Depression In Men
Many of you know my story: I was low testosterone (almost for sure) since puberty and struggled with dysthmia (mild depression) until age 52 when
I got my first testosterone cypionate shot. Bam! I remember thinking, "Wow! I finally know what it feels like to be a normal person." Of course, not everyone
experiences that kind of effect from HRT, but it happens quite often as testosterone has a HUGE impact on us guys right between the ears. (You can read more about the subject in
my link on Testosterone and the Male Brain.)
More importantly, I have notice a big percentage of men on
The Peak Testosterone Forum are struggling with depression
but are getting no useful information - often quite the opposite - from
their front line doctors. (Not all physicains are like this, but many
are and so I think it is important to highlight this.) There
are a lot of reasons for that, which I will discuss below, but let's look at some of the comments straight off the the
forum that are just downright scary in my opinion:
"Been to all sorts of doctors and all kind of tests, no help from any of them...
and thing are bad. taking vitamins and ALC and hope my nerves get better
somehow. Stress and depression are killing me. So everyone be
gentle with yourself. It's one of the worst things that can happen to a man.
I feel like theres no point to live anymore, I cant concentrate on my work nor sleep. losing
my friends because I feel like I'm uncapable to communicate like I did before
the stupid accident. I'm screwed. I had perfect body and mind. Now there's
nothing left of me." 
"I've been fighting a periodic stress induced problem for about 7 years now
starting in 2005. I've had 4 "episodes" now. They always start in
high stress and last from 1 month to 6 months depending on how long it takes me
to get on top of the stress. I get depression, anxiety, and I have a very
specific form of insomnia where I wake up many times a night with bladder pain
like I need to urinate but little or nothing is actually voided. These episodes
are really hard on me, my family and my job." 
"I wanted to see if anyone had any ideas on how to get a more
agressive doctor to address my symptoms...I also told him of shortness of breath, elevated pulse rate, and borderline
hypertension... I also have depression/anxiety/chronic fatigue.
I don't know if I should go to a immunologist, neurologist, endo, or
that guy from "House" (the old tv show)?" 
"The first endocrinologist didn't offer any help because my testosterone was in
the "normal" range and because I "look like an athlete" (I was +20% bodyfat and
bloated). He told me to "be confident" regarding my anxiety and depression/mood
STEP 8: Treat Your Depression - Hopefully Naturally
These are just a few quotes, but you get the idea. Obviously, these men are
struggling. Because I see this so often, I am including the subject of
depression as Step 10 in my "Peak Testosterone Program", which deals
with the typical symptoms that we see over and over again:
fatigue, anxiety, mental fog, low testosterone, erectile dysfunction and
so on. Yes, depression can cause all of these and so I want to cover some of
Ways to Overcome Depression that your doctor will probably never discuss with you:
CAUTION: Do not quit any medication without discussing it first with
your physician. Likewise, do not add any supplement without first
discsussing it with your doctor if you have an underlying medical condition or
any current medicaitons.
1. Testosterone. A few savvy practitioners out there are now screening
depressed men for low testosterone levels. Why? Because depression has been shown in numerous studies to be linked to low T and, furthermore, giving a man
HRT (testosterone therapy) can often improve his depression. I am living
proof of that one! To see some of the research, check out my link on
Testosterone and Depression. Again,
the reason that testosterone is so helpful in this area is that testosterone stimulates
many neurotransmitters, including dopamine, and is just good for male brain health as you can see in my link on
Testosterone and the Brain.
2. Nutrition, Supplements and Exercise. There are actually many nutrients that, when low, can create or worsen depression. Your brain
is a huge energy hog and requires massive amounts of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, etc. in order to run
effectively. It is too much to cover here, but I discus all of this in my link Natural Depression Cures.
Put these small things together and they can make a huge difference.
3. Meditation and PMR. There is a strong and underemphasized
cortisol/stress/anxiety component to depression. This aspect of depression
responds very well to stress management techniques. These take just a few
minutes out of the day and are also just good for general health. See my links on
Secular (Non-Religious) Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation and
Progressive Muscle Relaxation for
4. Thyroid. Hypothyroidism can cause or worsen depression. Unfortunately, most doctors do not do an extensive evaluation and so
I urge you to read this link on The Many Causes and Ways to Diagnose Hypothyroidism for some good starter
Of course, sometimes depression is severe and incapaciting enough that it
requires some kind of medical or psychological intervention. Don't put off
treatment if you need it: depression is very hard on the body.
elevates inflammation levels, cortisol, free radicals and is so hard on the
brain that it can damage the hippocampus and possibly other neurological regions
as well. It also may lead to hypgonadism in some cases and can lead to
difficulties in the bedroom as I document in my link on Depression and
Erectile Dysfunction. Obviously, that is only going to make a bad situation worse.
So, if you are struggling with depression, it's important to face it and defeat
it. Again, stop by
The Peak Testosterone Forum
if you have any questions or comments.