10 Reasons It’s “Endocrine Maybe” Instead of Batshit Crazy

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-love-hate-image29322025For a long time I’ve been saying that all can do for Batshit Crazy, is either medicate it, or run.

Except by “medicate it”, I meant psych meds. I’ll blame my psych / behavioral nursing background for that. Crazy = pills for crazy. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

But…

I’m starting to see more and more supposedly Batshit Crazy people suddenly stop being so crazy after getting on the correct set of endocrine meds. It’s really been apparent in watching all the stories of men with low testosterone on the forum who are Cranky Shit Weasels (TM) determined to avoid sex and intimacy, slowly but surely turning into normal guys once they get on testosterone therapy. Which is to say pleasantly dickish.

I’m seeing some of the same changes in personality and mood with women too. Frankly it’s getting to the point when someone presents as simply having something as simple as depression, I’m starting to think endocrine rather than psych as a starting point. Same thing with wildly inappropriate anger or disinterest in sex and other activities.

In general what triggers a “you should go to the doctor and get checked out” thought, is typically a collection of symptoms into what I call Endocrine Maybe. Here’s a list of some you might have…

(1) Lack of sexual interest and/or ability to enjoy it. That covers everything from acting like a captive Panda in the face of the zoo keepers showing you bootlegged Panda porn, to erectile dysfunction or inability to orgasm.

(2) You’re incredibly moody. Your husband stacked the dishwasher incorrectly and you’re acting like a wrestler being called out for cowardice. Stuff like that. Everyone around you walks on eggshells.

(3) You’re exhausted beyond all reason, except you are now specializing in not really doing very much.  You’re tired and unmotivated. You’re starting to see paper plates as a solution to doing the dishes.

(4) You’re forgetful and can’t think straight. You miss important things you have to do and your brain is fuzzy. You probably feel stupid because you keep losing things and can’t figure stuff out. Being moody is a great cover for not knowing what you should do when you just screwed up something by forgetting the obvious. Plus you’re too tired to think straight anyway.

(5) Your weight is keeping pace with inflation. You exercise and eat right, but you’re slowly blowing up like Veruca Salt. Or on the other hand, your weight is mysteriously going down even though you’re eating like Fat Bastard.

(6) If your menstrual cycle was made into an infographic, the graphic designer may as well be a three year old with a red crayon who was told to draw dinosaurs fighting. Goodness knows what’s happening down there. You period is random and confusing. Or maybe it’s just gone completely.

(7) You have your own weather. Everyone else is nice and warm, you’re too cold. Or vice a versa. If the kids are messing with the thermostat again, there’s a 17% chance you’ll drown them in the bathtub.

(8) You’re starting to drink, do drugs, or some other kind of self-medication to keep yourself mentally stabilized.

(9) Everything sucks. It just does. You experience First World Problems as genuinely depressing and frustrating.

(10) Someone printed this blog post off, handed it to you, then dove for safety.

So…

If you have some sort of reasonable collection of those symptoms, maybe it’s time to go visit your doctor, and this is the important part… Tell. Them. Everything.

Seriously now. Don’t hold back on anything that’s wrong with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for an endocrine referral to a specialist if your labs come back with numbers all over the place like a Lotto drawing.

Bonus reason that it might be endocrine…. you’re enraged at the suggestion you should go to the doctor to be checked out.

The good news is that if it is in fact an endocrine disorder, then it’s usually pretty fixable with medication. You can make really quite significant progress on a personal and relationship level once it’s treated. The counter-point to that though, is if it’s endocrine related and you don’t get it treated… well… enjoy the slow gradual worsening of the Batshit Crazy.

And as an aside, Rebecca Watson is the go-to of the MAP Coaches for endocrine stuff, most particularly low testosterone men. You can also check out her blog Secret Life of a Low T Wife.

 

Comments

  1. Optimum metabolism is the key.Excess estrogen and low progesterone is a huge factor in all mental illnesses.High dose niacinamide can do wonders.

  2. How do you determine if these symptoms are psychiatric vs endocrine? My wife is diagnosed bipolar type 2, but the symptoms are similar, at least much of the time.

    You head to the doctor and get the labwork done. If the labwork numbers come back all screwy, then you have something to follow up on.

  3. First time caller says:

    Can I ask a dumb question?

    I’ve tried a few newbie Google searches but I think I’m searching for the wrong stuff because I’m not getting anything useful.

    I know much of the discussion around here is about Low T men, but where can I find what else it might be? I’m not an endocrinologist, but my H doesn’t seem to show the signs of Low T. (Sex 3x/day seems like a completely reasonable expectation to him, and ejaculating twice in an hour-long session is not every day, but it’s not exceptional either, and he’s coming up on 40. I know that’s not the only factor to look at, but it doesn’t seem like Low T at first glance, anyway.)

