In a bar in Down Under, two buddies sat chatting some twenty years ago. Little did they know that the conversation they had that night would change the face of men’s health and impact millions of people. It was then that “Movember” was born and the mustache returned.
Yep, the mustache made its glorious comeback and secured itself a unique position in today’s fashion. Why, you wonder? Good question.
See, when Travis Garone and Luke Slattery sat there slurping their drinks, they talked about what the mustache (or the “Mo”) stands for — and decided to make it a symbol for men’s health.
After just two years and tremendous success as the “Mo Bros,” the Movember Foundation was founded as an official Australian charity. It took the globe in no time and today Movember leads campaigns in 21 countries and donates millions of dollars to honorable men’s health causes.
While the foundation also donates to causes pertaining to prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and physical inactivity, Movember further focuses on testosterone and mental health — aiming to create awareness for depressive symptoms and help prevent suicide.
Why is Mental Health Important?
Movember brings men’s mental health to the forefront because, let’s be honest, its multifaceted reach can affect so many aspects of your daily life. Hormones, like the male sex hormone testosterone, can be one of the triggers that can impact your mental health.
Mental health includes your emotional and social well-being and can affect you deep down in your psyche. Its impact is profound because it can influence how you feel and think, and ultimately influences how you react and respond.
With your mental health linked to your thoughts, it can easily skew your view of yourself and the world around you. It can make you feel down and sad and can lead you to withdraw from your social setting, loved ones, and activities you used to enjoy.
Testosterone and Mental Health
What does testosterone have to do with mental health, you wonder? Well, believe it or not, testosterone and mental health are closely linked — mainly because testosterone is a hormone and hormonal imbalances are known to affect mood and emotions.
A lot of research has been conducted and looked into how the male hormone testosterone affects the mental well-being of men. One study evaluated men with low testosterone and found that they reported higher symptom scores on a psychological checklist.
In that same study, testosterone-deficient men were also found to be more likely to suffer from anxiety, showing a strong connection between anxiety and below-normal testosterone levels.
Many physicians will suggest that you consider testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) if you have profoundly low levels of free testosterone and are experiencing symptoms such as depression or cognitive issues — some of which can be exacerbated by depressive symptoms.
Hormone fluctuations, including changes in your testosterone levels, can take your body on rollercoaster highs and lows. Imbalances can make you feel severely fatigued, affect your mood, and make you feel irritable and on edge.
Hormonal imbalances can also lead to insomnia and affect your sleep cycle. Therefore, people with endocrine disorders, including testosterone deficiency, can feel hormonal changes on various levels and can have their mental health impacted from multiple angles.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Whether you have low testosterone that’s affecting your mental health or you’ve experienced a traumatic event, you can take charge and steer your mental health in the right direction.
This Movember, take some time to reflect and evaluate your mental state. Reach out to a qualified mental health professional if you need help and know that you’re not alone.
Here are a few things you can do to work towards improving your mental health:
(1) Exercise Regularly
Studies found many positive impacts on patients who exercised, indicating that it can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. At the same time, it was found to improve your cognitive ability and self-esteem.
(2) Spend Time Outdoors
Sometimes being locked up behind your office doors all day can be counterproductive. Instead, go for a jog or a short walk and enjoy the fresh air.
(3) Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is fundamental for countless aspects of your health and a lack thereof can impair your cognitive function and decision-making process. But that’s not all as symptoms of depression and feeling emotional have also been linked to sleep deprivation.
(4) Keep Families and Friends Close
Your social connectedness is critical for a healthy mental state. Why? Family and friends that are dear to our hearts make us feel valued, heard, and seen. Needless to say, being social helps alleviate anxiety and depression and can provide you with a better quality of life.
Spot the Symptoms
While we may feel sad and anxious at times, we can also be oblivious to the fact that something more profound is playing out within our psyche. Whether it’s testosterone or another hormone affecting your mental health, know the symptoms, so you can seek help if you need to.
- A skewed view of your self-worth: depression can make you view yourself and the world around you with more negativity and can lead to you seeing yourself with less self-worth.
- Feelings of anxiety and sadness: you may experience lingering feelings of sadness even if you don’t understand exactly why.
- Inability to fall or stay asleep: you feel restless and overwhelmed and can’t seem to get some shut-eye.
- Taking a step back from activities you used to love: you have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.
- Substance abuse: you’re trying to “solve” your problems by turning to addictive substances, such as alcohol and drugs.
- Feelings of overwhelm: you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed and stressed like you’re in a race against time.
- Inability to focus or remember things: you’re struggling to concentrate on tasks and feel like you’re having periods of brain fog.
This Movember, let’s all come together with our most fashionable Mos and stand up for men’s health awareness. If you want to take it a step further, consider making a donation to the Movember Foundation here.
We’re in your corner and would love for you to learn more about everything testosterone, so you can take charge of your mental health. Sign up for our newsletter and let’s work together towards better mental health.