T Nation

Stress/Anxiety/Depression & Training


#1

Wasn't sure where to post this, and I'll try to keep this as short as possible...

Have you any of you hardcore trainers ever experienced muscle weakness in all your limbs? For me, I have weakness in my thighs, shoulders, biceps, forearms and down to my fingers (specifically thumb & index).

The story goes like ths : I have a very HIGH stress job. Training is my stress relief. However, this Spring, my career got very crazy and I didn't train for 2 months due to my career and my program at work. During this time, I was unable to sleep due to stress/anxiety, diet went to shit and basically alcohol was the only way I could sleep - the alcohol turned into a nightly thing when normally while training, I only drink in moderation. The weakness began in my quads - I could walk fine, walk up stairs fine ; but while walking down stairs, I would notice my legs feeling rubbery/weak. Didn't think anything of it other than, "man, my legs are weak from not training. I need to get back in the gym"! As I said my diet was complete shit during this period. Not to mention LOTS of coffee, daily Monster energy drinks, a scoop of C4 pre-workout after lunch for an extra "boost". I cannot explain how severe the stress/anxiety was at work during this time. I'm 32 years old, married, 3 y/o daughter w/ another on the way (at the time). My stress carried over to the weekends where I was working Sat/Sun and basically just a depressed zombie.

Fast forward 2 months later. Back in the gym, lots of strength lost which I expected. I had been back training for 2 months w/ no progress in strength - I was still not too concerned until I noticed increased muscle weakness in my quads - and now up to my shoulders, biceps and forearms - can't even do 1 pull up where I used to easily crank out 4 sets of 10. Now I'm starting to get really discouraged in the gym and wonder if something is wrong. Also have had muscle spasms throughout my body a few times day.

2 weeks ago, I finally decided to Google my symptoms - and I freaked out. Everything came back as ALS or some type of muscular dystrophy and I have been even worse. After reading the internet of all these diseases, I feel like my symptoms of gotten worse. Every movement I make, I'm self examining myself and trying to mentally decide how difficult it was. I am a complete mess now, even worse than I was during my difficult time at work - again, I'm only 32 years old.

Made a Dr appointment and he agreed w/ weakness in my legs, shoulders. I was a mess in the Dr office, very high strung, anxious and Dr could clearly notice. He prescribed me to Xanax. I also had NO reflexes in my arms or legs but did have a reflex in both feet. Blood work came back normal except for slightly elevanted creatine kinase (range 50 - 280), mine came back at 308 (I did train that morning which I have read can increase ck levels after training for up to 72 hours). Brain MRI also came back fine that following day. Next step is to see a neurologist next week. Another thing to note : after reading about all this on the net, the muscle spasms I mentioned have appeared everywhere all over my body, and just about every minute of the day. Like the stress has significantly increased the spasms (fasciculations) even more!!

However, since reading about ALS and MD, I have never been so depressed/stressed in my life and haven't been in the gym since and back to drinking every night to cope. I have read that all these symptoms can also be caused by stress/anxiety/depression which has at least given me some kind of hope vs some kind of neurological disease...has anyone else had any of these kind of stress related symptoms? Am I going crazy?

Thank you all.


#2

THIS IS OVERTRAINING! YOU ARE FORCING YOUR BODY TO DO WORK IT ISNOT READY FOR!

Your use of stimulants and depressants, poor diet and lack of sleep has your body all to hell. Then you use more stimulants to force your body to work in the gym. And to stay awake. Then booze to sleep. With poor diet. Your hormones and metabolism must be all whacked out too.

You have got to REST, RECOVER and reset and readjust to a baseline. Try to get some kind of order to your eating and sleeping. Stay out of the gym. Eat. Try taking walks every day or something until you can chill out. Drink lots of water. Eat some fruit to sort out your electrolytes. Get on some vitamin D, and some ZMA. Stop the monster drinks and c-4. Try protein shakes and V8’s.

