Does Testosterone Make You Angry?

  • Testosterone does in fact play a role in your mood (1).
  • Normal testosterone levels in men can trigger a part of the brain involved in aggressive behavior (2).
  • Low levels of testosterone is associated with mood swings, lack of motivation and depression (6).
Does Testosterone Make You Angry Here's The Truth

Testosterone and mood sometimes go hand in hand. However, the relationship between testosterone and anger is quite a complex topic. We often see stereotypical men who are aggressive and masculine in movies. Thus, our brains decide to make the connection between the male sex hormone, testosterone, and anger. However, research on testosterone leading to aggression is rather conflicting. So, does testosterone make you angry? Read on to find out!

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a sex hormone that plays a number of crucial roles in the body. For instance, testosterone promotes muscle hypertrophy, regulates sex drive, fat distribution, and bone bass. Furthermore, testosterone is responsible in developing male features such as facial hair, muscle mass, and a deep voice.

An appropriate amount of testosterone based on your age is crucial to ensure your body is functioning properly. Having too high or too low testosterone levels can indeed interfere with your daily life.

The Relationship Between Testosterone and Mood

Based on research, testosterone does in fact play a role in your mood (1). Below are the ways testosterone can affect mood based on scientific evidence:

1. Testosterone Can Cause Aggression

When discussing whether or not testosterone can cause aggression, it's important that we establish two things. Aggression in people with normal testosterone levels are different than aggression in people on steroids.

First, let's look at people with normal testosterone levels and how it can cause aggression. In this case, the relationship between testosterone and aggression is not straightforward. One theory suggests that normal testosterone levels in men can trigger a part of the brain involved in aggressive behavior (2). Meanwhile, another research has come up saying otherwise (3). Hence, there is no concrete answer as to whether or not testosterone causes anger in men with normal testosterone levels.

However, the same cannot be said about men who take exogenous anabolic steroids. If you've ever heard of the term "roid rage", you probably know where this leads. Some athletes or fitness enthusiasts have been known to take steroids in order to boost muscle mass and performance. Although studies have not directly associated steroid use with aggression, it is in fact a factor. For instance, a study found that hormonal changes as a result of steroids could be the main culprit of mood swings in men (4).

Therefore, it is safe to say that men with normal testosterone levels are not necessarily prone to aggression. However, otherwise cannot be said about men who take steroids.

2. Testosterone Can Cause Anxiety

When it comes to testosterone and anxiety, researchers have yet to fully understand the mechanics involved. It can be said that low testosterone levels are linked to increased anxiety. For instance, a study found that lower testosterone levels lead to heightened anxiety (5). The study explains that testosterone regulates the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes emotions and fear responses. Thus, when a man has low testosterone, the amygdala experiences increased activation which may lead to anxiety.

3. Testosterone Can Lead To Depression

There are plenty of evidence pilling up regarding the link between testosterone and depression. For example, a study suggests that low levels of testosterone is associated with mood swings, lack of motivation and depression (6). Furthermore, another study found that men with low testosterone are more likely to experience symptoms of depression than men with normal levels of testosterone (7). Therefore, these two studies have proven how low testosterone can in fact lead to depression. Having said that, it is important to seek medical attention whenever you experience any negative symptoms from low testosterone.


So, does testosterone make you angry? Yes and no. Testosterone is extremely vital in maintaining one's health and well-being. While not often talked about, one's mental health can also be affected by testosterone levels. Hence, having too high or too low testosterone levels will inevitably lead to negative outcomes. It is important that you refer to your doctor whenever you experience any symptoms of low testosterone.

Enjoy reading? Check out this related article: 14 Low Testosterone Symptoms in Men To Look Out For

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  4. Daly RC, Su TP, Schmidt PJ, Pagliaro M, Pickar D, Rubinow DR. Neuroendocrine and behavioral effects of high-dose anabolic steroid administration in male normal volunteers. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2003;28(3):317-331. doi:10.1016/s0306-4530(02)00025-2
  5. Keeton, CP et al. Pediatric generalized anxiety disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis, and management. Paediatr Drugs. 2009. 11(3): 171-83
  6. Reboredo, J. C., Rivera-Castro, M. A., & Ugolini, A. (2013). Nonlinear dynamics in economics and finance. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 392(14), 3079-3080. doi: 10.1016/j.physa.2013.03.042.
  7. Petering RC, Brooks NA. Testosterone Therapy: Review of Clinical Applications [published correction appears in Am Fam Physician. 2019 Oct 1;100(7):393]. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(7):441-449.


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