Background and Objectives: Testosterone deficiency has been implicated in the etiology of depression although there is an ongoing debate on the nature of this association. There is a paucity of data about the psychological impact of hypogonadism in genetic disorders associated with testosterone deficiency. Methods:A 57-year-old male is described who was referred for treatment resistant depression. His history showed infertility and lowered testosterone. A selective literature review is given to clarify the patient's clinical condition. Results: Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated a Robertsonian translocation between chromosomes 13 and 14 that accounted for his infertility. The psychopathological picture did not meet the criteria for a major depressive disorder but was characterized by symptoms of apathy or avolition. These symptoms were most probably aggravated by previous long lasting treatment with antidepressants. Conclusions: Testosterone deficiency may be related to motivational deficits that should not be misunderstood for depressive illness. Apathy is probably an underestimated side effect of antidepressants.

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The European Journal of Psychiatry
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verhoeven, W., Tuinier, S., Egger, J., van Erp, F., & Tuerlings, J. (2008). Avolition in a patient with hypogonadism. The European Journal of Psychiatry, 22(4), 195–199. Retrieved from