The Importance of Hormonal Health in Mental Well-Being
Throughout 2019 The Men’s Health Clinic will be dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of hormonal health in mental well-being with our #ChooseTRT campaign. We will be working with The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) who are leading movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Our campaign aims to highlight how men’s hormonal health is integral to their psychological health, and bring about a positive change to how we view mental health and how we can help ourselves along the road to attaining mental well-being. We urge everyone to join our campaign to take a stand against male suicide and obtain all of the tools required for action.
Here are a few mental health statistics compiled by The Men’s Health Forum:
- ¾ of all suicides are by men.
- In 2016, 4,300 men committed suicide.
- Suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35.
- 5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders.
Mental health is a complex issue and there is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution to problems. Most people simply want a semblance of normality, something that appears unobtainable when you are unwell. It must be recognised that physical and psychological health are dependent, they are not independent. One should aspire to attain both. It is necessary to appreciate that the power of the mind plays an essential role in attaining health and, whilst some aspects are out of your control, attaining autonomy and understanding your mind and body will help you to achieve peace.
Low (and supraphysiological) testosterone levels have a significant impact on both physical and psychological well-being. Abnormal levels can cause depression, anxiety and a sense of de-personalisation. There is plenty of research to support this statement and plenty of research to highlight the positive impact that Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can have on your mental health – The New Male Antidepressant. Optimising your testosterone level and understanding the importance of hormonal balance can be life-changing, it can often be life-saving.
I specialise in treating men with low testosterone. I love my job. I have had the privilege of working with many men with significant mental health issues and witnessing first-hand the transformation that can occur once their hormone levels have finally been restored and optimised. I am always humbled when a patient thanks me for simply allowing them to take that next step forwards on their road to recovery.
In my previous work as an NHS doctor, I have experienced the shortcomings in the current medical model where a rigid curative rather than preventative methodology exists. I am determined to redress some of these issues by practising ‘common sense medicine’. I have always emphasised to all of my patients the importance of addressing lifestyle, nutrition and exercise in attaining and maintaining health. We need to be looking at the foundations, looking for the cause in order to find the solution. We need to approach problems logically and systematically, allowing objectivity rather than subjectivity to prevail. For the reward to have meaning, you must acknowledge that the path of least resistance may not be the ultimate path to success.
I would urge all men, whether or not you have the symptoms and signs of low testosterone, to regularly have your testosterone levels measured. It’s a simple blood test, the result of which may lead you on a path to restoring your mental health. You can either approach your GP, or order a test online using a private online company such as Medichecks (add the code MHC20 into the promotional box at the checkout for a 20% discount on all tests).
Help and support can come in many guises, never close a door, never believe that you are alone in your journey because you are not. No matter what hardships you face, what obstacles are in front of you, there are always people here to help you.
Over the upcoming months, patients from our clinic and members of the ‘TRT in the UK’ closed Facebook group will be supporting our campaign by contributing their personal stories in the hope that it will help others.
Join us, together we are stronger… #ChooseTRT
Dr Robert Stevens MBChB MRCGP DipFIPT