T Nation

A Journey Through Hell!


#1

Hey guys, I've been reading the forums on TNation for a couple of months now. I hope I'm posting this in the right area, if not sorry for the mistake. This is a long read.

I will try to make this as brief as possible, but my story starts back in 2001!
My stats at the time were: 30 years old, 6' tall, 208lbs. Never used any type of gear. At that time I only took creatine, Pro-complex protein drinks, and vitamins. Prior to this I worked out 3-4 times a week, rode a mountain bike, and fished and camped. No kids at that time. Never had any depressive symptoms in my life.

In Feb. of 2001, I was at work just talking to some of my co-workers, when all of a sudden i got a feeling like I was starting to get sick. I began to feel lethargic, mood started to drop off, and I had never felt anything like it before. I made it through the day, but on the next I was off work, and I was eating some lunch when the feeling hit me again. My wife came home that evening and found me sitting in the bedroom in the dark. She asked me what was wrong, and i told her I didn't know. I told her I didn't feel like myself at all, and I was way over emotional! I went to the Dr. that week, and I described my symptoms as, emotional, no appetite,(my appetite dropped off big time!) and just a general feeling of not feeling like myself. I started having severe depressive symptoms. I was treated like absolute shit by my family doctor! I was literally told by my doc, "that a person can go 3 weeks without eating before they die!"

He gave me some stuff for stomach acid, and referred me to a gastroenterologist for an upper GI scope. After the scope, I was told I had a hiatal hernia, and that I should avoid working out. I was given a Rx for Prilosec, and a whole bunch of literature about acid reflux! I never had symptoms of a hiatal hernia, I didn't even have acid reflux!

I followed the stupid advice of the doc for about 3 weeks. In the meantime I continued to feel worse. I was over emotional, I felt nervous, anxious, my sleep pattern was off, and I would come home everyday to my wife and breakdown. I was asked by co-workers everyday, "are you ok, you don't seem like the same person."

I finally went to a counselor, and she told me I was dealing with severe depression. She told me about some relaxation tapes, and some books I should read. So I tried her way for about a month, and just continued to feel like absolute dog shit 24/7!
I decided to get a new family doc, and see if I could get a second opinion on the hernia. I switched docs, and was given a referral for another test for the hiatal hernia. This new test revealed I didn't have a hernia at all. My new doc put me on the anti-depressant Paxil. I took it for about 3-4 months without a change. He then tried prozac, celexa, and about 3 others without relief from depression.

Through all of this, my wife and I had a baby boy in May of 2002, and another boy in April 2004.

This went on for about 3 years. In 2004, with the help of the internet, I told him I wanted my testosterone levels checked. I was now 33 y/o, and my level came back at 111. He put me on Androgel, 2.5 mg packets in September 04. I don't remember feeling a whole lot better, but my level went to 856 by October, and by November it crashed again to the low 200's without changing the dose. I do remember feeling like absolute shit in November. He had also put me on Effexor in early November. My level went up to the 300's by Dec. 2004. I continued to take the Androgel, and by February 2005 I had a full on crash/breakdown. I ended up going to see a Psychiatrist, and he put me on 400mg Wellbutrin, and 20mg Lexapro. I also continued the Androgel.
I had a decrease of depressive symptoms, but continued to have low energy, lower libido, and a drugged up kind of feeling. I never felt great on Androgel, and I dis-continued using it in Dec. 2006. I continued to have little crashes/breakdowns every few months, but it was better than before, so I took what relief i could get.
In October of 2010, I was feeling way down again, and for the first time in a few years I had my Testosterone level checked. It came back at 409, and my Doc said that was good, so I believed him and I went along my way.
Fast forward to Feb 2012, I was tired of not feeling like me anymore, and I pushed myself back into the gym. I went 4 days a week in spite of low energy. I started taking creatine, Jacked 3D, Size On, and my Pro-Complex protein drinks. It was a slow process, but i started to put some size on again, and my bench press was slowly getting better. I decided to try some over the counter Test booster, and I went with Beast. I tried 2 bottles for 8 weeks. You'll see the results of Beast below in my new Test level.

