T Nation

The Mental Ups & Downs of TRT

I wanted to see how TRT affects ppl on the mental side - for me strangely some days I feel really “alpha” my confidence and energy levels are soaring, my voice even sounds and comes across powerful, conversations are easier with strangers feel very social and friendly.

Then there are days I feel quite introverted, mental energy is low, any conversation feels like a drag, feel quite timid. I’m using 150mg a week EOD shots - trying to pin point what I’m doing the days I feel one way or the other, it’s really quite strange the difference between them.

So far my suspicion is high E2 although I don’t feel bloated or watery. Anyone else get these days from time to time?

When I was injecting twice-weekly I noticed after about two and a half days I started to feel socially withdrawn which isn’t like me. Clearly my levels were swinging and as I moved injections closer together I felt more consistent and more balanced.

I feel out of balance within the first 6 weeks of starting a new protocol. However daily dosing the swings are minuscule and barely noticeable.

When I first started TRT I had days of alpha and days of out of the blue panic attacks. Some required meds(benso’s) to get back to normal. For me it was excessive Free T. When I keep my free T just below the top of the range on peak days I am in the sweet spot. When I go over for an extented period of time all hell break loose. Anxiety, high E2 symptoms, blood pressure do to HCT, HCT because my doc freaks out when over 51. Donating blood crashes my ferritin. It becomes a big ass mess in no time.

You have to experiment. We all respond differently to this shit. Your age your SHGB your BF% all play a big roll. Not to mention us guys have no patience. We look for results in 2 hours and we are constantly changing shit too soon which just makes things worse.

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How did you adjust your free T levels? SHBG is 20 nmol/l 13-89 bf around 14-16%

My SHBG is 22 and I feel remarkably better on every day dosing, everyone is different. My BF is 30% and dropping.

You adjust your Free T lvl by finding out how much you need to inject per week and doing mini blood test. Some of the internet blood testing services that use LabCorp will have TT/FT on sale for 30 bucks.
It takes time (5-6 weeks between tests) and you need to be consistent between blood tests don’t change your protocol unless you are experiencing extreme side effects.
Most docs want to see your TT/FT/E2 trough. But if your Free T goes over range during peak you can have HCT, E2, prolactin, anxiety, acne issues.

To fine tune your Free T do your mini blood test at peak. So 24 hours after your shot do your blood draw. This will get you pretty close to your peak TT/FT lvl. Keep raising your T dose until you hit the top of the Free T range.

If you don’t go over you will not need an AI or have to donate blood.
It’s pretty F-ing simple but took me three years of jacking around and big bucks($$$) in blood tests to find this out.

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I struggle with the same thing. When you pin daily, is it muscular in the glute? Are you preloading so it isn’t such an exercise each day? Thanks for any details.

I’m only 4 1/2 weeks in and many here already know I’ve been having ups and downs. I had 4 great days in a row this weekend of assertive, masculine, positive energy. Then I had a day of aggression/irritability followed by a day of anxiety and today, depression.

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I’m going to keep an eye on my diet, exercise intensity, supplements and what’s going on in day to day life and see if I can pinpoint something by process of elimination.

Physically I feel great now, strength is excellent I did seated rows at 260lb for reps the other day I’m only 185lb. I can see physical changes in my body and even energy is not bad. The only issue I’m having is mental - mentally feel pretty lousy lack of motivation unsocial hard to carry conversations. It’s as if T receptors in the body are all turned ON but the ones in the brain are not being activated.

So far I’ve tried Ashwagandha to see if it’s high cortisol. The other thing that comes to mind is may not be getting enough calories in, appetite is not the greatest and I think I’m having around 2000 which is pretty low for my size 6ft.

Definitely. I have experienced this from both high and low e2.

In my experience, the first things that are affected by higher e2 are my dick and my mood. Libido will go lower slightly, and ill either have weaker erections, or it will take forever to finish.

Lower the dose slightly to see if that is the case. You can have these “mild” symptoms without bloating or having itchy nipples.

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ALSO, are you taking anything for e2 control?

I have a question. So obviously exercise influences many systems in the body and you’ll see benefits with or without exogenous test. However, does exercise reduce your body’s ability to reach a stable state on TRT when you’re in the introductory phase? The first few weeks I mean. Maybe if the HPTA is shut down then it doesn’t matter, but if it isn’t?

I literally couldn’t exercise starting a couple months ago because my test hit 120 at one point, could barely do the dishes. I’m trying to get back into the groove of things but I’m wary of messing things up. I would like to use exercise an an anxiety mitigating practice again.

I wanna stay away from AIs I don’t think I need anything extreme I am using DIM +CDG and upped my fibre to help with estrogen clearance. The thing is I’m not entirely sure it is high e2 I think it may even be too low… since switching to eod May have dropped e2 too much.

I don’t think so - exercise in itself is a great way to balance hormones getting the blood flowing and endorphins going helps to kick the body out of fight/flight and manage stress and gives you an outlet to expel excess negative energy like anxiety. Also you’re showing your body that you actually have a need for testosterone by weight lifting in example. If you just shoot T and sit on the couch body thinks uh ok so what are we supposed to do with all this T… I guess let’s lock them up (raise SHBG). That’s not hard science but it’s how I’ve come to understand it. Never just assume you can adjust one aspect in the body and it won’t have a domino effect… the body is an intelligent holistic eco system. You have to know how changing one area will snowball effect into other areas.

I agree with just about everything you said. I’ve been into weight-lifting for over a decade. This is the first time in ten years I’ve taken this long of a break. I hesitate to change more than one thing at any time lately due to the dark cloud of potential panic attacks looming over. I get freaked out changing other factors now that I’ve decided to be on T again. But it has to happen sometime!

Consider adding Ashwagandha KSM-66 it may just be what you need right now to help you through the panic phase - Lower cortisol and do some damage control with the adrenals.

I want to but I was put on citalopram (SSRI) in March due to crippling panic attacks brought on by coming off of TRT cold-turkey. I don’t know if herbs may interact with the medication.

Never had any sort of panic disorder before this year. It’s new to me and pretty shitty.

I would bet its low. If you had told me you were using DIM and CDG I would have known right away it was a “low” e2 issue.

I recently came out of an e2 hell hole and I DEFINITELY noticed that I would just be “off”. I wouldn’t be myself, confidence would be gone. It was low e2.

Don’t sleep on this. I got my e2 in to the 17 range with DIM and kept it there for a long time. Caused joint issues I am still dealing with today.

So how did you raise it back up a bit? I dropped zinc and DIM couple days ago.

SSRI in my opinion are stupid and dangerous. All it’s doing is keeping the serotonin from going through it’s natural recycling process from neuron to neuron, artificially flooding the brain with the same “stale” chemicals. Think of it like having the a/c ON in the car with the recirculate button ON. No new fresh air is coming in from outside but hey at least you still feel cool in the car with the cooled air from the a/c right… wrong! No new oxygen means over time you feel tired and start dozing off I’m sure we’ve all had that experience.

What you should have done after coming off TRT was use clomid or even some type of natural T booster to kickstart your hpta back. SSRI does nothing for hpta which is the root of your issue.