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  1. #1
    Registered User YoungB1's Avatar
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    Recovering From Depression and Hormonal Imbalance After Making Poor Decision

    Hi Everyone,

    I'd like to use this forum to share a quick blip about my personal experience of recovery in hopes that I can provide some positive support and influence for those who may be in need. Without too much preamble I'll jump straight into it.

    Back in October of 2014 I used an OTC pro-hormone. My reasons for using the product were simple, I was feeling incredibly apathetic and depressed. Work had me stressed out, my social life was non-existent, I was out of shape, addicted to poor lifestyle decisions (bad foods and alcohol), and I wasn't having any luck whatsoever with the opposite sex (it had been over a year since I had been with a woman). Knowing I was making yet another poor decision I tucked away my better sense and proceeded with my poorly planned cycle.

    Within about a week or two of starting I skyrocketed in size, gaining about 8 lbs of muscle and improving my squat max around 50 lbs. Obviously this isn't the ****ty part of the story. Feeling pretty good about myself I started to open up to the opposite sex again and within another week I finally got laid. Unfortunately, this is where the positive vibes came to a screeching halt. By the third or fourth time I was hooking up with the same woman I began to have mechanical issues -- a common side effect of steroids/pro-hormones. Then ensued complete shutdown. Furthermore, I noticed the appearance of gyno before having stopped using the product -- even though this was supposed to be an anti-aromatasing product (perhaps it wasn't what it was supposed to be). In a state of utter panic I stopped using the product and ordered a PCT (feel free to call me a moron at this point, I don't disagree, although my stupidity is more evident in many other regards than the simple fact I didn't have a PCT ready).

    The delivery of my PCT was delayed and I was left with a cocktail of herbal supplements that I was hoping would help re-stimulate my HPT axis. I will say I had some success with these supplements; however, when I wouldn't use them my libido was completely and utterly non-existent. Worse yet, my desire was pretty much nil even if I was, for some reason, able to get it up. Compounding this horrible experience was the fact that the girl I had been seeing returned to dating her ex-boyfriend. As you could probably understand, I related her decision to my most recent "poor performance" despite the fact she probably had numerous reasons for returning to her previous relationship and despite the fact she probably really only ever hooked up with me specifically to expedite her return into her previous relationship. Being in an apparently non-balanced state I was unable to logically reconcile my way through all of this experience.

    So there I was, 1-2 weeks after stopping this prohormone with no woman, diminishing muscle mass, a non-functioning member, and the same if not worse depression I had been feeling prior to the start of my cycle. So what did I do? I laid in bed, didn't work, and ordered pretty much every supplement on the planet that was purported to help in my ailing regards. Even though I was aimlessly throwing products at my body and for the most part laying around I did manage to make some positive decisions. I continued to go to the gym and stay somewhat active and I didn't drink any alcohol or even coffee.

    Eventually I would start to improve upon my lifestyle decisions despite still being very much miserable and depressed. I drastically simplified my stable of supplements to a combination of zinc, magnesium, ester c, krill oil, vitamin d, resveratrol, and maybe a couple of other standard items. I was back to work and let me just say that wasn't a good thing. Why? I wasn't operating in my typical role or at my full capacity and I was up near the arctic circle with nothing to do for about 16 hours a day... Once I was done the little work activities I had I would spend endless hours looking up post cycle recovery, health products, the endocrine system, etc, etc. Now, I will say that some of what I was looking up would end up being useful but at the same time much of it was simply fueling my own fear-mongering regarding whether or not I would ever end up being a normal, functioning man again.

    I have to say, after that month I felt like I had read almost everything there was to read on the subject -- and I mean everything. I literally could have obtained an MSc. with how relentless I was in researching. We're talking forums, articles, pubmed, books, textbooks, documentaries, etc. There was actually a 2 day period where I recall reading 5 books in excess of 2000 pages if you can believe it... The topics ranged from the conscious mind, meditation, & spiritual health to pre-diabetes, diet, exercise, the pursuit of happiness, and other similar topics. We'll just summarize this whole period as the crazily obsessive, albeit sometimes productive period of my recovery. It spanned from month one of stopping the prohormone to around month 2.

