Androgens have various effects on human body and mood. Testosterone, a hormone mainly secreted from testes and adrenals, is one of the most potent androgens. Multiple studies have found that testosterone plays a role in regulating sexual activity, libido, social behaviors, aggression, cognitive functions, sleep control and well-being in men and women. Testosterone deficiency in hypogonadic or elderly men leads to neuropsychiatric problems, such as fatigue, loss of libido, irritability, insomnia and depressive mood. Testosterone replacement therapy consistently reverses these sequel in men. On the other hand, hyperandrogenic states in women are related to aggression and antisocial behavior, which might lead to depressive mood. Low testosterone levels may also result in depression among oophorectomized women. Because of such effects, a relationship between testosterone and depression has long been an issue of speculation, but yet very few studies have addressed this relation. Along with clinical studies, experimental and epidemiological studies show that testosterone is related to depression in men and women. But studies of testosterone concentrations in depression have yielded inconsistent results reporting low as well as high testosterone levels associated with depression. In this article, the physiological and psychological effects of testosterone and evidence regarding its relationship to depressive disorders and possible gender differences have been reviewed.
Testosterone, Depression, Androgen, Gender