Every year, it is estimated that over 5.25 million Americans will suffer from depression. It’s a condition that, in recent years, has been receiving more and more attention. But the treatment of depression isn’t always the same for everyone since it isn’t simply a mental illness. If you’re grappling with depression, you might think that your options are either to begin therapy or start taking antidepressants. But what if we told you that the solution to handling this mood disorder had more to do with testosterone deficiency treatment?

Inevitably, you can expect your hormone levels to decline to a degree while you’re aging. Both men and women have the hormone testosterone in their bodies, but men have it in higher concentrations. For men, their 20’s are the point in which testosterone levels are usually at their peak. Once men are in their 40’s, those hormone levels begin to drop.

When many people think of low testosterone, they often think of symptoms such as a reduction in strength and bone mass, along with weight gain. But there are a few other symptoms of low testosterone that are also shared with depression. They are:

  • Reduced or non-existent sex drive
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems with memory
  • Problems with sleep, such as insomnia

Remember that hormone levels, and the balance of different hormones between each other are unique to individuals. However, a recent study performed found that half of men surveyed that had borderline low testosterone levels also struggled with depression. By choosing to become involved with hormone therapy, along with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, depression can be effectively treated and reduce the risks of other issues brought about by low testosterone.

Hormone replacement therapy works by restoring your testosterone to previously higher levels. That’s accomplished with bioidentical hormones, which are exact duplicates of the naturally occurring hormones produced by your body. They can be applied through injections, patches worn on the skin, and a topical gel that is absorbed through the pores of your skin. Your doctor can work with you to determine which delivery method is ideal for your health, lifestyle, and insurance coverage.

Once you have started treatment and the physical needs of treatment are being met, sometimes psychological needs must be addressed as well. Since many people are affected by low levels of testosterone differently, there are numerous treatment methods, Many people practice meditation and breathing exercises, which can be useful for resolving issues with anxiety and insomnia. By focusing your breathing, you can become more relaxed and remove negative thoughts from your mind. Journaling can be a useful way to not only organize what you’re thinking and feeling, but it can also be therapeutic to simply get your thoughts down on paper. Others find it very helpful to visit a therapist and engage in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Ultimately, there is no single or correct way to handle depression. A good place to start is to talk with your personal physician regarding treatments. A simple blood test can determine what your hormone levels are, and point you in the right direction.