    Fast forward to the 2 month marker where I decided it was time to start taking part in normal, fun activities again. I planned a trip to see my sister and took a bar-tending course for fun (I was admittedly secretly hoping to meet someone too but no such thing would occur). My sister has never in the past missed out on an opportunity to let me know that I look healthy or in good shape and in this case she had absolutely nothing to say on the subject; her silence let me know I was definitively not in better shape since the last time she had seen me (duh). That being established I was improving somewhat; although, at a very slow rate despite my obsessive dedication to exercise. Even though I had been decent on diet to this point I was starting to develop a very serious obsession with what I ate -- unhealthily so. I was starting to have instances of binge eating and bulimia. The bulimia wasn't anytime that I ate, just anytime that I ate copious amounts of extremely unhealthy foods (I would, for example, eat 10 brownies or a full jar of almond butter). Somehow, and to be honest I'm not really quite sure how, I scaled back on my unhealthy decisions realizing that I couldn't even look at unhealthy foods at this time; I needed to treat sugars or other trigger foods like they were poison if I had any hope of gaining control of my life again. The labeling of these foods as poison may seem to be another indication of overly extreme/polar thinking but I will say that extreme avoidance was substantially more beneficial than the extreme of binge eating and vomiting.

    The disciplined trend of hyper-monitoring my food would continue for about another 4-6 weeks... After this time I was still monitoring what I ate but I began to gain a bit more balance in terms of how obsessive I was (or wasn't). My physique was finally appearing to be making some progress as well; although most of the time I didn't even feel like looking in the mirror because of my propensity to view myself negatively and with shame. Another couple of weeks and other things started to click for me. My workouts were improving, my recovery time seemed to be reasonable, my work ethic/drive was coming back, I was starting to take pleasure in the simple things again (as I had before my dive into depression). All of a sudden, for the first time in 4 months (or even longer if you include my pre-prohormone depression) I was starting to feel like there was hope, like I was on the path, that things could and would get better.

    Not to say that there was a definitive moment where this shift occurred (it was in small steps, back and forward, day by day) but I will say I remember one day in particular. I thought about my lacking desire and drive for the opposite sex as it related to my purpose in life. I thought about all of the people in the world and all of the roles they fill, the things they do on a daily basis, the people they love and that love them, the experiences people have, the possibilities -- the endless possibilities, and I realized: even if I never return to "normal" (i.e. my hormones back to a point where I have a desire to have sex again) I can still have a meaningful and fulfilling life with purpose. I can love and provide for my family, I can care for my friends, I can have interesting conversations, I can help people, I can donate my time, I can accomplish as much or as little as I want. Interestingly, it was no more than 1-2 weeks after this that a special friend of mine began making intermittent cameos, and these cameos started to become more and more frequent. Fast forward to today, and a lot of the time I have to tell my friend to **** off because I'm busy doing other **** (for those of you who haven't figured it out yet I'm talking about my penis here).

    This is all to say that despite what you would read about permanently f*cking your endocrine system, despite any feelings you may be having about the permanence of your current state, you can change A LOT and you don't have to be perfect about it. All you have to do is make more, better (I didn't just say more better, I said more, better) decisions than worse decisions and trust that it will work out. Even if you have bad days, even if you feel like killing yourself at times, even if you break down and cry and you can't even identify one aspect of your life that you are grateful for -- hang in the pocket, make the decisions that will allow for you to improve, and realize your experience isn't new. COUNTLESS people have gone through whatever it is that you are going through -- or much worse -- and they have overcome it and gone on to lead happy, fulfilling, and purposeful existences.

    Now, what would this whole write-up be without just a bit of pragmatic tips on how to do what I did? (Kind of cheap if you ask me). So without getting overly specific or lost in the details I'll try to summarize how I got back on the beat and path:

    Focus on the simple things you should have been focusing on to begin with: sleep, nutrition -- that's right, nutrition, not diet, and exercise. My findings regarding nutrition are that low carb or ketogenic diets are good for curbing hunger but HORRIBLE for testosterone, mood, and performance among other things (even if you hang in there for a month and a half, the "fat adaptation" never seems to translate into feeling as good as you can w/ carbs). If you're struggling and have a genetic profile similar to 98% of the population I would recommend aiming for a zone diet with adequate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. The percentages --i.e. 55%,25%,20%, aren't overly important -- just make sure you're getting good quality whole foods, avoid processed foods, and definitely avoid unnatural substances like sweeteners and preservatives.