Your hellacious lifestyle is going to destroy your health!
You know all things things you need to not do.

I’m in no way qualified to give advice. And I would never suggest drug use.
But this is why there is weed.


#3

I’m not suggesting any kind of treatment. But I had a lot of weird symptoms like you mentioned before I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Not implying you have Lyme disease or offering medical advice, but it might be worth at least looking into. Especially if you are in a high risk endemic area. Of course this could all be caused by stress and anxiety as well, and the most important thing you can do is de stress regardless of cause. Whatever is causing the issues is there whether it’s from anxiety or not and putting extra worry on your body will just tire yourself out more and work against you. I am sure it’s not likelyALS or muscular dystorphy either are many benign conditions can cause these same symptoms as well.


#4

I pray it’s anything but ALS or MD, but my head has gone down some pretty dark places the past few weeks. What exactly is Lymes disease and have you fully recovered? I’m trying to do whatever I can to convince my head it’s due to stress/anxiety. Especially since all these symptoms began during this difficult time I was going through.

Thanks for the replies fellas, and I appreciate any more responses who have experienced anything similar.

Thanks again.


#5

after a high stress tramatic period in my life i encountered most of your problems ,
ran myself into a complete mess, after the doc ruled out physical problems, i was given medication for sleep,anxiety,12 years later still have chest pains anxiety attacks
training wise i lost about 30 pounds and got very weak took about 6 months before could train again
get sleep dont train for couple of months stay off energy drinks let your body recover


#6

[quote]jlutz3 wrote:
I pray it’s anything but ALS or MD, but my head has gone down some pretty dark places the past few weeks. What exactly is Lymes disease and have you fully recovered? I’m trying to do whatever I can to convince my head it’s due to stress/anxiety. Especially since all these symptoms began during this difficult time I was going through.

Thanks for the replies fellas, and I appreciate any more responses who have experienced anything similar.

Thanks again. [/quote]

It most likely could be stress or anxiety, it can do all kinds of weird stuff to your body. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection from a tick bite. I am recovered now as well. It just took along time to get properly diagnosed and treated over time. Because I took so long to find what it was the treatment was more complicated and a longer duration to finish. Stress and anxiety affect the nervous system which is responsible for strength and all other nervous function. When your nerves are over sensitized they can cause these weird neuro symptoms as a result.


#7

Definitly get off the c4 and any other stim products apart from caffeine. Take Biotest super food or similar greens product and drink a bucket load of water

What is your training like -are you going to failure or doing stuff like drop sets/getting a spot?

Some things to consider esp the part about his croosfit athlete…


#8

[quote]jlutz3 wrote:
Wasn’t sure where to post this, and I’ll try to keep this as short as possible…

Have you any of you hardcore trainers ever experienced muscle weakness in all your limbs? For me, I have weakness in my thighs, shoulders, biceps, forearms and down to my fingers (specifically thumb & index).

The story goes like this : I have a very HIGH stress job. Training is my stress relief. However, this Spring, my career got very crazy and I didn’t train for 2 months due to my career and my program at work. During this time, I was unable to sleep due to stress/anxiety, diet went to shit and basically alcohol was the only way I could sleep - the alcohol turned into a nightly thing when normally while training, I only drink in moderation.
The weakness began in my quads - I could walk fine, walk up stairs fine ; but while walking down stairs, I would notice my legs feeling rubbery/weak. Didn’t think anything of it other than, “man, my legs are weak from not training. I need to get back in the gym”! As I said my diet was complete shit during this period. Not to mention LOTS of coffee, daily Monster energy drinks, a scoop of C4 pre-workout after lunch for an extra “boost”. I cannot explain how severe the stress/anxiety was at work during this time. I’m 32 years old, married, 3 y/o daughter w/ another on the way (at the time). My stress carried over to the weekends where I was working Sat/Sun and basically just a depressed zombie.

