In men, the use of testosterone to treat depression is debated. A new analysis is favorable.
For years, the use of testosterone to treat depression in men is debated. To try to see more clearly, researchers have decided to compile the results of studies on the subject, which are sometimes contradictory.
A "moderate antidepressant effect"
Bottom line: they concluded that testosterone had a "moderate antidepressant" effect compared to placebo, and that this beneficial effect was more pronounced when doses were higher. The least depressed men benefited the most from this treatment. There was no relationship between the benefits of treatment and the initial testosterone level. Nor did the analysis show any difference between younger and older men; all age groups had a similar level of response to treatment.
As a neuroactive steroid, testosterone can influence mood in men, hence its antidepressant potential. "Testosterone treatment appears to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms in men, particularly when higher dosage regimens have been applied in carefully selected samples," the researchers conclude.
27 randomized clinical trials were included in the analysis, bringing to a total of 1,890 participants. The researchers aimed to "examine the combination of testosterone treatment with the relief of depressive symptoms in men and to clarify the moderating effects of age, duration of treatment and dosage".
If we look for alternative treatments to those already existing, it is because many people are insensitive to the current antidepressants, or feel only the undesirable effects. Currently, testosterone is not prescribed to treat depressions.
Three out of four suicides are committed by men
Depression is the most common psychiatric illness and affects all ages. In France, it is estimated that almost one in five people have suffered or will suffer from depression during their lifetime. The prevalence of depression in France has increased by 1.8 points between 2010 and 2017, according to a recent report from Public Health France, especially among women (+3 points), 35-44 years (+4 points) , unemployed (+5 points) and low-income people (+3 points). In Europe, depression severely affects the male sex. Three in four suicides are committed by men, which leads to a disappearance every minute.
9 criteria from the DSM-5
Feeling sad, tired and lacking motivation can be part of a negative emotional state in a given context. Whether due to overwork at work, the loss of a loved one, separation or fatigue that accumulates, the symptoms of depression are not part of a psychiatric illness. properly speaking.
To make a difference, it is important to use the 9 criteria from the DSM-5 (5thedition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association), namely, permanent sadness; anhedonia (loss of sensation of pleasure); sleep disorders such as insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleep); weight gain or loss a psychomotor slowing down; tiredness ; a feeling of worthlessness and black thoughts or suicidal ideation. Having all these symptoms for more than 2 weeks is not trivial and requires the advice of a psychiatrist or doctor.