T Nation

Depression or Low T

I’m 37 and feel like crap. I’ve been lifting my ass off for the last couple of years with almost ZERO to show for it. My body fat has gone up lately and my LBM has gone down about 5lbs this last year (I get caliper tests done frequently).

I have no motivation anymore to go to the gym. I’m developing a shitty “I don’t care” attitude at work, and I’m always tired. I’m like a zombie. I’ve gotten a lot of folks at work interested in weight lifting and am considered the resident fitness expert, but lately I’ve been a poor example and it’s getting worse.

I’m still in better shape than probably 95% of guys my age, but I feel it all slipping away. I’m a Marine officer and am no stranger to hard physical exercise, and sucking it up when things get bad, but this is really frustrating.

I want to go to the doctor, but don’t want anything weird in my permanant record (the military keeps records of everything). Any suggestions?

How are your sleep habits?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
How are your sleep habits?[/quote]

Kind of off and on. Some nights I sleep great. Other nights I wake up several times and feel horrible. Some nights I just lay there for hours trying to fall asleep. I’m very conscious about my sleep (little joke there, haha). I did my Master Degree research project on sleep deprivation, so I realize many symptoms I describe could be sleep related. Typically I get between 6-7 hours every night. I did a sleep study a while ago and they said I had mild apnea. The gave me this giant mouthpiece to wear at night to help open my throat, but that was like trying to sleep with a mouth full of food. I figured I’d just deal with it. Got a better pillow and that helped a lot.

Sounds like burnout to me. Take some time off and relax.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
How are your sleep habits?

Kind of off and on. Some nights I sleep great. Other nights I wake up several times and feel horrible. Some nights I just lay there for hours trying to fall asleep. I’m very conscious about my sleep (little joke there, haha). I did my Master Degree research project on sleep deprivation, so I realize many symptoms I describe could be sleep related. Typically I get between 6-7 hours every night. I did a sleep study a while ago and they said I had mild apnea. The gave me this giant mouthpiece to wear at night to help open my throat, but that was like trying to sleep with a mouth full of food. I figured I’d just deal with it. Got a better pillow and that helped a lot.

[/quote]

I am 40 and I used to live on 6 hours or less of sleep.

Now if I get less than 7 to 7.5 hours for more than a couple of days I feel like you described.

Are you getting morning wood?

I don’t think there is anything “weird” about getting a testosterone test – so if I were you I would go to the doctor.

If you don’t want to go to your military doctor, how about going to another one. This is an old website, but maybe you could find a doctor on it:

http://www.tuneupyourt.com/find_a_doctor.html

Now lastly — LOOK AT THESE QUESTIONS. . .

Here is the ADAM test that is a prescreening for low test. Does this sound like you?:


The ADAM test (Androgen Deficiency in Aging Men) is a tool used to screen for symptoms of low testosterone in men over 40.

It’s a simple first step toward finding out if your symptoms could be related to andropause. Answer the questions below, print the results, and discuss them with your doctor.

YES	NO
  1. Have you experienced a decrease in your sex drive (libido)?
    
  2. Do you lack energy?
    
  3. Have you lost height?
    
  4. Has your strength and/or endurance decreased?
    
  5. Have you noticed yourself enjoying life less?
    
  6. Are you frequently sad or irritable?
    
  7. Are your erections less strong?
    
  8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your athletic ability?
    
  9. Do you find yourself falling asleep after dinner?
    
  10. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?


http://www.andropause.ca/en/diagnosis/quiz.asp

[quote]PGJ wrote:
I’m like a zombie.[/quote]

From my T-Nation post after I got tested and found out I had low testosterone:

“It is a old story - about three years ago, I stopped being able to focus or learn anything new. My brain, which used to be kinda functional and shiny was fuzzed out dirty brown mess of cotton. Goodbye libido. And really, nothing I used to like to do had any interest to me – everything just required too much effort. And constantly tired. and irritable. and so on.”

Even then I was kind of candy coating how bad I had felt.

So just another word of advice – don’t lose 3 years of your life like I did (I thought it was burnout). Go get tested and see where you are at.