Fast forward 2 months later. Back in the gym, lots of strength lost which I expected. I had been back training for 2 months w/ no progress in strength - I was still not too concerned until I noticed increased muscle weakness in my quads - and now up to my shoulders, biceps and forearms - can’t even do 1 pull up where I used to easily crank out 4 sets of 10. Now I’m starting to get really discouraged in the gym and wonder if something is wrong. Also have had muscle spasms throughout my body a few times day.

2 weeks ago, I finally decided to Google my symptoms - and I freaked out. Everything came back as ALS or some type of muscular dystrophy and I have been even worse. After reading the internet of all these diseases, I feel like my symptoms of gotten worse. Every movement I make, I’m self examining myself and trying to mentally decide how difficult it was. I am a complete mess now, even worse than I was during my difficult time at work - again, I’m only 32 years old.

Made a Dr appointment and he agreed w/ weakness in my legs, shoulders. I was a mess in the Dr office, very high strung, anxious and Dr could clearly notice. He prescribed me to Xanax. I also had NO reflexes in my arms or legs but did have a reflex in both feet. Blood work came back normal except for slightly elevanted creatine kinase (range 50 - 280), mine came back at 308 (I did train that morning which I have read can increase ck levels after training for up to 72 hours). Brain MRI also came back fine that following day. Next step is to see a neurologist next week. Another thing to note : after reading about all this on the net, the muscle spasms I mentioned have appeared everywhere all over my body, and just about every minute of the day. Like the stress has significantly increased the spasms (fasciculations) even more!!

However, since reading about ALS and MD, I have never been so depressed/stressed in my life and haven’t been in the gym since and back to drinking every night to cope. I have read that all these symptoms can also be caused by stress/anxiety/depression which has at least given me some kind of hope vs some kind of neurological disease…has anyone else had any of these kind of stress related symptoms? Am I going crazy?

Thank you all.[/quote]


#9

I ran into a similar thing when I was a full-time firefighter. I eventually ended up leaving the job because of the issues I was having-- it was the best decision I could have ever made. Almost all of my symptoms disappeared after I left.

The body reacts to mental or emotional stress just the same as physical. Stress is a very powerful thing.


#10

You may want to post your lab work in the TRT replacement section. I’m not suggesting TRT but there are some guys in that forum who know considerably more than dr’s and often just because your lab values are in range does not mean you are well.

Definitely sounds like stress however you may now have an adrenal or thyroid problem.

How are your morning body temperature?


#11

Hey guys, again, thanks for all the replies ; here’s an update from my side and after seeing a neuro yesterday…

I’ve completely quit training for awhile (2 weeks now to be exact). Last time I was in there I trained arms - still major weakness, specifically biceps. Triceps seem fine and could still get a good pump but as far as biceps, just pathetic. Couldn’t even curl a 20lb DB…ended up getting 4 set of 15lbs for 5 reps (that’s how weak I’m talking)…After the pathetic session I’m in my car and just completely exhausted, feeling like I could fall asleep and this is first thing in the morning…really discouraged and said I’m not training again until I feel better and after my neuro appt.

As mentioned, it’s been 2 weeks since. I’m off all the stims as suggested and drink only 1 cup of coffee in the morning. The Xanax has definitely been helping at home/work. Work is still stressful, but not nearly as it was in the Spring. Diet is still shit in terms of usual diet and macro counting. Just been eating whatever for lunch and dinner (whatever the wife makes) and cut back on the drinking but still having a few at night (I’m big into craft beer)…just maybe 2. When I don’t train I’m a lot less strict on diet/beer.

Still have the weakness but I will say I’ve stayed off the net and tried keeping ALS/MD out of my head and I feel a hell of a lot better mentally - but still know something is wrong…hopefully it really is stress/anxiety/depression. Mowing my lawn, my legs feel exhausted afterwards, almost to the point I “feel” like I can barely walk but after sitting for 20 minutes it’s like my strength comes back - really weird.