In May of 2012, my brother in law switched doctors, and he was seen by a PA(physicians assistant) in the new office. My bro-in-law was feeling all the symptoms of low T, and sure enough his levels came back low. He called me up, and told me he was given his first T cyp shot of 200mg, and he told me about all the things he was just told by this PA.
I decided I should have my levels checked again by my doc. My TT came back in the low 200's, and I had been feeling like shit too. Despite pushing/dragging myself to the gym, I was still low on energy, and the TT level was telling me why.

My Doc put me on 200mg Test cyp a week, and re tested me in 3 weeks. My level went over 1500. This freaked my doctor out, and while I'm sitting in his office with my wife, he looked at her and asked, " does he seem really aggressive right now?" My wife looked at me and smiled, and said "no!" I looked at the doc, and told him I could go home and take a nap right now. I told him I came home tired everyday from work.
He told me to stop the injections for 3 weeks, and then do another one, and re check the levels.
After 3 weeks, I decided to go see the PA that my Brother in law was seeing. He told me to continue 200mg a week, and that he would really like to see me get off the psych meds I had been on since 2005. (Thats right, I took 400mg of wellbutrin, and 20mg of lexapro a day for almost 8 years!)
I weaned myself off of the Lexapro by Oct 2012, and continued to 200mg of test cyp a week, along with the wellbutrin. I crashed so hard in October, that I thought I was going to die. I felt so horrible, I came home from work, and broke down in tears in front of my wife again!! I blamed it on going off the Lexapro. I continued like this for months without real relief. I was referred to an Endo doc, who had me go off the Test for 5 weeks, so he could see if I really needed it. I also showed him the horrible acne on my back, and he said that was due to too much testosterone.
I stopped the Test injections, and at the beginning of the 4th week, I crashed even harder! I did my blood work for the endo, I went back to the PA and explained what happened. He told me to go home and inject 600mg of test, and 400 a week after, and then back to the 200mg after that. I did the 600 mg on a Wed, and by the following Wed, I finally felt a little relief from the crash. I literally felt my mood lift a little.
About 3 weeks later, I was in the dumps again. In May I went back to the PA, and told him I had been reading about high E2 levels and that I wanted mine checked. Again I was breaking down in a doctors office, and feeling like crap again. He did a total Estrogen panel, not an E2! My total level came back at 325!
He put me on Letrozole with out a true dosing schedule. He said take the 2.5mg a day and then go every other day after a week.
I started reading as much as possible about E2, HCG, AI's, and anything else I could find on the internet.
I took the Letro for 5 days, and then I started to split the pills with a razor blade so I could lower the dose after reading about crashing the E2 levels. It helped a little, but I'm still nowhere near a 100% yet.

2 weeks ago I switched docs again. A friend of mine told me about his doc(an anti-aging doc), and how his doc has him on copounded Troche's(pronounced tro-ki.)His Troche is componded with hcg and testosterone. He said he feels great on them.
The new doc does saliva hormone testing. I'm still waiting for the results. In the mean time he did put me on HCG injections, and lowered my test cyp to 80mg per week. He also likes to use "natural" estrogen blockers. I ended up with some stuff called estro-DIM, Gyne-andro-plex, I3C, and Resveragen(resveratrol).
He had me stop the Letro, but after feeling some of the high E2 symptoms this past week, I took 1.25 mg on Wed.
I don't think the "natural" estro blockers are going to cut it for me.

I'm sorry if you think this post is too long, but let me tell you, 12 years of stupid doctors, and not a one of them checked hormones until I asked them too has been pure hell!! I believe this all started due to a really bad hormone crash, and it was easy for docs to put the label of depression on it.
I am slowly starting to feel a little better after being off of the Wellbutrin and Lexapro. Now I have to get off the Celexa I was put on when the Doc came up with the bright idea of a 600mg shot of test cyp!

