is known as the sex hormone, as predominately, it increases sperm and libido in males. The testosterone hormone is produced in the sexual glands of both males and females, with males producing testosterone in the testicles, whilst females produce the hormone in the ovaries. Men produce and require a lot more of this hormone than women do, but women can still have problems with too little or too much testosterone in the body. Polycystic ovaries are a common problem in women in which too much testosterone is produced.
Sexual health is one of the biggest factors in testosterone levels and when they become low, you may notice that you struggle with getting or maintaining an erection and both sexes can notice a decline in their sexual libido. Testosterone is known for regulating more than just your sexual health. It is also important in hair growth, muscle mass, and metabolism. The least talked about area in testosterone levels is mental health and the effects these physical changes can have on the brain, as well as how testosterone can affect the brain itself.
The Link Between Testosterone and Mental Health
The cells contained within the brain have testosterone receptors and they notice very quickly when your testosterone levels decrease. Low testosterone can cause or make worse anxiety symptoms, depression, stress, increase irritability and cause unprecedented mood swings. In men, this is known as the male menopause, often called andropause.
Whilst women may lose their female hormones more quickly when they reach a certain age, men usually notice a decline in their testosterone in a more gradual way. If your testosterone levels drop too fast, your mental health will be affected. This can occur at any age and fitness level and there are many reasons for a decrease in testosterone level, including genetic and environmental factors.
Anxiety and Depression
Those who suffer from depression may not respond to anti-depressant medications and this could be down to low testosterone levels. If you are suddenly feeling stressed and irritable for no given reason, it is best to speak to a doctor, as low testosterone levels may be to blame. Many men don’t link the two together, meaning they begin to become more stressed and anxious, pushing away loved ones and trying to conquer a battle they cannot win.
Testosterone is an important hormone in emotional regulation within the brain and many men with low levels have been found to be suffering with mild to severe depression. Some men also found their concentration levels and memory suffered when they had low testosterone levels, and when you look at how it can affect you physically, it is easy to see why. Depression can worsen the physical impacts of low testosterone levels, ultimately leading you to feel worse. Mental health can be affected by physical changes within the body and hormones play a massive part in anxiety and depression. Don’t be afraid to admit you have a problem, as the longer you allow it to fester, the worse it can get.
Testosterone when at healthy levels within the body can improve the breakdown of fats and limit the amount of fat we uptake during eating. It also improves our muscle mass and can help with muscle training and endurance, making it a prime candidate in gym-goers and bodybuilders. If you have low levels, you are going to see the opposite of this, which will also affect your mental health.
If you are suddenly gaining weight more easily, it can affect your body confidence and make you feel anxious or stressed, especially if you have been working on losing weight and bettering your health. Weight gain can cause people to become shy in the bedroom and can decrease sexual drive further. Whilst we are all taught to be happy in the skin we are in, sudden unexplained weight gain can be frustrating and can decrease mental wellbeing.
Sexual health is very important, especially in younger people who are in relationships and are looking to settle down. The physical effects of low testosterone include no interest in sex or the loss of erectile function. For many, this can put a huge strain on their sex lives and may even result in the loss of a partner. If this happens to you, the sooner you speak to a doctor and get help, the sooner your sexual health can get back to normal.
Sexual health can be an embarrassing thing to talk about and many men don’t want to admit they have a problem when it comes to the bedroom. This is a poor attitude, as it will only have detrimental effects on your own mental health. An inability to perform in the bedroom could lead to performance anxiety, meaning you stay away from finding sexual partners, which will inevitably lead to sadness and loneliness, especially if you want to start a family.
Being open and honest from the start with sexual partners will reassure them that they are not the issue and you are dealing with the situation. Unfortunately, if you don’t have an answer to why you are struggling in the bedroom, your partner may become frustrated that you won’t get help or may begin to believe the problem is them. Speaking honestly with your partner about any issues in the bedroom will lead to a healthier relationship. Erectile dysfunction is more common than you think, so don’t be embarrassed by it. Instead, seek help to improve your mental health and anxiety about performing in the bedroom.
Low testosterone levels can limit the amount of time you are able to sleep, as well as how well you sleep. You may find that you constantly wake throughout the night when you have low testosterone in the body or develop insomnia. Sleep is an important factor in both physical and mental health, and so it goes without saying that poor sleep patterns will lead to a decrease in mental wellbeing.
If you find that you are suddenly unable to sleep or are constantly feeling fatigued throughout the day, speak to your doctor as low testosterone levels may be the reason for this. Disrupted sleep makes it harder to concentrate at work and makes you more irritable, leading to stress between loved ones and co-workers. Poor sleep has also been linked to heart problems, obesity, and sexual issues.
Managing Symptoms and Getting Help
If you or a loved one is suffering from any of the above, getting seen by a doctor will limit the negative impact that low testosterone levels have on mental health. There are several things you can do to begin to make positive changes:
- Speak to a doctor – firstly, you need to discover if the reason for a decline in physical and mental health is down to low testosterone levels. If they are, you will be prescribed a form of testosterone therapy to begin to increase levels naturally.
- Being more active – the more physically active you are, the more testosterone you will produce and the more positive you will feel about your body.
- Erectile dysfunction medication – if what is occurring in the bedroom is leading you to feel down, speak to your doctor about medication that can help in the meantime.
- Sleeping – if you are having trouble sleeping, try natural sleeping aids or over the counter medications to help.
Using Natural Supplements
You may have heard of testosterone supplements on the market that are meant to quickly increase your levels. It is advised you only take supplements that are being sold by a valid site and are legal in your country. Testogen only sells natural products that can improve testosterone levels without the poor side effects, when taken appropriately and following guidelines. Natural supplements can help you get your mental health back on track and this article states that it can increase testosterone production. Despite the rumors, having more sex does not change your testosterone levels.
Testosterone levels can impact your mental health in more ways than you could have imagined. Not only does it disrupt your emotional regulation, but weight gain and poor sleep are also all linked to poor mental wellbeing and can increase the chances of suffering from anxiety and depression. The sooner you notice an issue and the sooner you seek help, the quicker your mental wellbeing will increase. Don’t suffer in silence if you are feeling the damaging mental health effects of low testosterone, speak to a doctor today.