Saw my neuro yesterday and explained my symptoms - talked about how it all came on “suddenly/immediately” during this HIGH stress point at work and I was heavy on alcohol/shitty diet mixed w/ stimulants during the day. I explained the weakness while back in the gym and how after googling and reading ALS/MD my symptoms almost immediately got worse. She was writing all this down almost smiling/laughing indicating right away, yep - high stress.

Performed a series of tests on me. She said my strength is fine w/ no atrophy. She then had me do some bodyweight squats and tested my leg strength again and she noticed weakness afterwards. She indicated this is nothing to worry about yet but could be signs of myasthenia gravis (MG) but highly unlikely as it’s more common in women…for men, mostly older than my age but I did not show/have any other symptoms of MG.

She ordered some blood work to test for this. So all in all she thinks it’s stress. She also referred me to a phychologist for Behavioral Therapy. She also ordered a spinal MRI for me in next few days just to make sure there’s nothing funky going on - follow up apt w/ my neuro in 2 months.

Leaving, my wife says to me, don’t you feel better? I do…but just a little. My wife thinks I’m nuts. But this is how my head works - she was a tiny woman, to her my strength is probably fine - do I trust her/second guess her? She didn’t even order any kind of EMG or muscle biopsy - do I trust her opinion of just stress? How do I know for 100% certain? She encouraged me to get back in the gym and de-stress by doing things I love to do.

What do you guys think? Do I trust my neuro’s judgement it’s nothing worse? If it truly is stress, when does my strength come back? Again, is this really caused by stress/anxiety/depression? My wife says I got all these questions answered and I feel better but still have questions/concerns as I know I’m weak in areas and being in the gym only discourages me now by knowing my weakness…am I crazy?

Any other fellow T-Nationers out there w/ high stress w/ muscle weakness like this? For the comments above - thank you!

@ RampantBadger - thank you! Any previous experiences w/ muscle weakness like this in legs, arms, fingers?

@ Evolv - in your situation, how severe was your weakness, anything like mine? Did strength come back immediately after leaving your job or did it take some time? How was your diet/training? Any alcohol?

@ Davinci - thank you, definitely will post my bloodwork there. I mentioned adrenal fatigue and she kind of brushed this off quickly saying if it was AF, I would fall to the floor after my few times in gym trying to train. My neuro never even brought up my thyroid, although my physician did…what is abnormal thyroid symptoms/blood work? I think mine came back in range. Is there a way to gauge this by taking my temperatures (sorry, not familiar w/ this but I will do some research).

Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to read these long posts of mine…I truly appreciate it.


#12

This sounds like a very clear case of you piling on more stress than your body can handle. Fortunately you have done your due diligence and seen a doctor to rule out the diseases you mentioned. At this point, I think it would benefit you to approach this as a lifestyle issue and work from there.

Realize that stress, no matter the source, alters the functioning of the nervous system (shifting from a predominantly parasympathetic state to a predominantly sympathetic state), a shift in the functioning of your cardiovascular system (increased heart rate, decreased blood flow to extremities, etc.) and a shift in your hormonal profile (increased cortisol, increased epinephrine and norepinephrine, decreased testosterone, etc.) When left unchecked stress can causes these changes to become chronic, which can have a severe impact on your quality of life. Understand that these are real, measurable physiological changes that occur – a point that I think is lost when people say “you’re just stressed out and need to relax.”