Regards and hope it works out for you.

get an adrenal stess index test, that includes , cortisol, insulin, thyroid, testosterone, estrogen, dhea, taken over 4 points throughout the day. THis will best guide you to where your problems lie.

Poliquin is the best person to interpret these tests and you can read about it at his website

As a quick fix, Carbolin 19, Rez-V, and Max Hot-Rox helped alott for my sense of well being.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
PGJ wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
How are your sleep habits?

Kind of off and on. Some nights I sleep great. Other nights I wake up several times and feel horrible. Some nights I just lay there for hours trying to fall asleep. I’m very conscious about my sleep (little joke there, haha). I did my Master Degree research project on sleep deprivation, so I realize many symptoms I describe could be sleep related. Typically I get between 6-7 hours every night. I did a sleep study a while ago and they said I had mild apnea. The gave me this giant mouthpiece to wear at night to help open my throat, but that was like trying to sleep with a mouth full of food. I figured I’d just deal with it. Got a better pillow and that helped a lot.

I am 40 and I used to live on 6 hours or less of sleep.

Now if I get less than 7 to 7.5 hours for more than a couple of days I feel like you described.

Are you getting morning wood?[/quote]

Ditto, 42 here and if I go more than 3-4 days with less than 7.5-8 hrs my entire outlook on life changes.

[quote]e-loo wrote:
PGJ wrote:
I’m like a zombie.

From my T-Nation post after I got tested and found out I had low testosterone:

“It is a old story - about three years ago, I stopped being able to focus or learn anything new. My brain, which used to be kinda functional and shiny was fuzzed out dirty brown mess of cotton. Goodbye libido. And really, nothing I used to like to do had any interest to me – everything just required too much effort. And constantly tired. and irritable. and so on.”

Even then I was kind of candy coating how bad I had felt.

So just another word of advice – don’t lose 3 years of your life like I did (I thought it was burnout). Go get tested and see where you are at.

Regards and hope it works out for you.

[/quote]

My brain feels like mush also. The other day at work, one of my guys was briefing me on something very simple and routine, and I was just looking at him thinking “I have no idea what he’s talking about”. That was the moment I first began to think something might be wrong.

Thanks for everyone’s input and support. I think I’ll go see the doc next week.

“Even then I was kind of candy coating how bad I had felt.”

This is not uncommon with men. And if a marine tells you he “may” be depressed, he’s probably absolutely miserable. In fact, he’s likely been miserable for even longer than he realizes. His description sounds like a high-functioning depression. Life becomes an act of willpower.

And willpower is a wonderful thing. But to the degree that it equips and sustains a denial of persistent, deeper symptoms, willpower is foe, not friend.

Relative to T levels, the ADAM test is helpful. On forums like this, our first instinct is to shout, “It’s low T! That’s it!” But as a diagnostic, “low energy” by itself is next to meaningless.

If a T level check is unhelpful on your record, well… that would be a sad truth for all men in uniform. I’m guessing what you don’t want is evidence that you sought help for depression. I understand.

Have you tried natural sleep aids of any kind, such as melatonin?

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Thanks for everyone’s input and support. I think I’ll go see the doc next week. [/quote]

you can get your own blood work through the Life Extension Foundation. $300 for the hormone panel and they will help you interpret the results.

I have many of the same symps as you. I suspect high Estradiol. Makes one stupid, lazy and unhappy.

Good luck & Semper Fi!

[quote]MichaelOH wrote:
PGJ wrote:
Thanks for everyone’s input and support. I think I’ll go see the doc next week.

you can get your own blood work through the Life Extension Foundation. $300 for the hormone panel and they will help you interpret the results.

I have many of the same symps as you. I suspect high Estradiol. Makes one stupid, lazy and unhappy.

Good luck & Semper Fi!

[/quote]

“stupid, lazy and unhappy”

That’s me in a nutshell.

Would it cause fat gain and loss of lean body mass, despite heavy weight lifting and regualar high intensity cardio?

[quote]Plowman wrote:
“Even then I was kind of candy coating how bad I had felt.”