  2. #2
    Registered User YoungB1's Avatar
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    I can tell you for an absolute fact that a zone diet with intermittent fasting, the warrior diet, or ADF, was substantially superior to a 5-6 meal a day or ketogenic lifestyle. I observed physical changes akin to steroid usage when I switched my diet from keto to zone. If you're not convinced, may I at least recommend cycling so that your body gets it's much needed glycogen for high intensity activities like HIIT and weight training. If you're still paranoid about the role of carbs just train in a fasted state and re-fuel afterwards... I give absolutely no credence to "anabolic windows" but do favor IF, ADF, or the warrior diet for their positive hormonal effects. Translation: if you have to work out in the morning but you're typically fasting during that period, don't feel the need to "re-feed" and break your fast... Whatever your fears about muscle catabolism I assure you they are not substantiated -- especially in acute transient circumstances. I've done two 4 day water fasts and my muscle/strength was pretty much instantly re-established upon the re-introduction of food. A slight aside, if you're female I have a theory that you may need to graze a little bit more than men. Anthropologically I would assume you evolved out of "hanging at the crib" and snacking on various leftovers while waiting for the men to return with the big feast. So I would guess women might feel more comfortable on a warrior diet with a few snacks than a pure IF or ADF strategy.

    In terms of exercise I'm not going to split the atom here. High-intensity, HIIT, weight-training, calisthenics, circuit training, etc... and the occasional sustained aerobic or rest-day activity like Yoga, walking, or bike-riding to keep your body in balance without over-training. Admittedly, I still over-train all of the time but it's not because I'm obsessed with my body image or something I'm just actually at a place where I love training and being active.

    Regarding supplementation, the best advice I can give is keeping it very simple. Stick to the basics and if you have the coin to get some testing to address nutritional deficiencies than by all means go ahead and get it done. For your own sake and health please stay away from adaptogens, random herbs, and anything that is supposed to have anything other than a natural hormone BALANCING effect. I.e. don't go for anything that is supposed to boost, suppress, inhibit, prevent, etc, beyond natural conditions. You want to balance and optimize your body for the now and the long run, not throw it through a loop or take it on a ride. I'll give you a couple for instances: DAA and fenugreek have both given me gyno. I repeat: DAA and fenugreek have definitively given me gyno. On this note I was just reminded of the fact that my gyno since using the prohormone has completely disappeared. That's right, despite the popular misconception that gyno needs surgery I am living proof (as are many others) that gyno can go away with time and the re-balancing of your endocrine system. But I digress, your endocrine system has a feedback loop -- don't **** with it. Every hormone has a role in your body, you want these hormones in balance, balance is the key to health & well-being.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm aware certain supplements like Vitamin D can increase your testosterone. I'm not advocating avoiding Vitamin D, I'm simply advocating only taking it if you have a deficiency. You want to achieve your optimal, natural levels, of everything. If you try to boost even one thing beyond what it should be or what is natural you may be blocking or creating a deficiency somewhere else... Again, broken record: balance is key. If you like stimulants like coffee or feel them necessary I'm not going to try and dissuade you (I like them too) but I will say that I tend to get better muscle-building results without them and for your sake, please don't have them too close to bed. Even if you can fall asleep stims may still disrupt your circadian hormonal rhythms and prevent you from getting into a deeper sleep. All of our organs actually run on a clock and do certain things at certain times, remember that stims can disrupt this clock... While you may be doing yourself a service in terms of feeling more energetic it's not what I like to call "real energy" and it may be limiting other vital functions. Just an FYI, take it or leave it, ingest & drink wisely kinda thing!

    So I think I will conclude by saying that, if nothing else, I hope someone who was like I was a few months back happens upon this story and realizes that despite the darkness around them -- daylight can and will come. If you have any questions or need some support just pm me or ask away on here. I'm not a fitness or life guru or anything like that I'm just a dude that's gone from worse to better and wants to help other people do the same.

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to read; I wish you much love and success in your health & well-being journey.


