T Nation

Could TRT Help Fight My Depression?


#1

Hello, I'm 19 years old and since my puberty I'm depressed for no particular reason.. I'm depressed right now even though I do all kinds of positive things and I try to enjoy life. I still feel joy in activities, but I always feel some kind of emtyness deep inside and I'm also super insecure even though nobody ever sees that in me.

I really feel like there is a hormonal problem especially because my symtoms seem like an atypical depression (wich is often caused by a hormonal problem). I had a blood test to see how high my testosterone level is and it came back twice at about 480 ng/dL wich is in the normal range, but I'm still kind of worried about it because everywhere online I read that it's about the same level as an average 70 year old man.

I also hear bad things about anti-depressants and I'm afraid it might even lower my testosterone levels more. I do have some other symtoms that could be linked to low testosterone. My body and facial hair is super thin and I have kind of a klinefelter like body (6'3" skinny arms and thin wrists, round hips) it's like my upper body is smaller than my lower body or something. I also feel like I'm intelligent but super slow thinking, like my mind isn't clear. I also have trouble peeing and especially when I'm often "leaking" a lot after peeing.

I also don't really get results in the gym and most of the time I just muscle pains.. I'm also having lower back pain every morning and even though I didn't workout this summer my back was still hurting like hell every morning. Could it be that low testosterone is causing these problems?


19, All the Symptoms of Low T
#2

[quote]John_Lennon wrote:
Hello, I’m 19 years old and since my puberty I’m depressed for no particular reason… I’m depressed right now even though I do all kinds of positive things and I try to enjoy life. I still feel joy in activities, but I always feel some kind of emtyness deep inside and I’m also super insecure even though nobody ever sees that in me.

I really feel like there is a hormonal problem especially because my symtoms seem like an atypical depression (wich is often caused by a hormonal problem). I had a blood test to see how high my testosterone level is and it came back twice at about 480 ng/dL wich is in the normal range, but I’m still kind of worried about it because everywhere online I read that it’s about the same level as an average 70 year old man.

I also hear bad things about anti-depressants and I’m afraid it might even lower my testosterone levels more. I do have some other symtoms that could be linked to low testosterone. My body and facial hair is super thin and I have kind of a klinefelter like body (6’3" skinny arms and thin wrists, round hips) it’s like my upper body is smaller than my lower body or something. I also feel like I’m intelligent but super slow thinking, like my mind isn’t clear. I also have trouble peeing and especially when I’m often “leaking” a lot after peeing.

I also don’t really get results in the gym and most of the time I just muscle pains… I’m also having lower back pain every morning and even though I didn’t workout this summer my back was still hurting like hell every morning. Could it be that low testosterone is causing these problems?[/quote]

At your age you should be twice that test level. Your symptoms sure sound familiar. I also felt the emptiness/alone depression feeling and mental fog adwell as no libido. I feel much better when injecting 100mg per week of test. This spring and summer my doc had suggested i decrease the dose and added clomid to see if my nuts would kick in but my free test remained off the chart. At first i felt okay but the last month was killing me. Finally told doc i had enough and went back to my usual dose and i felt better pretty quick.


#3

That T level you have is not typically the level of a 70 year old . In fact although it is not high end of normal it is a normal level for men . Men have all different levels some higher then others . TRT would not be prescribed to you . However , you could benifit from antidepressants . You need to see a doctor and start trying some meds for your depression . Don’t worry about side effects from meds - they generally are mild and go away .

I have been on antidepressants for 25 years and they have been a lifesaver to me . To answer your question on low T causing depression - it absolutely can - I had this happen , even while on my anti D meds . What happened to me was I took DHEA in high doses for about a year and then abruptly stopped it . I slipped into a depressive mode about 2 weeks after stopping DHEA . I suspected a hormone problem so I got bloodwork .

My T level was 90 ( 300-1200 normal ) . The DHEA shut down my testicals . I started the DHEA back and felt better within several days . I proceeded to taper off my DHEA over a few months . What you have is not low T though .


#4

At your level of T almost 500 it is very unlikely that your depression is caused by low T. One study I read recently found an average T of about 550 ng/dL for young healthy men in their early 20s, so you are close to average (also keep in mind that T varies from hour to hour and from day to day and the blood tests have an inaccuracy of ±50 points anyway). Don’t get seduced by the bro-science idea that you have the T of a 70 year old. TRT is more likely to do you harm than good at your age.

Low T can cause depression but that is when people are under 300 ng/dL. You are far above that level.

You should worry about SSRI and SNRI antidepressants because they cause sexual dysfunction in up to 60-70% of patients (number depends somewhat on the study but it is high high high). Sometimes these problems can persist long term or be permanent. Theya re especially toxic in young developing brains like yours - so many young people are left with long term preblems of all kinds due to these drugs regret the day they ever started SSRIs/SNRIs. They can cause low testosterone as well as other problems such as blood lipid deterioration and cardiovascular issues. They also don’t even work better than placebo for people with mild depression like yours anyway. There are some other antidepressants that don’t cause so many sexual side effects, so you should do your homework before taking anything.

It is true that melancholic depression is associated with abnormal hormones, but not abnormal testosterone - rather cortisol and other adrenal hormones. I don’t think atypical depression is associated with hormonal abnormalities - at least none have been found to date.

For what it is worth, an anecdotal account: I got on TRT with TT in the high 400s like yours as well, hoping that it would help with depression. It didn’t help with depression at all, and now I am sitting with the problem of whether to get off TRT, which is not an easy thing to do.


#5

Go see a psychiatrist and have them review your symptoms - they are medical drs and know about hormones and can steer you in right direction . SSRI type meds are well studied and very safe for adults ( which you are ) and commonly used successfully in children . I can speak on my behalf - they never effected my sexual function . Depression is a real illness and you should not dismiss your feelings .


#6

Well, SSRIs come with an appreciable suicide risk in young adults, so I would not call them “very” safe, and one counterexample does not mean the risk of sexual dysfunction is not real. After all, if 3-4 people out of 10 do not have appreciable dysfunction, that does not help the other 6-7 who do. And we haven’t even started on their effects on lipids, hormones, and cardiovascular health, all of which are silent side effects that don’t get reported.

Having said this, there are other antidepressants that are both safer in this department and more effective than SSRIs, just not marketed as aggressively. So by all means try something, but do your homework first and speak up and make your preferences known to your doctor.


#7

Depression has the inherent risk of suicide . It needs to be taken serious and treated . Yes SSRI are linked to suicide but it seems hard to tell which of the two variable caused it . As for sexual problems - each person is effected differently so that is luck of draw . Good luck on your treatment and remember that it is the strong smart person who seeks to this illness and overcome social prejudice of mental health treatment .


#8

I know this is an older thread, but if you are having back pain every morning as a 19 year old, that is not normal at all. I originally came onto this message board with somewhat similar issues at age 21. Turns out I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. You might want to consider seeing a rheumatologist, and make sure they test you for Ankylosing Spondylitis. The constant inflammation can cause brain changes that manifest as depression.

Good luck!