Introduction

 


This blog is dedicated to the psychological side effects of testosterone products, such as mood swings and personality changes. In their worst form these mood swings can become what the body building community refers to as roid-rage. The devastation brought on by the behavioral changes caused by testosterone is vastly unknown and under-rated for many reasons. Low T therapy is a very private matter of a medical nature that gives it immunity to public scrutiny. The HIPAA Act guarantees the patient a legal right to this privacy. The euphoric feeling the patient feels after a dose can have an addictive quality that can result in a mindset of the patient to protect his drug use from the interference of others. He might unconsciously blame other people and/or circumstances for his irrational behavior that is caused by the drug. Some patients or their spouses are reporting an addictive quality that has ruined the patients closest relationships. Often the person taking the drug is totally unaware of the mood and personality changes they go through. At the same time, their spouses or family members report mood swings that seem quite extreme. Testosterone products give the user more energy, make him feel stronger and enhance his sense of manhood; consequently he will often resist giving it up. Is it really medically necessary to consider the natural decline in testosterone in aging males as a disease? The medical field regarded menopause in women in the same way until the death toll from the carcinogenic estrogens became unacceptable. The FDA is currently taking a closer look at how testosterone products are being prescribed. This blog is being written to open a public discussion regarding the mood swings, personality changes and possible addictive qualities associated with testosterone. How has Testosterone Therapy affected your family? Are testosterone products being over prescribed in a manner that makes the cure worse than the disease? Are the Pharmaceutical Companies providing honest research results and full disclosure of the side effects? Is the FDA regulating the pharmaceutical companies in an effective manner? Can we, as consumers, make a difference?

Create Your Own Self-Help Groups

This website is meant to be a resource for anyone affected by testosterone addiction of anyother. You may use this website to set up self-help groups. No known groups exist at this time so you may use the Contact page on the tab at the top of this page. To set up meetings with others, use the contact page, make a comment about the city or town you would like to meet in. After someone responds from that area, you can exchange the information you would need to meet: choose a public place, date and time, and figure out a way you can recognize each other. The AA 12 step format is a great structure for any self-help group.

A self-help group for those addicted can be found in Arizona through the website http://testosteronethenewdrugaddiction.com/

Good Luck!

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Low T Therapy, Testosterone and Personality Changes

How Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy Affect Relationships?

A Questionnaire For Spouses or Partners of Low T Therapy Patients


1. Does your spouse have significant mood swings or a change in his personality that coincides with his testosterone therapy?

2. Do the mood swings and/or personality changes lessen at the end of his dose cycle?

3. Does he perceive that his mood is best just after taking his dose and then gets worse as he progresses through his dose cycle?

4. Do you perceive his mood swings to be just the opposite?

5. Does he become angry, anxious, aggressive and/or impulsive after taking a testosterone product?

6. Has he become more demanding and less considerate in regards to sex?

7. Do you think the testosterone treatment is damaging your relationship?

8. Does your husband deny that the testosterone replacement is damaging your relationship?

9. Does he claim that any damage to the relationship is because you have changed?

10. Has he become violent?

11. Has be become jealous of your relationships with your family and friends?

12. Have you curtailed seeing family, friends or involvement in social activities to please him or because his behavior has become embarrassing?

13. Does he insist on knowing and controlling every aspect of your life?

14. Is he disappointed in most everything you do?

15. Are his friends and family avoiding him or “walking on eggshells” when around him?

16. Does he try to keep his testosterone dosing schedule or dosage amount secret from you?

17. Does he become overly irritable when you want to talk about testosterone therapy?

18. Does he seem to compromise the blood test results by misrepresenting his last dosage, or the day count since his last dose?

19. Do you think he is addicted to testosterone?

20. Does he have a renewed interest in addictive substances from his younger years such as tobacco, alcohol, or recreational drugs?

21. Are you thinking of, or have you already started separation or divorce proceedings because of testosterone therapy?

22. Has he lost a job because of the mood swings or the personality change?

23. Has he been arrested because of irrational behavior brought on by the mood swings or the personality change?

24. Are you afraid he will catch you reading this blog?

 

Low T Therapy Changes Behavior


Many patients taking a testosterone product report that they feel a euphoric sensation while other patients do not. All seem to agree that after a few or many hours they will have more energy, and feel more confident and powerful. A few patients say they feel irritable or angry but the overall feeling is still good because of the extra energy and confidence. Other people in the patients life are more likely to notice irritability and anger shortly after the dose cycle starts. A general personality change may also be present, as the TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) patient becomes more self-centered, impulsive and aggressive. For most men, the first three days after a shot seems to be the most intense, then the effect gradually lessens over the next week or two until the next dose.

The wife will usually start off with the idea that the doctors know best, and it is medically necessary for the husband to take testosterone. It may also take time for the wife to realize the testosterone is the cause of the mood swings and personality changes, and just how badly these are affecting many aspects of her husbands life. Wives that are reporting the more severe mood swings describe their husbands behavior as being similar to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Their husbands lose their tempers easily, are moody, mean, and often depressed. They are likely to become more impatient and critical of others. They can become very demanding and inconsiderate about sex.