Outside of seeing a qualified Functional Medicine doctor, I would suggest you do your best to limit activities that elicit a stress response (sympathetic-dominant activities) and increase the number of stress relieving (parasympathetic dominant) activities you partake in. See a short list below:

Sympathetic Dominant

  • Emotionally stressful events (work in a stressful environment, relationship troubles, etc)
  • Hard physical training, whether weight-training or intense endurance work
  • Sleeping less than 8 hours
  • Drugs, alcohol, or other poisons
  • Inflammatory foods
  • Stimulants
  • Chronic dehydration

Parasympathetic Dominant

  • Sleep
  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing/ breathing exercises that emphasize a full exhale
  • Water
  • Anti-inflamatory foods
  • Low intensity exercise with heart rate between 130 to 150 beats per minute. Limit to 45 minute sessions, probably less at first.
  • Light massage (NOT deep tissue or ART)
  • Spending time in nature and with loved ones (sounds like hippy shit, but the research backs it up)

This should get you started in the right direction. Spend some time getting your life in order and see how big of a difference it makes. If after 3 months of sleeping 8 hours per day, meditating 15 minutes per night, drinking tons of water, avoiding all alcohol, going for nightly relaxing walks, eating lots of fresh produce, and doing 2-3 sessions of low intensity exercise as described above, you still feel lousy, seek out a doctor to work with who will take your concerns seriously.


#13

TrevorLPT, thanks man. Good advice and I will definitely implement all of your suggestions in my lifestyle…probably other than changing my job - thing is, I love my job. Very challenging, rewarding, good pay, traveling/seeing different parts of US/Europe…

Just need to put your suggestions in action. When training and in the groove of training, I only have (1) cheat meal per week and all other meals of the week are all weighed and macro counted for my goals and limit alcohol to once per week (2-3 craft beers/wk). But when not training, I have a “fuck it” attitude w/ the mentality of what’s the point of eating clean, weighing foods, prepping my meals if I’m not in the gym?..especially when we all know how good shitty food tastes (pizza/burgers/chips/fries/etc) - but maybe, or more like obviously, this is doing more harm to my body and stress response than anything else during this phase.

Thanks for taking the time and your suggestions.


#14

Yeah definitly had strength reverse when was training hard to relieve stress. Would try and numb myself after shitty days at work and was going to failure on every excercise and sometimes drop sets or rest pause for every excercise, every workout. Made me very emotional and would crash the second I got home.

Got on 5/3/1 type training doing minimum reps and mostly machines and did the deload every other week and started feeling pretty damn good after a couple weeks.

I would still get checked for lymes disease just to cover all bases.

Also structured laughing can really help restore the nervous system ie burn through some box sets like The League, Charlie Sheen era 2n half men etc. Still do this after heavy workouts


#15

[quote]jlutz3 wrote:
Hey guys, again, thanks for all the replies ; here’s an update from my side and after seeing a neuro yesterday…

I’ve completely quit training for awhile (2 weeks now to be exact). Last time I was in there I trained arms - still major weakness, specifically biceps. Triceps seem fine and could still get a good pump but as far as biceps, just pathetic. Couldn’t even curl a 20lb DB…ended up getting 4 set of 15lbs for 5 reps (that’s how weak I’m talking)…After the pathetic session I’m in my car and just completely exhausted, feeling like I could fall asleep and this is first thing in the morning…really discouraged and said I’m not training again until I feel better and after my neuro appt.

As mentioned, it’s been 2 weeks since. I’m off all the stims as suggested and drink only 1 cup of coffee in the morning. The Xanax has definitely been helping at home/work. Work is still stressful, but not nearly as it was in the Spring. Diet is still shit in terms of usual diet and macro counting. Just been eating whatever for lunch and dinner (whatever the wife makes) and cut back on the drinking but still having a few at night (I’m big into craft beer)…just maybe 2. When I don’t train I’m a lot less strict on diet/beer.

Still have the weakness but I will say I’ve stayed off the net and tried keeping ALS/MD out of my head and I feel a hell of a lot better mentally - but still know something is wrong…hopefully it really is stress/anxiety/depression. Mowing my lawn, my legs feel exhausted afterwards, almost to the point I “feel” like I can barely walk but after sitting for 20 minutes it’s like my strength comes back - really weird.