I do believe I have had horrible depression, but it has been due to a hormonal imbalance. I don't know how long it will take for me to finally feel like myself again, but I have never given up once. I have fought off suicidal feelings through this, and have somehow continued to raise my boys through some of the worst feelings a person can have! I don't quit, and I'll be damned if I ever give up!

I believe I have had high E2 with low test, and that every attempt by the docs has made it worse. I think the Androgel raised my E2, and made me feel worse, and that any of the good effects the shots started to have were lost due to the T to E conversion. Not one F'ing doc ever did an E2 check! The doc I am seeing now did order an E2 through the saliva test. I am going to ask him to do another one using blood this time. I take 3-4 weeks to get saliva testing results back.
After reading a lot on here about shitty doctors, I believe there needs to be national protocol standards for trt, and hrt!

As a side note, I was told by 2 psych docs in the office I was going to for years, that low testosterone does not have a connection to depression! I mentioned it more than once to them, and I was shot down every time. I understand emergency situations for mental health intervention, but I believe everyone should have a full hormone panel done before being treated with psych meds. It is irresponsible not to! Of course, that's money out of their pocket if you don't need to see them every 6 to 8 weeks!


#2

I am actually on TRT myself, started two weeks ago...before I started I read everything I could internet and books. Along with talking to guys on TRT along with guys who are heavy Androgen users... 1000 mgs weekly . So I did allot of home work before my first injection. Wow your doctor sounded like a Fucking dumb ass !

He freaked because you hit a 1500 level ..heck a old friend of mine has gone way higher then that on one of his cycles. Most docs are clueless from what I'm finding. It shocks me he didn't manage your E2 levels. Right now my doctor has it as a major thing of importants as they slowly increase my dosage. Sounds like things have been shit for you. Hope things work out.


#3

Also..no natural estrogen blocker from what ive read probably wont do it if your E2 level tends to run that high along with your T level. But I'm far from being a expert.


#4

Thanks bulldog. I really have been through the ringer with this shit. I think this journey could have been avoided if my first doc would have checked my test levels when I described what I was going through. I do remember in the latter part of 2000 that I was not as energetic as usual. I think that was my first sign that something was changing. I wish I had all my labs with me right now, but I left them with my new doc.

He said he would copy them and give them back next visit.
This has been an emotional roller coaster due to fucked up hormone levels. My new doc says he can get this straightened for me, but I feel like crap still. I honestly feel there is no end to this over emotional feeling. I want to believe that things can get better, but I still am feeling way to emotional, and I just don't feel like myself at all.

I have lost so much enjoyment in life through this crap. I went from a guy who laughed at everything and joked around a lot, to a guy that barely smiles anymore. My wife says it'll get better, but damn it's hard to believe when your in the middle of it 24/7.

Another thing that just pisses me off about all the doctors I've seen, is not a one of them ever mentioned high E2 as a possible culprit for what I have described.

I know life can feel great, and that it's not supposed to feel like it does now. 12 years of this is about 11 years and 364 days to long! I hope my brain isn't screwed up for life due to messed up hormones.


#5

The problem I'm seeing is that one most doctors unless they are specialist don't know shit regarding TRT. I searched out a different doc when I felt that mine was not well versed in treating it. But my general view is a doctor works for me period. If he cant do the job then im going to fire his ass and find a different one. I feel to many people view what a doctors says a gospel without question.


#6

By chance ..... have you read anything on this forum on this site?
http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_trt?pageNo=1&s=forumsNavTop


#7

Yes and yes!
Aw man, don't have any idea what it's like to go through T issues (seeing as I am a female), or to be extremely depressed (just high anxiety), but I know all about Dr's/specialists that pretend like they know but don't have a clue, prescription drugs that don't help but only hurt, hormonal shit and frustration, so all I can do is empathise with you. Sounds like you give things a good long try but don't be afraid to shop around Doctors and specialists, once you've been to enough of them you get a 'gut' feeling of which ones can actually help, or at least that will have the care enough point you to someone else that might be able to help when they can't.