It is typical for the spouse to react to the husbands mood swings by modifying her own behavior. She is likely to try several different tactics in an effort to find a way to save their relationship. She might try being aggressive like her husband, and when that doesn’t work she may try being passive. She may try to sooth her husband by giving him more of her attention, and when that doesn’t work, she may try avoiding him. When she understands that his behavior is being driven by testosterone, she may fluctuate between being tolerant and then sometimes demanding he seek medical help. She may try to find some relief by drinking or taking drugs. She might sleep a little longer in the mornings, or make appointments elsewhere first thing in the mornings if that is when he is most wound-up. When he wants to debate anything and everything, she might try to agree with what he was says and then be quite baffled when he finds something else to argue about. If she just repeats back what he said or just agrees with him, he might be angered because she was patronizing him. She may use his mood swings to improve herself, focusing on her own weakest points in her reactions to him; such as intolerance to rudeness, or being sensitive to criticism, or having to correct him when he was wrong, or not having a sense of humor about it all.

Yale Study


A Yale School of Medicine study shows that a high level of testosterone, such as that caused by the use of steroids to increase muscle mass or for replacement therapy, can lead to a catastrophic loss of brain cells. The senior author of the study, Barbara Ehrlich, is a professor of pharmacology and physiology. She said “Taking large doses of androgens, or steroids, is known to cause hyper-excitability, a highly aggressive nature, and suicidal tendencies. These behavioral changes could be evidence of alterations in neuronal function caused by the steroids. …Next time a muscle-bound guy in a sports car cuts you off on the highway, don’t get mad, just take a deep breath and realize that it might not be his fault.”

From the ScienceDaily article : “Elevated Testosterone Kills Nerve Cells” by MLA APA Chicago, Yale University, ScienceDaily, 27 September 2006, author Barbara Ehrlich and co-authors Manuel Estrada and Anurag Varshney, “The researchers showed that high levels of testosterone triggered programmed cell death in nerve cells in culture. Cell death, or apoptosis, is critical in many life processes, including development and disease. It is characterized by membrane instability, activation of caspases, which are the executioner proteins in apoptosis, change in membrane potential, and DNA fragmentation.”

How is Low Testosterone Diagnosed?


A low testosterone level for one man may be normal for others. A man’s levels will usually peak during his late teens and early twenties and then levels normally fall by only 1 to 2 percent per year after age thirty or forty. There is little evidence that an age-related reduction of testosterone levels in men causes specific symptoms. The Endocrine Society states that low testosterone, otherwise known as hypogonadism, should be diagnosed “…only in men with consistent symptoms and signs and unequivocally low serum testosterone levels, …the threshold testosterone level below which symptoms of androgen deficiency and adverse health outcomes occur and administration improves outcomes in the general population is not known.”

Hypogonadism that is not related to the normal aging process is divided into two types, primary and secondary. Primary originates from a problem in the testicles while secondary indicates a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary glands, the parts of the brain that signal the testicles to produce testosterone. Either type of hypogonadism may be caused by an inherited trait or by injury or an infection. At times, primary and secondary hypogonadism can occur together. Therefore, a complete diagnosis for starting Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) should include an examination of the testicles and an MRI of the brain to check if the pituitary and hypothalamus glands are normal.

Testosterone levels decrease with the weight gain from a sedentary life style; even fifteen pounds can make a huge difference. Overweight men should lose their extra weight to see if that corrects the problem before they resort to TRT. The use of certain drugs, such as opiate pain medications and some hormones can lower testosterone production. If a man is up all night, the next day his testosterone will be very low. If he eats a big meal, that can also affect his testosterone level. Any kind of underlying disease can lower his level. The reproductive system can temporarily shut down due to the physical stress of an illness or surgery, as well as during significant emotional stress.

Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day and are usually at the highest in the morning. The test values may fluctuate by a few hundred na/dls (nano grams per deciliter) in any given day. Fifteen percent of healthy young men will have a testosterone level below the normal range in any 24 hour period. That is why the Endocrine Society, in its clinical practice guideline: “Testosterone Therapy in Adult Men with Androgen Deficiency Syndromes” emphasizes that “…day-to-day variations in serum testosterone concentrations were found to be sufficiently large so that single testosterone measurements were inadequate to characterize an individual’s levels, and at least two testosterone measurements were needed to diagnose androgen deficiency with greater confidence.”

The serum total testosterone concentration decreases from an average of about 600 ng/dL at 30 years of age to an average of about 400 ng/dL at 80 years. The normal range is large at all ages, and the high and low values decrease as a man ages. In younger men, the low end of the normal range is generally considered to be around 300 ng/dL, and that is often the level recommended as the point to start therapy by those advertising a cure for Low T. That value is not taking into consideration the natural decline for age. Many in the medical field believe a healthy range spans between 250 to 1,100 ng/dl for a young and healthy male. It was estimated in the British Medical Journal that only 0.1 percent of men in their forties, 0.6 percent in their fifties, 3.2 percent in their sixties and 5.1 percent in their seventies would meet the criteria for the diagnosis. Many of those meeting the criteria for testosterone deficiencies are not due to aging, but are caused by primary or secondary hypogonadism.

Doctors advise that men at risk for low testosterone would have low libido, sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, and/or new breast sensitivity. Their testosterone levels should be measured two or three times and confirmatory tests should be taken to measure other hormones that regulate testosterone and sperm production in the testicles.

