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    • Testosterone Increases Response to Stress

      Some men believe that TRT will relieve anxiety, but this study says otherwise. Men were stressed by challenging their status. Those who had applied testosterone gel showed increased cortisol levels. The effect was larger in men who tested higher for dominance. The abstract says:



      Highlights
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      This study tests the causal effects of testosterone on stress reactivity.

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      Exogenous testosterone caused increased cortisol responses to stress.

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      Testosterone increased negative affect in anticipation of and after a stressor.

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      The effects of testosterone on the stress responses are more robust in dominant men.

      Abstract
      Stress often precedes the onset of mental health disorders and is linked to negative impacts on physical health as well. Prior research indicates that testosterone levels are related to reduced stress reactivity in some cases but correlate with increased stress responses in other cases. To resolve these inconsistencies, we tested the causal influence of testosterone on stress reactivity to a social-evaluative stressor. Further, prior work has failed to consider status-relevant individual differences such as trait dominance that may modulate the influence of testosterone on responses to stressors. Participants (n = 120 males) were randomly assigned to receive exogenous testosterone or placebo (n = 60 testosterone treatment group) via topical gel prior to a well-validated social-evaluative stressor. Compared to placebo, testosterone significantly increased cortisol and negative affect in response to the stressor, especially for men high in trait dominance (95% confidence intervals did not contain zero). The findings suggest that the combination of high testosterone and exposure to status-relevant social stress may confer increased risk for stress-mediated disorders, particularly for individuals high in trait dominance.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Testosterone Increases Response to Stress
      Comments 17 Comments
      1. FeelingLost's Avatar
        FeelingLost -
        I must be one of those outlier. I cured(in complete remission) my depression, anxiety, and panic attacks with TRT.
        As best I can tell when my TT exceeded 350 I was able to stop taking Lexapro, lorazepam, and BusPar. Drug free for 8 months.

        I wonder how you can simulate "stressed by challenging their status" doesn't the mind know this is a test and the stress is not real?
      1. Jinzang's Avatar
        Jinzang -
        I don't have access to the full study, so I can't be sure. But it's not unusual for a psychological study to mislead the participants on the purpose of the study. One way it could be done is to give the subjects a pencil and paper test and then tell all the subjects they failed. Also, the study was limited to one particular type of stress and may not generalize to all types of stress.
      1. JakeH's Avatar
        JakeH -
        I have found this to be true for me. At levels 250 and below when I started, I had anxiety. However, since starting TRT, if my levels are above 1100 at trough, my anxiety and stress response is not good at all. This was especially true when it came to performance anxiety. TRT healed my erections, but I was having sheer panic attacks in anticipation of sex, so I had to keep using PDE5 drugs to maintain erections before penetration.

        When my levels are 600-800, I feel great and my anxiety is gone, as well as negative stress response before sex. For me, higher is not always better, but TRT has improved my stress response, when at the appropriate dose for my body.
      1. Vince's Avatar
        Vince -
        Trt has actually made me more calm, I feel like I can handle stressful situation easier now being on TRT then before.
      1. FeelingLost's Avatar
        FeelingLost -
        Quote Originally Posted by JakeH View Post
        I have found this to be true for me. At levels 250 and below when I started, I had anxiety. However, since starting TRT, if my levels are above 1100 at trough, my anxiety and stress response is not good at all. This was especially true when it came to performance anxiety. TRT healed my erections, but I was having sheer panic attacks in anticipation of sex, so I had to keep using PDE5 drugs to maintain erections before penetration.