    - YoungB1

  3. #3
    Registered User thetruth3429's Avatar
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    Love your post( see included in response below)

    I absolutely loved this post from 2 years ago. I wanted to know if you could help me with a few issues I am currently struggling with. Thanks


    QUOTE=YoungB1;1357473951]I can tell you for an absolute fact that a zone diet with intermittent fasting, the warrior diet, or ADF, was substantially superior to a 5-6 meal a day or ketogenic lifestyle. I observed physical changes akin to steroid usage when I switched my diet from keto to zone. If you're not convinced, may I at least recommend cycling so that your body gets it's much needed glycogen for high intensity activities like HIIT and weight training. If you're still paranoid about the role of carbs just train in a fasted state and re-fuel afterwards... I give absolutely no credence to "anabolic windows" but do favor IF, ADF, or the warrior diet for their positive hormonal effects. Translation: if you have to work out in the morning but you're typically fasting during that period, don't feel the need to "re-feed" and break your fast... Whatever your fears about muscle catabolism I assure you they are not substantiated -- especially in acute transient circumstances. I've done two 4 day water fasts and my muscle/strength was pretty much instantly re-established upon the re-introduction of food. A slight aside, if you're female I have a theory that you may need to graze a little bit more than men. Anthropologically I would assume you evolved out of "hanging at the crib" and snacking on various leftovers while waiting for the men to return with the big feast. So I would guess women might feel more comfortable on a warrior diet with a few snacks than a pure IF or ADF strategy.

    In terms of exercise I'm not going to split the atom here. High-intensity, HIIT, weight-training, calisthenics, circuit training, etc... and the occasional sustained aerobic or rest-day activity like Yoga, walking, or bike-riding to keep your body in balance without over-training. Admittedly, I still over-train all of the time but it's not because I'm obsessed with my body image or something I'm just actually at a place where I love training and being active.

    Regarding supplementation, the best advice I can give is keeping it very simple. Stick to the basics and if you have the coin to get some testing to address nutritional deficiencies than by all means go ahead and get it done. For your own sake and health please stay away from adaptogens, random herbs, and anything that is supposed to have anything other than a natural hormone BALANCING effect. I.e. don't go for anything that is supposed to boost, suppress, inhibit, prevent, etc, beyond natural conditions. You want to balance and optimize your body for the now and the long run, not throw it through a loop or take it on a ride. I'll give you a couple for instances: DAA and fenugreek have both given me gyno. I repeat: DAA and fenugreek have definitively given me gyno. On this note I was just reminded of the fact that my gyno since using the prohormone has completely disappeared. That's right, despite the popular misconception that gyno needs surgery I am living proof (as are many others) that gyno can go away with time and the re-balancing of your endocrine system. But I digress, your endocrine system has a feedback loop -- don't **** with it. Every hormone has a role in your body, you want these hormones in balance, balance is the key to health & well-being.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm aware certain supplements like Vitamin D can increase your testosterone. I'm not advocating avoiding Vitamin D, I'm simply advocating only taking it if you have a deficiency. You want to achieve your optimal, natural levels, of everything. If you try to boost even one thing beyond what it should be or what is natural you may be blocking or creating a deficiency somewhere else... Again, broken record: balance is key. If you like stimulants like coffee or feel them necessary I'm not going to try and dissuade you (I like them too) but I will say that I tend to get better muscle-building results without them and for your sake, please don't have them too close to bed. Even if you can fall asleep stims may still disrupt your circadian hormonal rhythms and prevent you from getting into a deeper sleep. All of our organs actually run on a clock and do certain things at certain times, remember that stims can disrupt this clock... While you may be doing yourself a service in terms of feeling more energetic it's not what I like to call "real energy" and it may be limiting other vital functions. Just an FYI, take it or leave it, ingest & drink wisely kinda thing!

    So I think I will conclude by saying that, if nothing else, I hope someone who was like I was a few months back happens upon this story and realizes that despite the darkness around them -- daylight can and will come. If you have any questions or need some support just pm me or ask away on here. I'm not a fitness or life guru or anything like that I'm just a dude that's gone from worse to better and wants to help other people do the same.

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to read; I wish you much love and success in your health & well-being journey.


    - YoungB1[/QUOTE]

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