4 Ways Testosterone Can Cause Anger, Anxiety, or Irritability
These symptoms can occur from testosterone therapy but they are also symptoms of testosterone deficiency too. Maybe you're thinking about going on testosterone therapy and you’re concerned about these things. Maybe you're already on testosterone therapy and think this might be happening, or you have a loved one or spouse that's taking testosterone and you’re just not sure. Sometimes internet research can be vague and give conflicting information so we are going to clarify the effect of testosterone on mood.
This question come up quite a bit so I thought I would post some additional information and perspectives on testosterone anger and aggression.
Whether you're already on testosterone or thinking about starting it, we want to answer the questions:
- can testosterone cause aggression
- can testosterone cause anger
- can testosterone cause anxiety
The quick and straight answer to that question is, it can. However the longer answer is, it really depends. We are going to get into some of those details and variables here. The first thing we probably want to look at in trying to address this question is; where your baseline testosterone is starting off at. As I said, I usually get this question from people that are thinking about doing testosterone therapy and they don't want to get increased aggression or anger. Who really wants to be angry and aggressive though?
Low Levels of Testosterone and Anger
The thing is when you're on the low end of the testosterone spectrum on levels, the low levels can actually also lead to these types hormonal imbalance symptoms. The main symptoms of low testosterone are:
- low libido
- low motivation and fatigue
- erectile dysfunction
There are other symptoms too but the point I wanted to make is that fatigue can lead to aggression, anger, and irritability. When you just don't have the motivation to do X, Y, or Z, many people tend to get irritated with lots of things. You might get irritated that you can't do it. Maybe you want to do it and or someone's pushing you to do something that at your too tired to do. Now your irritated or angry because you don't feel like doing it. Instead of saying, "I'm tired", you might lash out.
So if you're starting out with low testosterone likely those symptoms are actually gonna get better when you go on the treatment, whether it is a testosterone pellet, topical or injectable testosterone. However, if you overshoot the mark and your levels get high, you can also run into problems with aggression, anger, and anxiety in my experience.
How Testosterone Can Cause Anger
1. High levels
The main reason testosterone by itself can cause aggression occur when the levels are too high. High testosterone and aggression can happen in females on testosterone therapy too. This seems to happen a lot more commonly with pellet therapy because, they tend to push the levels way high. I do see this from time to time, not always but it does occur (click the link below for more details).
2. Knowing Your Body
Another thing to think about is knowing your body. You might start testosterone therapy and feel really good, like your work feels easier and you are "in the flow". Your levels of total testosterone might be at nine hundred or a thousand. Someone else at the same level of testosterone may feel a little bit on edge or irritable. So you have to look at and know the individual person and make sure you are not feeling anxious, irritable, or angry. Because you may think it is just circumstances of your life, you have to know what you tendencies are. If you do start getting these feelings from your testosterone therapy, it does not mean you can't or should not take it. Rather that you just adjust the dose to the point you're still getting the benefit but you're not getting these negative symptoms.
The other more common cause for anxiety and anger from testosterone therapy is from estrogen levels. In males estrogen can definitely cause increased irritability and anxiety. This can come off as aggression but estradiol is less likely to cause overt aggression. In females low estrogen can act the same or similar way that low testosterone does in males. Similarly too much estrogen in females can cause irritability and anxiety.
So you want to look at what your estrogen levels are if you’re on testosterone therapy. This goes for both male and female and make sure it's not out of range. If it is, you will likely feel worse or at least not any better even if your testosterone levels are at or above the upper end of the range. Even more important is to make sure you're tracking your estrogen level at specific times throughout your therapy.
For instance, if you're doing testosterone cream every day that's not going to matter as much when you check your blood levels. If you're doing a pellet and you get your levels checked three months after getting the pellet, you won't see where your testosterone and estrogen are at earlier on. If you're checking at the end you may not get the right information or accurate information.
The same scenario is true with the injections. If you are doing an injection every week or two weeks, you want to make sure you're checking the estrogen levels at the peak or close to the peak. If you don't, then it's like you're not even checking and you definitely can get these symptoms.
4. High Testosterone Levels
The last thing to consider is super high levels of testosterone associated with anabolic steroid use. If you are using testosterone strictly to build muscle without checking your levels and without doctor supervision, you are likely using too much. This will definitely lead to anger and aggression. Most of the testosterone used for bodybuilding are synthetic forms of testosterone. These types of testosterone act differently in terms of muscle growth and the effects on psyche.
Testosterone cypionate is the most commonly used in doctors offices and act identical to our natural testosterone. However just like synthetics cause more anabolic effects, higher levels of testosterone cypionate can do this too. In either case, it will come with a cost to your mood.
Hopefully this answers the question, can testosterone cause aggression, anger, and anxiety? If you are concerned about your testosterone therapy leading to aggression anger or other side effects, click on the link below. We would be happy to take a look at your plan and levels.