And I don't have a clue as to why those professionals you saw say that T (& hormones) don't have jack to do with depression, high school biology taught me that, especially when it was a sudden turn about change as you described.


#8

Damn straight... I know on my end , That I have a anxiety disorder which had lead to bouts of depression in the past. Amazing enough the day after my injections I've notice a decline in any feeling of anxiety and I feel mellowed out.

I find it amusing that the medical establishment are still debating wither that Low T might cause depression in men or that the low T is caused by depression.

I'm starting to get the impression that long time Androgen users have a better grasp on hormone replacement then most doctors.


#9

HI, Jake, welcome to the forum. I've suffered from depression on and off through my life, so I know what a burden it can be. My father was crushed by depression, so there's probably so genetics there. Also, eating badly, stressful situations, etc, can fuel the beast like crazy. Hang in there!


#10

Thanks for all the replies. I feel like I let myself down years ago by not pursuing the low test levels, but I believed the doctors about the depression. I knew nothing about the effects of low test and E2 levels, and all the other hormones that could be causing my problems. I put my faith in doctors, and now I know that was a huge mistake. It was not until recently that I realized my 200mg of test cyp were just making things worse each time I took a shot. I crashed real bad last October after being on the test for 3 months. I kept telling my wife that the testosterone only helped me in the gym over the summer, but I didn't think it was working anymore.

My doc never mentioned anything about high E2 as a possible issue, and I was just an idiot for not knowing enough about what I was taking. I took a week off work sick, and broke down in tears everyday. I forced myself back to work, and I still don't know how I got through the work days. I continued to believe I was just dealing with horrible depression.
I broke down at my parents house during thanksgiving, Christmas, my moms Christmas party, etc etc. All the while not knowing that every time I took my weekly shot of test that I was making it worse. I was uninformed, and I put some blame on myself for not searching it out sooner.

I'm putting this out there in case someone else sees this in their search for answers of why they might be feeling so bad.
I have a long recovery ahead of me, but this time I'm armed with some knowledge.


#11

I second Bulldog's suggestion and recommend you spend time on the steroids forum of this site - those guys have male hormone manipulation completely lined out.


#12

X3

It really sounds like your Estrogen levels are elevated. Have you read up on Nolvadex and or Clomid?

Go on there and post your lab results - you will be happy when they get reviewed esp. by Ksman.

Rick


#13

Thanks for posting JakesDog and good luck!


#14

Hey KSman, I started taking my morning temp(I did by a new oral thermometer for this on Tuesday evening) yesterday. My first reading was 96.9, and this morning it was 96.8. I also took my temp after coming home from work on Tuesday about 3:30pm. I used a temporal scanner type for that reading, and it was 97.6. I checked my 9 year old son too and he was 98.6.

I had my wife take her temp this morning before she got out of bed and hers was 98. So my temps are much lower than hers upon waking. Because my temp was low yesterday morning, I went to a local health food store and bought Iodoral 12.5 mg iodine. I took 4 of them this morning. I go to the doc on Monday, and I hope I will have some labs to post.


#15

I did my first sub q t shot today using 50mg test cyp. Easy and painless in the quad. My new doc put me on 80 mg a week, but I'm going to try 100mg a week split into 2 shots. I have had all sorts of trouble with trt/hrt since beginning last year. I don't know my E2 levels at this time, but my total E was 325 in mid May. I have had all the high E2 symptoms except gyno. It has mainly messed me up emotionally ie, crying spells, low depressed mood, low energy, and just an all around feeling of not feeling well. I see my doc on Monday, and he will have my lab results.

If I'm doing 2 shots a week, should I shoot for every 3.5 days? Should my next shot be on Tuesday evening?