This is not uncommon with men. And if a marine tells you he “may” be depressed, he’s probably absolutely miserable. In fact, he’s likely been miserable for even longer than he realizes. His description sounds like a high-functioning depression. Life becomes an act of willpower.

And willpower is a wonderful thing. But to the degree that it equips and sustains a denial of persistent, deeper symptoms, willpower is foe, not friend.

Relative to T levels, the ADAM test is helpful. On forums like this, our first instinct is to shout, “It’s low T! That’s it!” But as a diagnostic, “low energy” by itself is next to meaningless.

If a T level check is unhelpful on your record, well… that would be a sad truth for all men in uniform. I’m guessing what you don’t want is evidence that you sought help for depression. I understand.

Have you tried natural sleep aids of any kind, such as melatonin? [/quote]

I have a gigantic jar of melatonin in my bathroom. Works really good for a couple of days, but I feel I build up a quick tolerance to it. I only take it a couple times a month now.

I’m pretty tight with the doc. I think I’ll approach this from the angle that I’m gaining bodyfat suddenly and that my energy level is low.

It’s funny what you said about Marines at the top. I was at the dentist a couple of years ago and the dentist wanted to check a tooth to see if it was dead. He hooked up this electric shock thing and told me to tell him if I felt anything. It buzzed a little and got REALLY sore, but I didn’t say anything because I was expecting a finger-in-the-socket type of shock.

The doc took the thing off the tooth and said it was dead since I didn’t feel anything. I said “well, it hurt but I didn’t feel a shock”. He said “you damn Marines. You took this to level 10 and didn’t say anything. It wasn’t supposed to shock you”. The tooth was fine.

Marines have a habit of not complaining.

hey man, i have the EXACT same symptoms as you and im only 20 years old. im actually going in to get ALL my levels checked tomorrow becaus they only did my T and they were really low for my age, 416.

[quote]skimmy_jimmy wrote:
hey man, i have the EXACT same symptoms as you and im only 20 years old. im actually going in to get ALL my levels checked tomorrow becaus they only did my T and they were really low for my age, 416.[/quote]

Thats a terrible level for your age. I suspect something permanent is damaged. Either testicular or a pituitary issue.

To the original poster, you sound like a textbook example of low T. Don’t buy into the depression bullshit. Depression is usually a symptom of something else. Fix the root cause of what else is wrong. I suspect you will definitely have T levels below 500. Your estradoil might be elevated as well. Make your you get a IGF-1 test as well.

[quote]PGJ wrote:

Marines have a habit of not complaining.

[/quote]

Yeah, the first day of rifle drill on the Island I didn’t have my arm quite parallel to the deck for left shoulder arms. I told the docs that I cracked my teeth falling in the stairwell…

Look into adrenal fatigue.


It causes depression and low T and is a whole lot easier to treat covertly.

You know some say that depression and, in turn, low T, causes sleep problems; no doubt that can be true, but why couldn’t the inverse be equally true: lack of sleep bring on depression?

If I sleep well, I feel on top of the world. If I dont, well, after a few days, I feel like a French Existentialist who’s just been told he has three days to live. In other words, all gloom and doom. And, FYI, at 47 years old, my testosterone is relatively high 790 (had it tested two months ago)

I had sleep problems. I tried melatonin, I tried 5-HTP, I tried Chinese herbs, I tried acupuncture. Now all of those things will work for certain people, but they didn’t work for me. Finally a doctor gave me
a very low dose of amitrypyline (low enough that there are no side effects whatsoever) and that did the trick.

Now I sleep well. The only time I dont sleep well-and I am not joking- is the few days on either side of the full moon. Can’t figure that one out. Maybe I am descended from werewolves :wink:

[quote]PGJ wrote:

“stupid, lazy and unhappy”

[/quote]

Tell me about your childhood…

Low T is all too common these days. I’m at the Low baseline level, but unless I drop BELOW, Dr. won’t help.

I’ve stopped all supps, eblocker and trib for the last 4 weeks. I’m going in for testing to see where I sit w/o these things.

I feel weaker and less focused lately…been losing a little weight, but this is from not eaing like a pig all day.