Saw my neuro yesterday and explained my symptoms - talked about how it all came on “suddenly/immediately” during this HIGH stress point at work and I was heavy on alcohol/shitty diet mixed w/ stimulants during the day. I explained the weakness while back in the gym and how after googling and reading ALS/MD my symptoms almost immediately got worse. She was writing all this down almost smiling/laughing indicating right away, yep - high stress.

Performed a series of tests on me. She said my strength is fine w/ no atrophy. She then had me do some bodyweight squats and tested my leg strength again and she noticed weakness afterwards. She indicated this is nothing to worry about yet but could be signs of myasthenia gravis (MG) but highly unlikely as it’s more common in women…for men, mostly older than my age but I did not show/have any other symptoms of MG.

She ordered some blood work to test for this. So all in all she thinks it’s stress. She also referred me to a phychologist for Behavioral Therapy. She also ordered a spinal MRI for me in next few days just to make sure there’s nothing funky going on - follow up apt w/ my neuro in 2 months.

Leaving, my wife says to me, don’t you feel better? I do…but just a little. My wife thinks I’m nuts. But this is how my head works - she was a tiny woman, to her my strength is probably fine - do I trust her/second guess her? She didn’t even order any kind of EMG or muscle biopsy - do I trust her opinion of just stress? How do I know for 100% certain? She encouraged me to get back in the gym and de-stress by doing things I love to do.

What do you guys think? Do I trust my neuro’s judgement it’s nothing worse? If it truly is stress, when does my strength come back? Again, is this really caused by stress/anxiety/depression? My wife says I got all these questions answered and I feel better but still have questions/concerns as I know I’m weak in areas and being in the gym only discourages me now by knowing my weakness…am I crazy?

Any other fellow T-Nationers out there w/ high stress w/ muscle weakness like this? For the comments above - thank you!

@ RampantBadger - thank you! Any previous experiences w/ muscle weakness like this in legs, arms, fingers?

@ Evolv - in your situation, how severe was your weakness, anything like mine? Did strength come back immediately after leaving your job or did it take some time? How was your diet/training? Any alcohol?

@ Davinci - thank you, definitely will post my bloodwork there. I mentioned adrenal fatigue and she kind of brushed this off quickly saying if it was AF, I would fall to the floor after my few times in gym trying to train. My neuro never even brought up my thyroid, although my physician did…what is abnormal thyroid symptoms/blood work? I think mine came back in range. Is there a way to gauge this by taking my temperatures (sorry, not familiar w/ this but I will do some research).

Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to read these long posts of mine…I truly appreciate it.[/quote]

Unfortunately like most Drs, yours is an idiot. You said adrenal fatigue not Addison’s disease. There’s a huge difference. If these issues linger after you’ve mitigated your stress, I’d urge you to read the stickies in the TRT forum, create your own thread and post all of your lab work. Also in range simply means not in a state of disease, classified by medical coding. It means nothing with regard to being sick or feeling terrible.

The normal range for total testosterone via some labs can be 290-1000, so if you score 300 you’d technically be in range. The problem is that 300 is only normal if you’re 75 years old, but rational thought is rarely associated with most doctors and interpreting lab results.


#16

Yeah…the adrenal fatigue she dismissed right away.

When I asked about low T, she dismissed this right away too saying if I had low T, I wouldn’t be able to make babies. I was there w/ my wife as I mentioned above but also with me was my 4 week old daughter. She looked down at my baby and said “and clearly that’s not the case with you.”

I also have a 3 year old at home too. I don’t know how true that is but as far as adrenal fatigue or low test, she wouldn’t even consider it. I’ll check out the stickies, thanks Davinci.


#17

[quote]jlutz3 wrote:
Yeah…the adrenal fatigue she dismissed right away.

When I asked about low T, she dismissed this right away too saying if I had low T, I wouldn’t be able to make babies. I was there w/ my wife as I mentioned above but also with me was my 4 week old daughter. She looked down at my baby and said “and clearly that’s not the case with you.”