Lower testosterone in older men may be a positive benefit because the body of an older man may not be able to withstand the abuse that a younger, more aggressive man with higher testosterone levels could handle. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, “…as many as 30 percent of men older than 75 have a testosterone level that’s below the normal range of testosterone in younger men. Whether treatment is necessary remains a matter of debate. Science has not proven that TRT for age-related testosterone decline is of any medical value. Yet, the pharmaceutical companies have turned an age-related hormone decline into a disease.”

General Information on Low T and Testosterone


In 1889 neurologist Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard announced that injections of liquified pig and dog testicles improved his strength and health.

Because of misleading advertisements, those affected by TRT need to learn about Low T Therapy, it’s side effects, and what the lab tests mean. The pharmaceutical companies use questionnaires on promotional websites and in the doctors’ offices. The questions asked are very general, leading the persons taking the test to believe they may be at risk for Low T simply because they do not sleep well and are often tired. Unfortunately many doctors are not aware that testosterone is causing havoc in their patients lives. They do not monitor the patients blood tests close or often enough, and are using guidelines for the test results that have very little scientific verification. The male that is now feeling younger and stronger is unlikely to complain to his doctor about the problems he is experiencing at home or in other aspects of his life. The drug companies might know, but they are making billions of dollars. They barely mention the psychological side effects of their testosterone products. Testosterone Cypionate adverse reactions for the nervous system only lists “increased or decreased libido, headache, anxiety, depression, and generalized paresthesia”.

With all these circumstances in place, it is hard for the patient or his wife to find reliable information on TRT. A normal 60 year old male should have testosterone blood levels that are much lower than what a 20 year old would have. Yet the test results from the laboratories frequently do not even consider age. They also do not explain to us that there is no scientific proof of any particular blood level value that defines when testosterone is too low. What will cause discomfort in one man will not be the same for another. Men that have had surgical removal of their testicles have been able to quit taking testosterone therapy without any medical harm.

The New York Times “F.D.A. Panel Backs Limits on Testosterone Drugs”, September 17, 2014 by Sabrina Tavernise

“An expert panel voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday for the Food and Drug Administration to impose strict new limitations on the multibillion-dollar testosterone drug industry, recommending that the agency tighten labels for the medicines so they are not prescribed to men who only have problems related to aging, such as low energy and libido. The F.D.A. often takes the advice of such panels…Panelists said the label should be limited to men with serious medical conditions, such as pituitary gland problems. A fifth to a quarter of men who are prescribed testosterone have not had a baseline test of their testosterone level. And 60 percent of the prescribing is done by primary care doctors, while just 20 percent of the drugs are prescribed by specialists like endocrinologists and urologists.”

The Pharmaceutical Companies Pharmaceutical Company journal ads promote not only products but also its hundreds of thousands of subsidized “educational opportunities” to doctors. Drug and medical-device makers spend $2 billion annually for more than 300,000 seminars and training opportunities, often held in the Bahamas or the Caribbean. This is an observation made by Marcia Angell, MD, professor of social medicine at the Harvard Medical School, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), and the author in 2004 of “The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It”. The Abbott drug company developed an ad using a self-evaluation test on a website for Low T. The symptoms listed on the test were generally the complaints most elderly people experience. Most people would assume by the results that they were experiencing Low T. Abbott didn’t put its own or its product’s name on the website. One of the advantages of taking the unbranded route for advertising AndroGel is that the company does not have to warn consumers quite so prominently about AndroGel’s side effects.

In the Huffington Post article “Testosterone Marketing Frenzy Draws Skepticism”, Matthew Perrone wrote: “Welcome to the latest big marketing push by U.S. drug companies. In this case, it’s a web page for Abbott Laboratories’ AndroGel, a billion-dollar selling testosterone gel used by millions of American men struggling with the symptoms of growing older that are associated with low testosterone, such as poor sex drive, weight gain and fatigue.” The article goes on to state, “…’The problem is that we don’t have any evidence that prescribing testosterone to older men with relatively low testosterone levels does any good,’ says Dr. Sergei Romashkan, who oversees clinical trials for the National Institute on Aging, a part of the National Institutes of Health conglomerate of research centers.”

The Drugwatch website states that “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved AndroGel to treat hypogonadism, but the drugmaker allegedly recruited doctors to help AndroGel ride (the) coattails of Viagra by encouraging them to screen patients seeking Viagra for low testosterone. A former sales manager involved in the lawsuit attributes AndroGel’s high sales to the company’s decision to promote the drug for off-label uses even though it isn’t approved to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) like Viagra is.”

Citations and Recommended Reading:


http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/11/27/low-t-a-pharmaceutical-company-invented-diagnosis-whose-purpose-is-profit/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/testosterone-marketing_n_1870282.html

http://tdi.dartmouth.edu/press/updates/low-t-how-to-sell-disease

http://www.drugwatch.com/testosterone/lawsuit/ http://www.pharmedout.org/publications.htm

 

The Doctors


It is important that a spouse inform her husbands’ doctor about changes in his behavior. Many doctors are sensitive about the accuracy of their diagnosis, but much useful information can be conveyed in the form of questions. It is best to become as educated as possible before a visit to the doctor. The medical community is divided in regards to how they diagnose Low T and how it should be treated. Often the doctors will not agree on the answers to many of the following sample questions. The answers they give will show what side of the Low T controversy they are on, if any. Their answers can also be used as an indication of their level of expertise regarding TRT and hypogonadism. It is perfectly valid to ask questions you already feel you know the answer to. These questions may also benefit the Low T patient by contradicting the misleading advertising they have heard.

