Testosterone and My Brains
The psychological effects of taking t were one of my biggest concerns before I took it and one of my main reasons for stopping. Before I took it I was worried that t might alter my personality or how my mind worked in ways I won’t like but I also hoped it might improve my mental state. I read as much as I could about what people on t said about how it altered them mentally and emotionally, if at all. How hormones effect people psychologically seems to vary a lot from person to person and some people say that it doesn’t really effect their minds at all.
Going on t changed how I thought and felt in ways I both did and didn’t care for. I have a hard time now figuring out what effects were due to the hormone themselves and what was due to my expectations. At first it seemed to balance my emotions and later it seemed to seriously mute them out. It made me feel less anxious and more confident, though I wonder now how much of that was due to people treating me differently and how moving through the world as a man made me feel. I experienced more a of boost in my ability to act confidently the first time I took it compared to the second time, so I think a lot of that was caused more by my beliefs about how it would effect me than actual chemical changes in my brain. It seemed to put me more in touch with the world and my body but also narrowed my awareness at the same time, limited the amount of information I could process at once. I just started thinking differently after a while, it’s hard to describe. It also seemed to diminish my creativity and frankly started making me feel kinda dumb after I’d been on it for over a year. It definitely reduced my verbal fluency. I felt very frustrated about not being able to access as many words. It hampered my short term memory too.
The dumbness, emotional numbness, loss of creativity, memory, vocabulary and the ability to articulate myself were all significant reasons for why I stopped both times that I did. Even though I liked a lot of the changes t made to my body I was not going to sacrifice my mind. I assume most people who take t don’t experience the psychological effects I did but I’ve come across a few people who sound like they’ve had a similar reactions.
Before I went back on t the second time, I found out that my t levels had gotten abnormally high when I’d been on it previously. I thought that might have been the reason I’d experienced adverse psychological effects and hoped that staying on a lower dose would prevent that from happening again. I played around with my dose some after I started developing the same problems. Lowering my dose helped but did not fully remedy the situation. Only after I quit did I start feeling at home in my head again.
I thought I might feel more emotionally unstable once I got off t this last time I quit but that hasn’t been an issue. In the past I had blamed my female hormones for experiencing unruly moods because I thought I had a hormonal imbalance but seeing how at ease my mind is now I no longer believe that. I think before I was just going through hard times and would’ve felt crazy no matter what hormone was coursing through my body.
I started feeling more anxious soon after I stopped but that’s dramatically declined since I stopped smoking weed. Curiously, I notice a correlation between having a stronger imagination and feeling more anxiety. When I can imagine more I can dream up more to be worried about and my concerns are also more vivid and detailed.
My head feels a lot better since I stopped t, though to be fair I think quitting weed and developing a regular meditative practice have also helped a lot. Some benefits I do believe are directly related to stopping t are feeling more in touch with my emotions, processing information better and recovering my verbal fluency and memory.