different emotions mood change

4 Ways Testosterone Can Influence Mood: A Closer Look

So, you're considering testosterone therapy, or maybe you're already on it, and you've got some concerns about how it might affect your emotions. We get it; the internet can be a maze of conflicting information. Let's shed some light on the impact of testosterone on your mood.

These are the questions we aim to answer:

  • Can testosterone lead to aggression?
  • Is anger a possible side effect of testosterone therapy?
  • Can testosterone therapy cause anxiety?

The short and simple answer is yes, testosterone can influence your mood, but the story is more nuanced than that. Let's dive into the details and variables that come into play. First, let's consider where your testosterone levels start from—the baseline matters. Most often, this question arises from individuals contemplating testosterone therapy, worried about the prospect of heightened aggression or irritability. After all, who wants to be perpetually angry?

Low Testosterone Levels and Their Effects on Mood

Here's the twist: When you're dwelling in the lower realms of testosterone levels, you might experience the very hormonal imbalances that lead to these mood issues. Low testosterone's usual culprits include:

  • Low libido
  • Diminished motivation and persistent fatigue
  • Erectile dysfunction

Now, let's connect the dots. Fatigue can easily transform into irritability and anger. When you lack the energy or drive to tackle tasks, minor inconveniences may start to feel overwhelming. You might become annoyed at your inability to accomplish things, or perhaps someone's insistence on pushing you to do something while you're drained only adds to your frustration. Instead of calmly expressing that you're tired, you might lash out in irritation.

So, if you're starting with low testosterone, the good news is that these symptoms can often improve with treatment, whether it's testosterone booster, topical applications, or injections. However, there's a catch. If you overshoot the mark and your testosterone levels soar too high, you could find yourself dealing with aggression, anger, and anxiety.

How Testosterone Can Trigger Negative Emotions

Shot of a young woman using her laptop while sitting at home smiling with a good mood
  • High testosterone levels
  • The primary reason testosterone can lead to aggression is when it reaches excessive levels. Surprisingly, this isn't exclusive to men; women undergoing testosterone therapy can also experience heightened aggression. This tendency is more common with hormone pellet therapy, which sometimes pushes testosterone levels to the extremes. While not a constant occurrence, it does happen.

  • Self-awareness
  • Understanding your own body is paramount. Starting testosterone therapy may make you feel fantastic, as if you're in the zone, and that's great. Your total testosterone levels might measure at a robust nine hundred or even a thousand. However, another individual with the same testosterone levels might feel a tad edgy or irritable. So, it's crucial to recognize and acknowledge your own emotional responses. If you begin to sense anxiety, irritability, or anger stemming from testosterone therapy, it doesn't necessarily mean you should discontinue it. Instead, consider adjusting the dosage to maintain the benefits while mitigating these negative side effects.

  • Estrogen's role
  • Anxiety and anger linked to testosterone therapy often trace back to estrogen levels. In males, elevated estrogen can indeed trigger irritability and anxiety, which might manifest as aggression, albeit less frequently. In females, low estrogen can mimic the effects of low testosterone in males, and excessive estrogen can lead to irritability and anxiety.

    Hence, it's crucial to monitor your estrogen levels during testosterone therapy, regardless of your gender. Ensure that they remain within the optimal range. If they veer out of bounds, you may not feel any better, even if your testosterone levels are comfortably within the upper range. Equally important is the timing of your estrogen level checks. If you apply testosterone cream daily or receive a pellet, waiting three months before checking levels may not provide a comprehensive picture. For injections, it's essential to monitor estrogen levels near their peak, so you can avoid these adverse symptoms.

  • Extreme testosterone levels
  • Lastly, consider the ramifications of extremely high testosterone levels, often associated with unsupervised anabolic steroid use. If you're using testosterone solely for muscle gain without medical supervision, you might be overdosing. This can undoubtedly result in heightened anger and aggression. Most testosterone used for bodybuilding is synthetic, with distinct effects on muscle growth and psyche.

    Testosterone cypionate, commonly used in medical settings, closely mimics natural testosterone. However, it can also produce more pronounced anabolic effects when administered in higher doses, leading to mood disturbances.

    In conclusion, while testosterone therapy can indeed affect your mood, understanding your baseline, self-awareness, estrogen levels, and the risks of extreme testosterone levels will help you navigate this journey while maintaining your emotional well-being.

    James Freeman


    Liam Marshall, the friendly fitness coach, has spent 14 years sharing his love for sports and fitness. With degrees in sports science, he crafts workouts that fit like your favorite jeans. Beyond the gym, he organizes sports clinics and tech-savvy fitness apps that motivate people worldwide. He's all about making fitness doable for everyone, and it's not just about bodies – it's boosting confidence. In 2019, he scored the "Virginia Fitness Coach of the Year" award. Outside the fitness world, he loves family time and hikes in Shenandoah National Park. Liam's journey from a small-town fitness fan to a big-time coach is all about passion, inspiring people to see fitness as a body-and-mind thing. Catch him on Instagram to stay in the loop!