If the doctor gives a logical medical reason for something that you don’t agree with, it is important to be courteous and ask more detailed questions, take notes, and keep an open mind. This may be something you need to research further. Many times the Low T patient is under the impression that the Low T therapy is a medical necessity or that he must adhere to it for the rest of his life. Many times if the patients’ partner can ask the doctor about this necessity, it will dispel that belief. If a doctor answers questions in a patronizing way or does not address your concerns, it may be time to find a new doctor or get a second opinion.

Some doctors accept money from pharmaceutical companies and that tends to create a conflict of interest. To see if your doctors are accepting money or gifts from the drug companies, check their names at the “Dollars for Docs” page at the web site http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/ . For information on malpractice lawsuits, contact your state’s medical board and search through posted information. If choosing a new doctor, you can usually find some biographical information about him or her on the doctors’ own website. The description of his practice will sometimes show that the treatments for Low T patients are being heavily promoted. The doctors specialty does not indicate what his own beliefs will be on the topic.

There are Low T clinics in some states, most significantly Texas, that do not have doctors on staff and routinely sell their clients a testosterone product using only a blood test to diagnose Low T. They are not concerned with family history of cancer, heart problems, prior addictions, testing for PSA, or evaluating the rest of the endocrine system.

Sample Questions for the Doctors


1. Is long term use of testosterone dangerous?

2. Does the patient continue Low T Therapy if he gets prostrate cancer?

3. Under what circumstances should therapy be discontinued?

4. What is the danger from stroke and heart attack?

5. At what blood testosterone level is the TRT recommended?

6. Has the patients own glands quit producing to the point it is medically necessary or is he going through the natural age related decline?

7. What are the appropriate test results for the patients’ age?

8. Is an MRI to check the pituitary and hypothalamus glands advisable?

9. How do drugs such as opiates affect testosterone blood levels?

10. How does being 15 pounds or more over weight affect testosterone blood levels?

11. How does missing sleep affect testosterone blood levels?

12. Is testosterone use addictive?

13. If a person has had previous problems with drugs or alcohol, is that an indication that they may become addicted to testosterone?

14. What are the indications that a person has become addicted?

15. Is the illegal use of testosterone by body builders ever considered as an addiction?

16. How long should a patient remain on Low T Therapy?

17. Do the testicles quite making testosterone when it is given medically?

18. Do the testicles start making testosterone again when treatment is discontinued?

19. How long does it take after Low T Therapy has been stopped before the testicles are at their full production again?

20. Do other glands make testosterone?

 

Finding Support


A forum at medhelp.org under the string of “How Much Testosterone is Too Much” has comments and advice from both wives and Low T patients. Wives are experiencing problems with the mood and personality changes of their spouses or significant others during treatment. Low T therapy patients on the forum are also seeking help for the mood swings they experienced. The male participants told of feeling addicted and loosing perspective of what was happening to themselves. Their craving for testosterone had impaired their ability to see the damage that this drug had done until it was pointed out to them or they had lost someone very dear to them.

If you are the spouse of a patient that is having the mood swings caused by Low T therapy, you are in a stressful relationship; so be kind to yourself. You are bound to be pushed past your breaking point occasionally, forgive yourself. Take good care of yourself; eat right, get enough sleep and have some fun time. With the changes in personality making the husband more demanding, controlling and possessive, it is harder for the spouse to do anything for herself. But that just makes it more important to have support from friends, family, a church group, a counselor or some sort of support group. The Al Anon groups for Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous deal with addiction and domestic problems. They are available in most any community at no cost for anyone who wants to attend. Roid-rage is dangerous; the kind, good man you used to be with may not be able to control it. Have an exit strategy to find a safe place in case the situation threatens to turn violent.

Body Building, Steroids and Roid-Rage


Body builders typically use a combination of anabolic steroids that are synthetic substances similar to the male hormone testosterone. They may be taken as a pill, as a shot into a muscle, or as a gel or cream rubbed onto the skin. Common anabolic steroid medicines include fluoxymesterone with the brand name Halotestin and nandrolone with the brand name of Durabolin. Some people take legal dietary supplements that have certain steroid hormones also made by the human body. One such supplement is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The body can turn DHEA into other steroid hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol. The doctors, pharmacies, and pharmaceutical companies do not inform us that anabolic steroids and testosterone have addictive qualities. Awareness of addiction problems are becoming most evident where the doses of testosterone are at the most extreme; within the body building community. Not all body builders use steroids, but those who do are known for their increased aggression.

The Tragic Story of Taylor Hooton


Taylor Hooton was a star pitcher on his high school team. He was a handsome teenager who had everything going for him until his steroid use caught up with him and he took his own life. It took a while for his parents to connect 16 year old Taylor’s rapid weight and muscle increases with his uncharacteristic mood swings and his random violent, angry behavior. They didn’t know that these and other symptoms, like the acne he had developed on his back, were signs of steroids use.

Taylor had always been a great son, a terrific athlete and had his act together. Taylor just wanted to make the varsity baseball team, and steroids had been recommended to him by some of his high school teammates as a way to get bigger faster.