I also have a 3 year old at home too. I don’t know how true that is but as far as adrenal fatigue or low test, she wouldn’t even consider it. I’ll check out the stickies, thanks Davinci. [/quote]

Again, she’s an idot. I have 3 children, one being a two month old. My total T at its lowest was 190 on a range of 300-1000. Having low T is usually a symptom of another issue and doesn’t mean you’ve always had low T. Again, find a new Dr. She’s not only an idiot, but sounds arrogant as well.


#18

[quote]jlutz3 wrote:

@ Evolv - in your situation, how severe was your weakness, anything like mine? Did strength come back immediately after leaving your job or did it take some time? How was your diet/training? Any alcohol?

[/quote]

I remember one day walking at the park with my girlfriend and dog-- and I COULD NOT keep up with her. Like my pace was so slow and I felt like a bag of mashed potatoes man. I could not propel my body fast enough. I just dropped to my knees and started crying because I was so damn frustrated. I had many, many thing going on. PTSD and severe depression-- which ultimately resulted into full blown insomnia.

This shit crept into my life, very slowly. It starting out as brief spouts of anger and rage, then the whole impending sense of doom especially at night, then eventually it was like I changed as a human being. I was an entirely different person. I got to where I had severe chest pain and my hands would hurt and feel very weak for no reason. I felt like I was 80 years old, my joints hurt and I would get sick every couple months to where I had to take antibiotics to get rid of it. My blood pressure was consistently over 175 systolic, my glucose was up (despite exercising and a decent diet), and my resting hear rate was over 90 usually.

I was luckily smart enough to not drink through all of that-- because I knew it would have made it worse for me. I just know me and how my brain is. I kept lifting the whole time. I would train on literally zero hours of sleep sometimes, and I refused to accept anything else. My strength would be horrendous sometimes and I would feel like I was going to literally die–but I would force myself. That is me though, I am super stubborn.

I saw many doctors and never did one of them recommend me leaving my job. They all wanted to give me pills. Pills, pills, pills every time. In my thinking, I did not want a pill. I wanted solutions. I KNEW what was causing my problem. I wasn’t getting any sleep and I was constantly around death, suffering, and disarray. So I said fuck it and turned in my notice to my Captain. I decided I wasn’t going to live that way.
I hated to make such a decision, because I did love being a fireman and I loved my guys I worked with-- I truly was honored to be able to help people in the way that I was able to. However, there was a sacrifice and I felt it was taking too much from me on a personal level day to day.

After I left the FD, I had a few months of hell before I was able to get my insomnia under control through a neurologist. After THAT I literally made a stark turn around in about a month. It was like the fog was removed and I could see clearly. I had no idea how I was living for so long.

I did gain 20 pounds in no time, just from finally sleeping and probably naturally getting my testosterone back up in a healthy range. I’ve never used steroids, but I would imagine that is what it feels like. I’m sure my hormones were in the gutter from no sleep, stress and the depression. I never took an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety though I was prescribed them for severe depression and PTSD.

I knew what was causing my problems towards the end, so I removed myself from that environment (my job). I still deal with a couple things now, but overall, I am like myself again. I have tons of energy, I train hard and heavy, I have a great appetite, I’m always horny, I feel good and I can enjoy my time with friends and family. In my opinion, all very important things.

Hope you can get things figured out and turned around for yourself bud.


#19

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]jlutz3 wrote:

@ Evolv - in your situation, how severe was your weakness, anything like mine? Did strength come back immediately after leaving your job or did it take some time? How was your diet/training? Any alcohol?

[/quote]

I remember one day walking at the park with my girlfriend and dog-- and I COULD NOT keep up with her. Like my pace was so slow and I felt like a bag of mashed potatoes man. I could not propel my body fast enough. I just dropped to my knees and started crying because I was so damn frustrated. I had many, many thing going on. PTSD and severe depression-- which ultimately resulted into full blown insomnia.

