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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Depression and Low Testosterone

May 31, 2024 08:42AM ● By Deborah Matthew

Mental health issues significantly affect 4 to 5 million men in the U.S. and distinguishing between depression and other medical conditions like low testosterone, which can impact mood and energy levels, is crucial because it can lead to potential misdiagnoses and incorrect treatments.

Some men that maintain a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise notice a significant drop in motivation, energy and libido that are not age-related declines. Further medical investigation may reveal low testosterone levels, which once addressed, remarkably improve mood, energy and overall vitality.

Low testosterone is particularly prevalent in later life, but increasingly in younger demographics. Symptoms include reduced sexual drive, decreased assertiveness and mood fluctuations—the “grumpy old man” syndrome.

Testosterone is crucial for various bodily functions, including energy regulation, sleep, muscle strength, memory and focus. Factors contributing to low testosterone levels include stress, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, certain medications and environmental toxins. 

Men experiencing symptoms commonly associated with depression such as flat mood, poor sleep and lack of motivation should consider discussing the possibility of low testosterone with their doctor. A simple blood test can confirm testosterone levels, leading to appropriate treatment options and significantly improving quality of life. This is especially important to consider before starting any antidepressant medications, as they will not address the underlying issue if low testosterone is the cause.

Deborah Matthew, the author of Why Can’t I Keep Up Anymore? A Guide to Regaining Energy, Focus and Peak Physical & Sexual Health for Men over 40, is a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Medicine, the American Board Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, and past president of the North Carolina Integrative Medicine Society. For more information, call 704-752-9346 or visit

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