Taylor Hooton’s parents and a doctor familiar with the case said they believe that Taylor’s death was related to depression that he felt after discontinuing the use of anabolic steroids. “It’s a pretty strong case that he was withdrawing from steroids and his suicide was directly related to that,” said Dr. Larry W. Gibbons, former president and medical director of the Cooper Aerobics Center, a leading preventive medicine clinic in Dallas. “This is a kid who was well liked, had a lot of good friends, no serious emotional problems. He had a bright future.”

While there are relatively few professional athletes that use steroids, recent studies estimate that as many as 2 million high school students admit to using anabolic steroids. Taylor’s father, Don Hooton, formed a non-profit foundation to raise awareness about the the scope of the steroid problem among America’s youth and to educate youth and their adult influencers. Today, the foundation is widely recognized as the national leader on the topic of youth usage of anabolic steroids and other Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APEDs). The foundation believes that parents, administrators and coaches need to become better educated and need to confront the issue more forcefully so that another tragedy may be prevented.

“Don’t tell me it’s not a problem, my kid just died”, said Don Hooton, who retired from his position as former director of worldwide marketing for HP’s telecom division in order to lead the foundation.  The taylorhooton.org website is an exceptional resource for obtaining information on programs and events about steroids, the real stories of the victims of steroid abuse and much more.

A Wikipedia article for Anabolic Steroids, subheading “Neuropsychiatric”, states that,

“…A 2005 review in CNS Drugs determined that significant psychiatric symptoms including aggression and violence, mania, and less frequently psychosis and suicide have been associated with steroid abuse. Long-term steroid abusers may develop symptoms of dependence and withdrawal on discontinuation of AAS. High concentrations of AAS, comparable to those likely sustained by many recreational AAS users, produce apoptotic effects on neurons, raising the specter of possibly irreversible neuropsychiatric toxicity. Recreational AAS use appears to be associated with a range of potentially prolonged psychiatric effects, including dependence syndromes, mood disorders, and progression to other forms of substance abuse, but the prevalence and severity of these various effects remains poorly understood”.

For a complete list of anabolic steroids, how they are used, what side affects have been reported and much more, the following Wikipedia article is very comprehensive. For those of us that are not interested in its chemical structure, skip the first few paragraphs or use the sidebar as a shortcut to the topics most relevant.

Citations and Recommended Reading:


http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-roid-rage.htm

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabolic_steroid

http://taylorhooton.org/taylor-hooton/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046134

To The Women on Steroids or Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Posted for Lisa Marie Shaughnessy

This past year has been a life changing, profound experience. I walked the plank. I put myself out there. I became vulnerable to my core by sharing my story with testosterone replacement therapy and creating an advocacy that did not exist. It has humbled me, challenged me and empowered me.

Now, a year later, I know I need to continue this journey even more so.

In the past two weeks I have met two women both who have been overdosing on testosterone and one of my friends who shared her story about her physician, who’s actually being responsible.

I see testosterone replacement therapy almost like a networking marketing platform, People who start taking testosterone say, “It’s the best thing ever.” They tell all their friends they need to start taking it and they’re off and running like a wild horse galloping across the terrain in Wyoming. I know this because I was one of those people until my life crashed. It almost killed me.

I met a woman a couple of weeks ago when I went in for a blood draw. Her colleague and I struck up a conversation. I said, “Oh, they aren’t testing for free testosterone, I guess that’s okay because it’s been three years since my last pellet therapy insertion.” He looked at me and yelled, Sally, get in here right now. (I changed her name) Sally comes waltzing in and he looks at her and says, “I have been telling you those pellets are BAD. You have got to listen to this woman.”

I said, “So you’re doing pellet therapy. Are you on testosterone and estrogen?

She said, “Just testosterone.”

“What were your levels when you first went in to the hormone clinic?” I asked.

“They didn’t take my blood,” she said. “They just inserted the pellets and gave me a book.”

I looked at her and said, “That’s criminal! They didn’t even check to see if you needed it?”

“No.”

She then told me, “I tested it myself and my testosterone level was well over 200 with the pellets.”

“That is criminal!” I said again.

“How are you feeling?”

“I feel okay.”

“How is your sex drive?”

She looked at me wide eyed and said, “OMG, my husband and I have sex in every room, every day all the time and I want him to start taking testosterone.”

I said, “That’s a problem.”

She said, with frightened eyes, “Our sex life was great before I went on testosterone.”

I said, “Now it’s not enough, is it?”

“No. I have these bad thoughts and I think about things I shouldn’t. I think about sex all the time now.

“Sally, the physician prescribing is overdosing you.

There are no lab reference levels for women that say your testosterone levels should be over 200. They should be no more than 40 to 50 MAX and really around 15 to 25.

When hormone clinics use words like “optimal” it’s simply the code for “OVERDOSE” and they are taking you beyond the reference levels.”

As I was leaving she looked at me and said, “I believe God brings people into your life for a reason and he brought you to me. I’ve known I didn’t need to be on testosterone and now I am going to stop taking it.”

Another woman I met last week worked for a company that was doing a study on a testosterone gel. She was in her early 40’s. She had been on testosterone for 9 months, when all her hair fell out, she had to get hair extensions, she became aggressive, agitated, and violent. She said her personality was changing and becoming a different person. Then, when her Mom was on her death bed she looked at her and said, “Promise me you will never go on testosterone again.” She promised! And she is in such a better place now.

