Do you know the relationship between andropause and depression?

Written by: Dr. Ángel Cunill Castro
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The term "andropause" is not a male equivalent of menopause, used figuratively to refer to free testosterone deficiency (T) in adults.

We know that the main male hormone, testosterone (or androsterone) has antidepressant properties. Furthermore, it has recently been known that the positive effects of testosterone mediate a hippocampal region in which responds to stress.

Also, while the amount of testosterone is between 20 and 30 times lower than in men, women are twice as vulnerable to suffer from mood disorders such as depression.


Testosterone levels in men

depressed man After age 40, testosterone levels decrease by 1.6% per year (this figure varies from person to person). Overall, between 20 and 80 years of total testosterone values ​​decrease by 35%, while the values ​​of free testosterone they do by 50%.

In addition, with age, an increase of SHBG, ie of binding globulin sex hormones occurs. Where such an increase occurs, there is less circulating free testosterone.

Another factor to consider is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a metabolic product of testosterone that contributes to the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is the most abundant steroid hormone in the body. With age, DHT concentrations decrease, and 45 production is half of which has a 20 years.

All the changes in men as they age lead to a situation of decreasing bioavailable hormone, with consequences on a psychological level. Some symptoms are:

  • Dysphoric mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all usual activities.
  • Sadness or apathy.
  • Lack of initiative and irritability.
  • Decreased sexual motivation.
  • Loss of energy and fatigue.
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt.
  • There may be weight loss and poor appetite or increased appetite with weight gain.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia.


According to experts in endocrinology , depending on the patient's personality and tolerance to stress, these symptoms can lead to a pathological sadness.

In general, the patient is reluctant to consult, and this will make your self look even more affected.

It is necessary to make a proper differential diagnosis since some drugs can have effects on libido and sexual performance.

What is clear is that the effects of male hormones are significant in the mood, affectivity, entrepreneurship, quality of sleep and mental processes in general patient.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Ángel Cunill Castro
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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