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The Testosterone and Anxiety Relationship

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You’ll probably be well aware of the physical benefits of testosterone – more muscle mass, greater strength and higher all-round athleticism. When your hormones are on-point you look great and you feel great too.

But what about the psychological effects of testosterone? 

Is there a link between hormone levels and mental health?

In this article we take a look at the relationship between testosterone levels and anxiety.

Is there a link between the two? We find out.

  • What is anxiety?
  • What causes it?
  • The testosterone and anxiety relationship

What is Anxiety?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an illness where you suffer from feelings of worry, fear or unease.

Everyone worries about things from time to time. But these worries quickly pass and you get on with your life.

Sufferers of anxiety however often see the world at its worst, worrying about things that haven’t and possibly won’t ever happen. It is both a debilitating and incapacitating illness. 

Anxiety is a common disorder, affecting as many as 18% of adults in the US according to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) [1].

It is often associated with poor concentration, sleep quality and difficulty completing day-to-day tasks. You feel tense, fearful or depressed for what seems like no reason. You may experience panic attacks at any moment – and that in itself can lead to a perpetual cycle of worry.

Symptoms vary from person to person but typically involve:

  • Chest pains and palpitations
  • Shortness of breath or feelings of being smothered
  • Nausea or stomach discomfort
  • Sweating

What Causes Anxiety?

As a disorder, anxiety is multi-factorial.

This means that it can be caused by genetics, brain biochemistry, life experiences and individual personality traits. Or a mixture of all of them.

GAD is thought to be dysfunction of the nervous system, in particular your somatic nervous system. People with anxiety often show heightened activity in a specific part of the brain called the amygdala – a region of the brain that controls emotions, survival instinct and memory.

Although scientists aren’t certain, many think that because the amygdala is firing on all cylinders in GAD sufferers, it is perceiving there to be a threat when there isn’t [2].

The result? 

Feelings of anxiety.

Young man suffering from anxiety sat looking out of a window

Key Point: Anxiety is a disorder characterized by feelings of panic, worry and irrational fear. Although the causes are numerous, it is caused by fluctuations in nervous system activity.

Are Testosterone Levels Linked to Anxiety?

Testosterone is well known as the primary male sex hormone. And having testosterone levels that fall into the normal, healthy category means your body functions efficiently.

You’ll burst with energy, find it easier to add slabs of muscle when you lift weights and your cardio endurance is at the top of its game.

And testosterone has long been thought to have an impact on your mental health too, because your hormones also help to regulate your mood, emotional state and motivation too.

But as you age your T levels begin to drop – by around 1% each year after the age of 30. By 40-50 years old you’ll begin to go through what’s called the andropause – androgen deficiency caused by the progressive decrease in circulating sex hormones.

Low testosterone might be related to anxiety

Clinically low testosterone – or hypogonadism – occurs as your T levels drop below the 300 ng.dL threshold.

And when T drops you find that a number of side effects occur. These include:

  • An increase in belly fat and a loss of muscle
  • Decreased libido and sexual appetite
  • Erectile dysfunction and infertility
  • Reduced bone mass
  • Thinning hair
  • Poor sleep, low mood and loss of energy

A study published in Pharmacotherapy [3]  found that andropausal men who suffered with low testosterone were much more likely to suffer from mental health issues as well. These included memory loss, reduced cognitive function, irritability and anxiety. 

The study also suggested that these symptoms could be reversed as T levels increased to normal threshold.

These results were echoed in a study of men over 50 years old [4]. The article – published through the French version of the Annals of Endocrinology – also reported that men with low T were more likely to report feelings of anxiety.

Could anxiety just be a result of ageing, not low T?

That’s definitely a reasonable argument, and some researchers have even suggested that that could be the case.

But even in younger men, low testosterone has been seen to result in feelings of anxiety.

One study measured T levels in young boys in order to see any relationship between sex hormone levels and anxiety [5].

The team found that for boys as young as 13 years old, lower levels of testosterone and testosterone levels that decreased more slowly across the day were related to higher levels of anxiety-depression and attention problems.

This often resulted in mood swings and behaviour problems too.

It’s the same for both men and women

A large cohort study conducted in the Netherlands was concerned that some medications for depression were associated with sexual side effects [6]. They wanted to therefore see if salivary testosterone was related to generalized anxiety in either men or women.

They recruited over 700 men and 1,300 women for the study, each with a history of depression and anxiety, but at varying severity.

Testosterone levels were lower in smokers, those on oral contraception, and those who had been diagnosed with either depressive disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia or generalized anxiety.

Athletic young runner wearing a heart rate monitor smiling on the beach

Key Point: Low testosterone levels are associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety and other similar mental health disorders.


Anxiety is a debilitating illness characterized by fear, worry and feelings of unease.

Although the causes could be multi-factorial, research shows that low testosterone is closely related to generalized anxiety.

It is important to do all you can to manage your testosterone levels in order to improve mental health status and lead a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.


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  • Greater strength and muscle mass
  • Improved stamina and endurance
  • Higher libido and more energy
  • Enhanced mood and motivation

As an anabolic support complex, TestoFuel contains ingredients found to elevate T levels in the most robust studies – D-aspartic acid, oyster extract and vitamin D3. 

Boost your productivity, energy and mood and find the missing link with TestoFuel – the top rated testosterone booster on the market.

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  1. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
  2. Keeton, CP et al. Pediatric generalized anxiety disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis, and management. Paediatr Drugs. 2009. 11(3): 171-83
  3. Lund, BC et al. Testosterone and Andropause: The Feasibility of Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Elderly Men. Pharmacotherapy. 1999; 19(8): 951-956
  4. Delhez, M et al. Testosterone and depression in men aged over 50 years. Andropause and psychopathology: minimal systemic work-up. Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2003; 64(2): 162-9
  5. Granger, DA et al. Salivary testosterone diurnal variation and psychopathology in adolescent males and females: individual differences and developmental effects. Dev Psychopathol. 2003; 15(2): 431-49
  6. Giltay, EJ et al. Salivary testosterone: Associations with depression, anxiety disorders, and antidepressant use in a large cohort study. J Psychosomatic Res. 2012; 72(3): 205-213