Now here is a refreshing story. One of my friends has a doctor who’s doing this right. She is a beautiful, middle aged, post-menopausal woman. She is on testosterone, estradiol, and prometrium, which is progesterone. She takes the testosterone shots and her physician has her levels at 20 ng/dl. That is what a healthy middle age woman’s level looks like. It doesn’t look like 200 to 500 ng/dl, which is where most of these hormone clinics are taking women.

As I sit here writing this I am glad to hear we have a responsible physician out there who is not in the business of creating addicts. I know, I was one of those testosterone addicts. Once I started on this, my levels went from 28 to 500. I thought I knew what I was doing and remember telling my physician I like myself better when I am 150 to 200. I had no idea what I was talking about. I was afraid to stop taking it because I liked the intensity it gave me, I thought my relationship would fall apart. Well it fell apart because I was taking it. Who knows if my relationship would have lasted without testosterone? I don’t. What I do know is September 14, 2012 was the last time I had testosterone and estradiol replacement pellet therapy and it took 28 months for my body to completely release them.

If you know someone who is considering testosterone replacement or if you are, ask yourself why?

What am I missing in my life?

Do I need to see a therapist?

What do I need to heal?

Love & Miracles,

Lisa Marie Shaughnessy

Lisa Marie Shaughnessy is a Testosterone Addiction Recovery Advocate. Her goal is to educate, inform and inspire people to be testosterone replacement therapy free. She is looking to raise $100,000 for a clinical study on the behavioral health effects of testosterone replacement therapy. Specifically around pellet therapy, hypersexual disorder and personality disorders. For more information visit her website at http://www.testosteroneaddiction.com .

To The Men On Steriods or Testosterone Replacement Therapy

If you recognize that testosterone products have changed who you are, what your priorities are and how you feel about others, you have a great advantage over most of the TRT patients. You have the choice to lessen or discontinue the drugs influence on you.

For advise on what to do about the psychological effects of these drugs or If you have commited a violent crime due to a testosterone based drug, see the post at http://www.afpafitness.com/research-articles/anabolic-steroids-and-the-depression-connection . The courts have recognized the influence of the drugs as the “roid-rage defense” to at least mitigate the severity of the punishment during the sentencing phase.

There has been some discussion as to whether Testosterone Replacement Therapy patients might be able to join the class action lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies for the personality changes, mood swings and roid-rage that have created havoc in their lives.

This website also has valuable information for you to read and you are welcome to join in on the discussion page.

Medical Records, Law suits, and Reporting Adverse Side Effects

When you think your spouse might be having problems with his Low T Therapy, it may be helpful to keep a record of what is going on. Start with a description of his personality and what his moods were like before treatments began. Make an initial comparison of how the Low T treatments changed his moods and personality characteristics. It is advisable to keep a written record of when and how he was first diagnosed with Low T. Record all tests and test results used to make the diagnosis. These tests may include blood testosterone levels as well as blood levels of many other hormones and MRI’s of the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. Have copies available of all tests if possible. Doctors offices will not release medical records unless the patient signs a release form and then they usually charge a fee. To get the test results for free, ask for them at the time of the follow-up doctors appointment when their results are first discussed.

Other important information to save would be the names and manufacturers of the testosterone products used, a record of the dates doses were taken, dosage amounts, dates of follow-up blood tests, the resulting lab results, the date of doctor appointments and what was discussed at the doctors office. A record of the magnitude of his mood swings can help establish a pattern. A periodic record of more general personality changes could also be useful. If problems persist, and the problems are not addressed by the patient or the doctor, the spouse may want to refer to these records to bring these problems to the doctors attention in the form of a letter. Always keep dated and signed copies, and if legal emphasis is needed, cc a copy to your legal representative or legal aid. If both spouses signed a consent form before treatments began, this would be a good time to revoke that consent given by the wife.

If a patient using Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is diagnosed properly as having become addicted or having sustained other serious mental problems from taking a testosterone product, he may have a legal claim against the drug manufacturer. Finding a law firm with experience in drug company lawsuits could be important to recover damages. Many attorneys are now advertising specifically for damages done by testosterone products. The law firm should be able to handle complex personal injury, product liability and class action cases against large corporations. They should offer a free review of your case and receive their pay on a contingency fee basis. Legal services should be available without any fees charged to you unless your case is won. If reimbursement is sought, keep records of medical expenses. Lawsuit allegations will include that drug companies sold the drugs without properly researching the potential health risks and failed to disclose the risk of injuries to consumers. Suits will also allege reckless and false advertising by the drug makers. There are strict time deadlines for filing a claim. Each state has its own time limit called the “Statute of Limitations” that could be as short as a year from the first diagnosis made showing the harm caused by a testosterone product. Attorneys handling these cases are readily found through TV commercials and Internet searches.

