Low Testosterone and Anxiety: Does Low T Trigger Anxiety in Men?

UltraPharmRX Medical Team

UltraPharmRX Medical Team

Before we examine the effect of low testosterone on anxiety and mental health, first, we need to unpack the basics of anxiety and depression.

Depression and anxiety rank among the most prevalent mental health conditions in the world.

And while it’s perfectly normal to feel the occasional tinge of anxiety in a high-stress situation, persistent anxiety or obsessive fear that may worsen their quality of life may be indicative of an underlying anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders come in a variety of types: there’s social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, among others.

Symptoms of anxiety may differ depending on the type of disorder, but physical and psychological symptoms tend to be common, and may include the following: 


  • Obsessive worry
  • Sleep disorders like insomnia
  • Sweating and heart palpitations/irregular heartbeat
  • Nightmares


Often, individuals with anxiety may experience depression. Likewise, individuals with depression may experience anxiety. Both mental health conditions are serious mood disorders that can affect your daily routine, quality of life, and how you feel, think, and behave.

Symptoms of depression go far beyond just feeling “blue.” Instead, depression often feels like a persistent feeling of sadness that may last from weeks to years.

Depression can cause a lack of interest in engaging in activities, low sex drive, difficulty focusing, restlessness, irritability, and obsessive thoughts of death or suicidal ideation.

The root causes of anxiety and depression are not entirely clear as yet. However, recent research appears to indicate that environmental and genetic factors can play roles in both mental health conditions, as do traumatic events, medical conditions, and family histories.

That said, is low testosterone among those causes? Let’s find out.


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The Effects of Low Testosterone on the Body

Testosterone plays an integral role in regulating and driving many important bodily functions. This includes regulating your sex drive, cognition, and mental wellness. Testosterone is an androgen, or a hormone responsible for the development of male characteristics during adolescence and puberty. Women also produce and need testosterone, but at significantly lower levels than men.

Testosterone levels are different for every person, and they oscillate between factors like health, age, and lifestyle factors, among others. Normal testosterone levels in men range from 300 ng/dL from the lower end of the normal spectrum to 1000 ng/d: on the higher end of the spectrum.

Testosterone levels that fall below the lower end of the normal spectrum will lead to a diagnosis of  low testosterone (also called hypogonadism). Low testosterone may arise from a number of causes such as:


  • Aging
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Diminished thyroid function
  • Taking certain medicines (e.g. drugs for chemotherapy)
  • Recreational drug use/alcohol abuse
  • Underlying medical conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, and kidney failure, among others


On the other hand, low testosterone can cause a diverse array of symptoms such as:


  • Diminished libido/disinterest in sex
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Reduced bone density
  • Loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Higher body fat
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Depression and anxiety


Low testosterone levels are also linked to depressive symptoms like tiredness, malaise, hopelessness, and suicidal ideation.


Testosterone and Mental Health: Is There a Link?

While the link between testosterone and mental health isn’t conclusive, theories have been postulated as to how low T can cause depression.

For instance, testosterone may promote the production of more serotonin, a brain chemical acting as a neurotransmitter associated with happiness and a more positive mood. Low testosterone may cause serotonin levels to drop, leading to depression.

However, there are slight differences between depression and low T. Symptoms of low testosterone, for instance, include diminished muscle and bone mass, strength, and enhanced levels of body fat.

On the other hand, depression causes physical symptoms like sleep disorders, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues, among others.

Another mental health factor that can affect T levels and cause anxiety is stress.

When your stress levels are high, so do your levels of cortisol rise. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, which inhibits testosterone production. This interaction between low T and cortisol creates a vicious cycle that may have you spiral even further down the depths of anxiety.

And if that’s not enough, low T can also cause erectile dysfunction (ED), among a host of other sexual dysfunctions. ED is the inability to produce or maintain an erection stiff enough to enjoy vigorous sexual activity.

If you’re dealing with ED, or other sexual dysfunctions such as a low libido or disinterest in sex, it could also exacerbate symptoms of depression and anxiety over time.

That said – does low T cause anxiety and other mood disorders like depression? 

The answer is it could.

However, since low T and mood disorders manifest similar symptoms, it’s best to talk to a licensed medical provider to determine the latter’s causes before going on a treatment regimen.


How to Get Treatment for Low Testosterone & Anxiety

The good news is that there are plenty of treatment options for low T and mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

For instance, if low testosterone is causing your anxiety or depression symptoms, increasing your T levels may reduce your symptoms. If you’ve been diagnosed with low testosterone, ask your doctor about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) options.

TRT involves taking testosterone injections, pills, implants, or topical pills, creams, and subdermal patches. Testosterone therapy may help increase your libido, sexual function, and give your mood a boost. 

Implementing lifestyle changes may help boost your T levels.  For instance, improved sleep hygiene, a balanced diet, and taking zinc, vitamin D, and magnesium supplements may all help promote higher testosterone levels. 


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The same lifestyle changes can also do wonders in regulating your moods. Another treatment route you can take is psychotherapy and going on certain medicines. 

For instance, psychotherapy can help you talk your symptoms through with a licensed professional, identifying mental thought patterns and behaviors that cause your mood – and therefore your health – to go on a downswing. The same can be said for cognitive behavioral therapy.

Depending on your needs, however, you may be prescribed antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to manage your symptoms.

Talk to a licensed psychiatrist to determine the best course of action based on your own unique circumstances. 


The Final Word on Low Testosterone & Anxiety

Low testosterone can cause anxiety or depression – or worse, both. 

If you find yourself losing interest in activities you typically enjoy doing, feel more fatigued and more irritable than usual, you might be experiencing depression and/or anxiety.

And if you have symptoms of anxiety or depression paired with erectile dysfunction, baldness, low fertility, or brittle bones and weakened muscles, you might want to get yourself checked for low testosterone .

The good thing is that anxiety/depression and low testosterone are perfectly treatable. Ask your healthcare provider today about which condition you might be experiencing, and determine the best course of treatment for your unique situation.

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Receive Expert Quality Care
from your phone or computer,
with UltraPharmRX

  • 100% U.S. Licensed Medical Provider
  • U.S. Licensed Pharmacy
  • Discreet Shipping
  • Monthly Refills
  • No Waiting Rooms, No Appointments
  • Text Messaging Based Consultation *