Can Testosterone Treat Depression?

Jennifer Standing
3 min readMar 3, 2021

Depression is really just your body’s way of screaming something is wrong.

If you have ever dealt with depression, then you know what a struggle it can be to get out of it. Just having one good day is an incredible milestone. When you’re so desperate to feel good (or feel anything) options you may not have considered before become tantalizing. When I heard recently of instances where testosterone has been used to successfully treat depression, my ears perked up.

There are different types of depression. There are many different reasons why someone might be depressed. There may not even be a reason, at least not an obvious one. But I like to think of it like this:

Depression is really just your body’s way of screaming SOMETHING IS WRONG.

What if, for some people, that ‘thing’ happens to be low testosterone?

When you really delve into how large a role hormone balances play in our overall health, it stands to reason that low testosterone could lead to this result. In fact, one of the main symptoms of of low testosterone is depressed mood, and some other symptoms that could look like, well, depression including:

  • changes in sexual desire
  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • weight gain

In my search for further anecdotal evidence, I came across this article by Jon Nelson in which he talks about his journey with depression, and how he began taking testosterone illegally to treat it.

While you could judge his actions on the basis of their morality, there is no arguing the outcome: it worked for him.

Anecdotal evidence aside, what does science say? One study on middle aged men with similar depression and testosterone levels showed that between a control and treatment group (the group receiving testosterone), the treatment group showed significant improvement in their depressive symptoms.

There is also a meta-analysis that was dedicated to compiling evidence from controlled clinical trials in order to analyze the…

Jennifer Standing

Writer, Blogger, Dog Mom. BA Psych, Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Real talk about Mental Health and Holistic Wellness.