        When my levels are 600-800, I feel great and my anxiety is gone, as well as negative stress response before sex. For me, higher is not always better, but TRT has improved my stress response, when at the appropriate dose for my body.
        Hi Jake,
        I am sure many will argue this point but IMO a trough of 1100 is no longer in the world of TRT.
        I could see having too much of a good think could be harmful overtime possible effecting sleep quality and could trigger anxiety or panic attacks.
      1. JakeH's Avatar
        JakeH -
        Quote Originally Posted by FeelingLost View Post
        Hi Jake,
        I am sure many will argue this point but IMO a trough of 1100 is no longer in the world of TRT.
        I could see having too much of a good think could be harmful overtime possible effecting sleep quality and could trigger anxiety or panic attacks.
        I would not argue with that. I think once one starts TRT one should adjust to their optimal (broadly defined) level. if that takes 1200 for some, then good for them, but in my case a theraputic dose lands in the upper tier of the range. I think for me the spikes of 1850 36 hours post injection to trough at 1100 every 3.5 days was too much.
      1. Matt Leiser's Avatar
        Matt Leiser -
        Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
        Trt has actually made me more calm, I feel like I can handle stressful situation easier now being on TRT then before.
        I have to agree. I am much more calm and level headed. I found I’m even more calm now at ~900 then when my levels were 500-600.
      1. Vince's Avatar
        Vince -
        Quote Originally Posted by Matt Leiser View Post
        I have to agree. I am much more calm and level headed. I found I’m even more calm now at ~900 then when my levels were 500-600.
        Yeah even with my last labs and T being over 1500, I still have a calm personality. My co-workers have told me that they never seen me lose my temper.
      1. Saul's Avatar
        Saul -
        Does anyone feel like they get frustrated easier or have less patience while on TRT? I feel that way recently, or maybe I am getting old and grumpy : )
      1. Tommy Wall's Avatar
        Tommy Wall -
        For sure I felt more agitated the first week after injecting 250 evety third week (old school protocol). Not anymore after I changed my protocol to 2x55 per week.
      1. FeelingLost's Avatar
        FeelingLost -
        Quote Originally Posted by Saul View Post
        Does anyone feel like they get frustrated easier or have less patience while on TRT? I feel that way recently, or maybe I am getting old and grumpy : )
        I can get moody and or short tempered. I have been blaming it on my other hormones (E2 and prolactin) trying to find their normal lvls.
        I/my doc are still trying to find that T therapeutic lvl and I have still not reached my steady state (40days) on my current T dose.
        I suspect my other hormones will be in flux, effecting my mood, until I reach that T steady state and everything else settles down.

        I can't believe how long this takes and how many ups and downs I have experienced. I just hope it works in the end.
      1. Saul's Avatar
        Saul -
        Quote Originally Posted by FeelingLost View Post
        I can get moody and or short tempered. I have been blaming it on my other hormones (E2 and prolactin) trying to find their normal lvls.
        I/my doc are still trying to find that T therapeutic lvl and I have still not reached my steady state (40days) on my current T dose.
        I suspect my other hormones will be in flux, effecting my mood, until I reach that T steady state and everything else settles down.

        I can't believe how long this takes and how many ups and downs I have experienced. I just hope it works in the end.
        How long have you been on injections? Noticing any differences yet? I am like you in that I feel much better when I exercise.
      1. FeelingLost's Avatar
        FeelingLost -
        Quote Originally Posted by Saul View Post
        How long have you been on injections? Noticing any differences yet? I am like you in that I feel much better when I exercise.
        No I am not really feeling anything positive yet. Yes my depression and anxiety is gone but it left with a TT of 350
        No increased energy in fact I am lethargic after my shot for 24 hours. I have to force myself to go exersize. I am pretty sure I am double or tripple that 350. Too early for bloods yet.

        My first injection was Nov 30th my protocal is .25 M/W/F (150mg/week) 300HCG M/W/F .125mg Anx EOD.

        For the first week I did inject less since I did not know how I would respond to injections or if I would have a reaction to grapeseed oil.
        Monday .15 Wed .15 and Fri .20
      1. Saul's Avatar
        Saul -
        Did you just do the one IM injection? You can always try IM again. Maybe it works better for you. or maybe something other than grapeseed oil. I don't know what is the test I take - it is Sun Pharam out of India - who knows. I think everyone is different. You might just be having the winter time blues and not able to get out as much. Take some more vitamin D !! I have heard that there is a dip when going to injections but since you were already on T did not think it would happen to you. Good luck.
      1. Rico's Avatar
        Rico -
        Do you get that Sun Pharma from a doctor?
      1. Saul's Avatar
        Saul -
        Yes - well, pharmacy. Walgreens.
      1. user_joe's Avatar
        user_joe -
        They judged results strictly by cortisol levels? Then they concluded testosterone itself was the cause? They applied a gel to a number of people and disrupted their HTPA. None or very few of them are likely to have been dialed in. So the people with hormones not at homeostasis reacted worse to stress. I surprise. Who know which group actually had higher testosterone levels.

        It seems anecdotally TRT helps anxiety symptoms in most men. It did for me. I’ve read some accounts from people that felt otherwise though too.
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