A list of some of the testosterone products and manufacturers named in lawsuits currently starting litigation for heart attack and stroke victims:

Androderm – Actavis, Inc.
Axiron – Ely Lilly & Company
Bio-T-Gel – Biosante/Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Delatestryl – Sandoz Canada Inc.
Depo Testosterone – Pfizer Inc.
Foresta – Endo Pharmaceuticals
Striant – Actient Pharmaceuticals
Testim – Auxilium Pharmaceuticals
Testopel – Auxilium Pharmaceuticals
Low T Products – Generic Manufacturers
Testosterone Cypionate – Paddock Laboratories, Inc. (Perrigo Co.)
Testosterone Cypionate – Watson Pharmaceuticals (now Actavis)

The website below is a comprehensive 66 page article on the addictive and adverse affects of anabolic steroids from the National Institute of Health, an agency of the federal government. It lists a multitude of studies and scientific papers as references.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2883629/
The website below explains how to report adverse effects of drugs and other medical products directly to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/HowToReport/ucm053074.htm

Links To Other Forums

Forums About Psychological Side-Effects


There are many other wives, significant others, family and friends noticing severe mood swings and personality changes in a loved-one on Low T Therapy. Sometimes the Low T patient notices the changes themselves. The following is a list of links to a few forums where such loved-ones or patients are voicing their concerns. If you want other forums to be included, you can email the URL address to this website. Also, your comments are welcome and very valuable as additions to the Discussion Page of this website. It is important that we tell our stories so that others can relate to and learn from what we have experienced.

Forum Links


http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/fibromyalgia-discussions/general-support/10215064-testosterone-injections-looking-for-infoanswers

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/ladies-lounge/70916-testosterone-injection-side-effects.html#post11156434

http://www.womenonlyforums.com/showthread.php/2775-quot-Manopause-quot?highlight=Testosterone

http://www.vibrantnation.com/health-fitness/side-effects-of-male-testosterone-inj-2/

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Urology/How-Much-Testosterone-is-Too-Much/show/1063068

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100608090128AAlSzu1

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Depression/low-testosterone/show/714193

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Undiagnosed-Symptoms/androgel/show/200751

Counseling and Self-Help Resources

The addictive qualities of anabolic steroids are discussed on several professional counseling websites that can be found on the Internet by using the search term “counselors for anabolic steroid addiction.” They say steroids do not cause a physical addiction, but it can lead to emotional dependence as people begin to depend upon the drug to feel and function normally. The websites discuss the users continued desire to keep using the steroids even though the users experience mood swings, aggressive behavior, deteriorating relationships, depression, delusions, paranoia, and many other possible negative side-effects. The sites generally say this happens when taking the steroids for non-medical reasons. I believe that because many medical doctors are overprescribing these drugs to men who do not need them and are prescribing for long periods of time, that many men are becoming addicted even though it is medically prescribed. Our bodies do not know or care how the drug is obtained.

For the most effective counseling, choose someone who understands the problem. Alcohol and drug counselors would naturally have an edge because of their experience with the dynamics of addictions. Someone who has recovered from an addiction to a testosterone product such as anabolic steroids would have an even greater understanding of just how these drugs affect the way a person thinks and behaves. Such a counselor should know best how to break through the denial most testosterone users develop. They deal with people routinely who do not want to give up the substance that is destroying them and know how to conduct an intervention if necessary. They will probably recognize that the primary goal is to get rid of the drug, and that repairing damage to the relationship is secondary. Some counselors can offer supportive therapy to the spouse of the drug user as well. If counselors are available that have experience with anabolic steroid abuse, they will understand that the person using a testosterone product is most resistant to anything said to them during the highest peak of the testosterone in their blood and are most receptive to ideas at the end of their dose cycle. Many of the counseling websites offer long term treatment in a facility, some offer treatment as an outpatient.

Alcoholics, Narcotic and Cocaine Anonymous meetings and their Al Anon counterparts function as self-help groups. They maintain a complete data base of contact telephone numbers and meeting times and places throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. These meetings are free and can be attended by anyone having an addiction related problem. The website also has many helpful publications on addiction and recovery. The Al Anon side is for the spouse of the chemically dependent person and offers many helpful coping skills.

Personal Experiences

My husband had been seeing an endocrinologist for a thyroid problem for several years. We both liked and trusted him. The doctor eliminated Cytomel (T3) from my husbands thyroid medication and months later my husband was having significant problems with insomnia, fatigue, and memory. The doctor did some blood tests, an MRI of his pituitary gland, diagnosed Low T, and started him on Testosterone Replacement Therapy. The doctor had explained that my husbands’ Low T levels were probably caused by faulty communication between the pituitary gland and the glands that produce testosterone. We were under the impression that he would need Testosterone Replacement Therapy for the rest of his life. The discussion with his endocrinologist did not include anything about how his being 30 pounds overweight and how his being under a very unusual amount of business and financial stress would affect the testosterone levels.

When my husband was first put on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in the form of Testosterone Cypionate, he had noticeable mood swings, but nothing alarming. The physicians assistant acknowledged that such mood swings were common. The perceived necessity of bringing up his testosterone levels was considered more important. As the injections continued every two weeks, the mood-swings became more pronounced and lasted longer. There were also more subtle personality changes lasting throughout the dose cycle. He did not notice the changes he was going through and insisted that it was me that was changing and treating him badly.

The personality traits manifested through TRT started with irritability, rudeness and impulsiveness. The polite man that I had married 15 years before was usually the one that would see an elderly person struggling to get up, and be the first person to offer assistance. After TRT for several months, he would be impatient with anyone who could not keep up. He had been of a humble disposition until starting TRT, but had soon become self-centered with a growing tendency to brag and exaggerate his own good qualities and accomplishments. He could become very angry if others did not appreciate how great he or his achievements were. At the same time, he became very critical of others. After about three years in which these changes progressed, he became more possessive, controlling, jealous and even paranoid, thinking others were out to get him. His interest in sex changed from mild to aggressive and even obsessive.