This shit crept into my life, very slowly. It starting out as brief spouts of anger and rage, then the whole impending sense of doom especially at night, then eventually it was like I changed as a human being. I was an entirely different person. I got to where I had severe chest pain and my hands would hurt and feel very weak for no reason. I felt like I was 80 years old, my joints hurt and I would get sick every couple months to where I had to take antibiotics to get rid of it. My blood pressure was consistently over 175 systolic, my glucose was up (despite exercising and a decent diet), and my resting hear rate was over 90 usually.

I was luckily smart enough to not drink through all of that-- because I knew it would have made it worse for me. I just know me and how my brain is. I kept lifting the whole time. I would train on literally zero hours of sleep sometimes, and I refused to accept anything else. My strength would be horrendous sometimes and I would feel like I was going to literally die–but I would force myself. That is me though, I am super stubborn.

I saw many doctors and never did one of them recommend me leaving my job. They all wanted to give me pills. Pills, pills, pills every time. In my thinking, I did not want a pill. I wanted solutions. I KNEW what was causing my problem. I wasn’t getting any sleep and I was constantly around death, suffering, and disarray. So I said fuck it and turned in my notice to my Captain. I decided I wasn’t going to live that way.
I hated to make such a decision, because I did love being a fireman and I loved my guys I worked with-- I truly was honored to be able to help people in the way that I was able to. However, there was a sacrifice and I felt it was taking too much from me on a personal level day to day.

After I left the FD, I had a few months of hell before I was able to get my insomnia under control through a neurologist. After THAT I literally made a stark turn around in about a month. It was like the fog was removed and I could see clearly. I had no idea how I was living for so long.

I did gain 20 pounds in no time, just from finally sleeping and probably naturally getting my testosterone back up in a healthy range. I’ve never used steroids, but I would imagine that is what it feels like. I’m sure my hormones were in the gutter from no sleep, stress and the depression. I never took an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety though I was prescribed them for severe depression and PTSD. I knew what was causing my problems towards the end, so I removed myself from that environment (my job). I still deal with a couple things now, but overall, I am like myself again. I have tons of energy, I train hard and heavy, I have a great appetite, I’m always horny, I feel good and I can enjoy my time with friends and family. In my opinion, all very important things.

Hope you can get things figured out and turned around for yourself bud.[/quote]

well done for beating that shit mate


#20

@ Evolv - thanks for sharing your story, brother. As for what I’m currently going through, very inspiring and as _Yogi mentioned above, congrats on beating that shit dude. I will do the same thing ; too young for this shit.

Starting today I’m off the booze - even if it is football season…and off the Xanax unless absolutely needed. Back on my lean bulk diet but need to lower the calories until I feel better in the gym - at least maintenance cals. I know making actual gains in the gym will be tough right now, but I at least want to be eating enough cals to sustain training again - focusing on small incremental muscle memory now that I’m at least “kind of” accepting this all due to stress and anxiety instead of some kind of neurological disease and I could possibly be in a wheelchair in a year.

As for training - this first week back I’m going to just shoot for no more than 30 minute sessions - not the point where I like to train volume and completely break the muscle down. As I mentioned earlier, the last few times I tried my regular training, I would leave just absolutely exhausted. Lots of stretching too - just need to get back in the groove.

Also going to implement all the suggestions above - breathing, walks w/ my daughter, meditation, etc…some hippy type shit as one guy put it, ha!
Need to try this Behavioral Therapy my neuro suggested. My project launches in Dec so stress should decline here soon - but bigger projects are in development phases which I will most likely lead.

Basically ready to just accept this is my own head causing these symptoms and beat the hell out of this shit as some of you guys did. Thanks again for your stories. I’ll be posting weekly updates here, updating blood work, spinal MRI results and next appointments.

Thanks for all your stories and suggestions - For anyone that has had similar symptoms/situations, pleae chime on. I think your stories are very helpful. And of course any other suggestions/opinions on these types of symptoms.