Depression & Testosterone

When Patrick gets depressed the first thing he does is start reading books - he loves it. It goes back to when he went to college. The first thing we do when patients get depressed, whether it be young guys like Patrick or women is put them on antidepressants. That may be the thing to do, but for men there may be another reason - something we haven't thought of - let me tell you about it.
A recent study from the Journal of Psychiatry took 22 men who take these types of medications who also had low testosterone levels. In these men none of these medications worked. They subdivided them and one half got testosterone patches - the other half didn't. Do you know what they found? After 8 weeks the group that had the testosterone in them improved regarding the depression but the placebo group did not.
What this tells us if you're a man and have depression the depression may be secondary to testosterone deficiency, and not just a mental problem. So when it comes to men & depression ask your doctor, what is my testosterone level? If it's low you may want to treat it with testosterone replacement before the antidepressant medications, because if you're a thinker like Patrick, it probably makes sense.
I'm Dr David Vastola and that's life.