During his regularly scheduled doctor appointments, I would mention mood swings but in an understated manner. The physicians’ assistant or the doctor would reassure me that his blood tests were showing him to be in a normal range, so there must be other circumstances or marital problems involved. By the time he had been on Testosterone Cypionate for five years, his level of anger and hostility was scaring me. He had never been a violent man, but I was sensing that he was ready to explode and that if he did, anything could happen. I called the physicians assistant, told him that I could no longer consider my husband as having mood swings, and that his entire personality had changed. The physicians assistant was very concerned. The doctors’ office sent a letter to my husband that they would need to have another testosterone blood level test taken three days after a shot, then he was to skip further shots for one month, then have another testosterone blood level test and come in to see the doctor. My husband did just as he was told except I believe he waited several extra days and misrepresented the date of his first test. His first test showed that his levels were too high, the second test a month later showed his numbers as too low. The doctor was pleased that he had done as instructed and said he still needed the testosterone shots and he had proved himself as being capable of monitoring his own dose. I told the doctor that my husband was becoming very angry and was acting a lot different. The doctor told me it was not from the testosterone and that he did not do marriage counseling. Fortunately, that endocrinologist soon retired.

The one good thing that came out of the month without testosterone injections was that by the end of that month, my husbands’ wonderful, original personality had reemerged just long enough for me to know without a doubt just how badly the testosterone had been affecting him. The most perplexing part was that he still did not recognize what it was doing to him, and immediately started his doses again.

As our marriage deteriorated, I began to question the absolute necessity of TRT. It took countless hours of Internet searches to get past all the Low T promotional sites and to find the useful articles and studies on the subject. I have read about the dangers of the testosterone products, the lack of proof that TRT is of any benefit to the Low T patient, the profit taking of the pharmaceutical companies and clinics and doctors, and the psychological addictive qualities of testosterone products. Through learning everything I could about this subject, I finally went from putting up with it because it was a medical necessity to where I was comfortable on insisting to my husband and his doctors that the testosterone was unnecessary and even bad for him.

Through the following three years, my husband saw a urologist who was ok with my husband staying on TRT just as long as he kept getting the yearly PSA tests. Then he saw a general practitioner who doubled his dose to see if that would help with his fatigue. That dosage hit him so hard with anxiety that he did come to realize how powerful of a drug testosterone really is and he realized he wanted a different doctor again. Then we saw a Naturopathic who recommended he continue TRT to keep his testosterone levels in the normal range. Then another endocrinologist.

The new endocrinologist recognized that mood swings could be a real problem and suggested that my husband cut his dose in half and take the smaller dose twice as often. The same amount over time but distributed in the two doses did lessen the extreme irritability he was experiencing with each injection.

On his second appointment a month later she had his old medical records and new blood tests. I asked her several questions about the dangers associated with TRT and about the addictive qualities of testosterone. She did not think addiction applied to TRT for Low T patients, addiction usually was a problem of body builders. But my husband made my case for me by getting very angry at me for asking about addiction. The doctor read the report on the original pituitary gland MRI and saw nothing abnormal. No baseline testosterone blood level was sent from the original endocrinologists office, so she asked my husband if he would be willing to quit taking his injections for two months to allow his glands to start producing on their own again, so that a baseline could be established. He agreed. He went into a much deeper depression while not taking the injections this second time. I was fluctuating between being worried about such a deep depression and thinking that this time he was a bigger pain off the stuff than when he was on it. But after two months his old, happier personality started emerging again.

The third doctors’ appointment was after the two months waiting period for his own testosterone production to start working again, and the new testosterone blood level test results. My husband would not allow me to attend. At that appointment it was decided that he should try to lose his extra 30 pounds to increase his testosterone naturally, and a new pituitary gland MRI was ordered.

The fourth appointment with the new endocrinologist I did attend. The new MRI of the pituitary gland was completely normal as were the results of a comprehensive blood test with the exception of his testosterone level was below normal at 189na/dl. The doctor said that considering he was still 30 pounds over weight, it was a very typical number and suggested he try again to lose the weight. She did give him the choice to take a prescription for more testosterone. He decided against it.

As of this writing, my husband has been off of TRT for almost six months. His personality is almost back to what it was before TRT. He finally got his sense of humor back after five months without it. We get along just fine now as long as we do not talk about TRT or doctors.

I am hoping that others will add their own experiences with Low T and TRT so that we all can learn from each other. There seems to be a conspiracy of silence that enables the pharmaceutical companies, clinics and doctors to ignore the terrible side effects of TRT. I remember the relief I felt when I found the first forum that discussed the disruption this treatment was causing others. It helped me realize that it wasn’t just me and my husband caught up in this craziness. Then I could put the blame where it belonged. I was then able to complain about it to the doctors that have brought us this curse. The more people who complain to the doctors, the more they will be forced to listen and then start realizing that many men taking testosterone products are having serious psychological side effects. Although many of the men that are having these side effects may not be able to understand what is happening to them, some of them will be able to find their way back to a better way of living.

Copyright 2014

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