I am a 24 year old male, who for as long as I remember have felt like I deal with something that others haven't, mostly mentally. For longest time I thought this incling stemmed from selfish self pity, and that most people feel as they are dealing with more than others. All and all this hasn't stopped me from doing what needed to get done as I've held jobs and finished school with good grades, excercised for good long stints, but damnit if it hasn't felt like I was always dragging myself to do things. As I look back on the last four or more years of my life allot of things make sense looking at it through the lense of having low testosterone.
I had a lack of motivation to do most things and was either motivated by stress academically, or alcohol socially. It was always weird to me that those were things I knew I wanted and could sometimes be excited for, but in the moment would almost never be excited to go out and accomplish. I came off as a pretty care free person, which is so far from the case, and most people I mentioned it too just couldn't believe I felt this way about stuff. I would open up to people about this depression I felt, but most people would reply with "excercise more", "sleep more", "party less" and I always figured that once I graduated and got into a good rhythm these symptoms would subsist. Well over the last two years I've done those things, I don't touch drugs/alcohol (save for a small handful of visits with old buddies, where a hangover would leave me feeling terrible an anxious, perhaps from lowering my Allready fragile T levels even lower), I sleep pretty well and have had multiple month stretches of high excercise (currently not doing much, as the test results have made lifting feel kind of pointless), and these mental symptoms have done nothing if become more acute, nowfree from the haze of self medicating I was likely doing in college.
While looking at videos about mental health I had seen a video by a guy who goes by the handle bignoknow on YouTube who began TRT, and his situation really resonated with mine, so I had my PCP add testosterone to a routine blood work up he asked me to do ( I hadn't mentioned the psychological symptoms, he's in a familial circle and didn't feel comfortable talking about depression/ self esteem/ etc with him). Lo and behold the test for total test comes back 184 ng/dl.
Weirdly enough I felt relieved, even vindicated. I had always told myself that it was in my head, and that these perceived problems was really just me needing to suck it up and deal with it.
Anyways, that was way too long winded but my PCP has refereed me to an endocrinologist at UCSF which has a waiting list out the door and it'll be weeks and weeks before I have any concrete answers. There is so much conflicting stuff online so I thought I might ask for your guys' personal experience and advice, as when I look at the symptoms for low T I feel like "check, check, check"...for the most part.
Symptoms I think I do have
low self esteem
low drive for sexual contact (but not companionship)
low drive for social interaction (but I yearn for it in theory)
hard to motivate myself in school, I am currently in a pre-medical program and while I know it's everything I want from a career, doing the work is like pulling teeth with myself, and I find it takes me twice as long to do assignments.
terrible trouble concentrating
trouble sleeping (I've had that for years)
a general feeling of lack of mental consistency
hard to lose weight/gain muscle
zero motivation for physical activity
hard to lose weight ( I don't eat super healthy, maybe a bit too much bread, but I don't eat candy, drink soda, not allot of fried stuff). Salads pretty often, turkey sandwiches.
-hard to gain muscle, I'm a pretty substantial guy. In my family are very sturdy, and I have a perception I should be at least average testosterone. I can't do a single pull up, even after weeks a weeks of Lat pulls, assisted pull-ups, bent over rows. Admittedly I haven't bothered to try and work towards it in quite some time as I would always find a way to get discouraged and stop after no results were seen.
excercise does yield some strength growth and trimming up, just always seems un substantial. Excercise does not give me the rush and good feeling most of the time that it seems like it does for most others.
The sexual stuff (since it seems to be so inextricably tied to low testosterone)
orgasms give little pleasure, perhaps a little relief, although I still seem motivated to self giggity a few times a week. Moderate arousal to porn, usually more "involved" porn where I used to be able to find great arousal from pretty soft core stuff (talking play boy spreads, gone wild type stuff)
However I can:
get an erection
maintain an erection during sex ( although I've found myself getting in my head and not really enjoying it)
can't really orgasm during sex very easily.
grow (some) facial hair
still am attracted to women, just no deep diving force/ will to pursue. Still inerested in companionship aspect.
A little too much emphasis on the erection stuff, but that seems to be way out of line since 99% of stuff for low t seems to be about erectile dysfunction.
So I have a few questions and
Does this mean my symptoms might not be low T related?
Another thing is that this total test was taken in late afternoon, how much can it fluctuate, is it possible I am normal with a 4pm total test of 184ng/dl.
What misconceptions have I likely gained from looking around online and reading this and that? What should I be cautious of?
I'm really optimistic that TRT could be a silver bullet for the way I've been feeling all these years, am I getting ahead of myself?
What can I expect in pursuing treatment for someone my age. I am very set on opting for treatment, ideally injectable cypionate as it seems the most realiable and cheap (assuming I can self administer).
I understand that you guys need allot more information from tests but this is all I got right now, and likely for a while until I see the endo. Still thought it might be valuable to get some input from you guys on what I should/could be doing right now and how to mentally frame what the future may hold during this journey.
Thanks for any advice you guys could give as I likely ruminate and obsess during this interval between this first test and more meaningful diagnosis.
Thanks to anyone who spent time to look at this.
Tldr: looking for advice. Felt a lack of pleasure and motivation with life for a long time, always thought it was just a me issue, 184 total test might be the answer I've been looking for. Have some questions for those who have gone down this road before me!