    Is there anywhere I can find a decent look at what else might be going on under the endocrine hood?

  4. Thanks for responding. We’ve had labwork done looking for thyroid problems and they’ve always been normal, if slightly on the low side for the thyroid. Is there a specific test you’re referencing here—low testosterone, for example—that we can specifically ask to make sure has been done? Or are these tests so common that they’re part of basically every battery of bloodwork?

  5. @Casey – thyroid is very commonly drawn in basic labs, but most of the other stuff you’ll have to really express the full range of symptoms to the doctor and likely have to ask for a fuller endocrine panel to be drawn.

  6. @Athol – where does menopause fit in this discussion? There is some but not a lot of discussion in the forums about this. My W’s sex drive fell off a cliff when this happened. She is not very open to discussion on the topic unless I am game for a heated interchange.

  7. Highlander2 says:

    I watched my X hit 45 and do the whole Dr.Jekyll & Mr. Hyde thing, exhibiting a mix of the symptoms mentioned and become someone I didn’t even recognize anymore. I made this same point regarding middle aged Women/Men and messed up hormone levels a couple of years ago on a number of relationship forums. Lord help any man who brings this up, even with links to research on the subject, it’s the third rail, no body want’s to discuss it. Rather than consider the possibility that a lot of marital issues at middle age were more endocrine than relationship based, I pretty was accused as being a bitter misogynist who must have abused my wife or neglected “Her Needs” in some way.

  8. Really good post! :-)

    Athol, can you also address nutritional deficiencies such as B12, iron and so on? Even though it seems illogical in a developed country, I’ve realised there are people who are either poor or not eating right willingly and this can affect their ability to interact positively with other people. Also, there are other diseases which affect mood indirectly.

    Basically, I’d say a first step in correcting a problem with motivation and temperament should be checking for deficiencies and medical conditions rather than just blaming bad will or suggesting mental illness.

    I’ve observed that fixing the underlying medical condition and then working toward addressing the symptoms seems to be the best thing. For example, fixing a heart problem can lead to better health in so many other areas including endocrine.

    Thanks! :-) C

  9. Low cholesterol,low glucose,low carbs and excess polyunsaturated fats play a definite role in emotional issues.It will take months or a year to stabilize.The average person in the West is hypothyroid

  10. Casey,Check Tryptophan levels.If its high,try adding gelatine to your diet

  11. Great post. My wife has struggled with hormonal issues for years and we have recently started to get a handle on them. As it relates to marital bliss, we have faced two main challenges.

    1. Finding a doctor who is competent, willing, and sufficiently intrepid to solve the problem. You can’t assume that simply going to an endocrinologist will take care of it. When you do find a doctor that is all three of these things, more often than not you’ll end up paying out of pocket. We got lucky recently, finding, through the referral of a friend, an OB who is all three and covered by our insurance to boot. He does strictly NFP (natural family planning) so he is used to being creative in helping women achieve normal hormonal balance. We’re not trying to get pregnant. Regardless, works for us.

    2. Related to relationship issues (not brain fog, irregular periods, and other physical issues), there is a temptation to blame the hormones when the underlying problem lies with a husband who has failed to captain the family. Some of what I thought were my wife’s hormonal issues began to resolve themselves, without treatment, when her husband began to take charge and improve himself. For us, the problems are a mix of hormonal imbalance and a history of failed captaining on my part. So we are dealing with both simultaneously.

  12. @ First time caller
    “Sex 3x/day seems like a completely reasonable expectation to him, and ejaculating twice in an hour-long session is not every day, but it’s not exceptional either, and he’s coming up on 40. ”

    And your problem is…

  13. So now you have three kinds of “crazy:”

    1) Endocrine Maybe: fixable, rule it out or treat it and move on.
    2) Axis I disorders: fixable, find the psych meds and move on.
    3) Axis II disorders (ie Batshit Crazy) One of your litmus tests is in #2 above- if you’ve tried the hormones and you’ve tried the psych meds and you are still walking on eggshells you might consider the “run Forest run” strategy….

  14. First time caller says:

    @pegala – That he’s potentially BSC and seems to quite frequently hate me. :)

    A guy who can go twice in hour is AWESOME. A guy who thinks it’s weird not to go twice in an hour, won’t look me in the eye, and thinks about other chicks while he’s doing it? Less awesome.

  15. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PYCOS)messes with everything… lower estrogen, higher levels of testosterine and/or androgenes in women.. YUCK! Depression and insulin resistance. I’ve had issues since I was a teen and wasn’t diagnosed until I was 32-33. If your peridos are irregular, read about PCOS and ask your doctor becuase the syndrome affects much of the chemistry in your body ….

  16. Some scary familiar stuff in this post.

  17. Brian Jacobsen says:

    Contra ‘home remedies’ who I think is loco (really? eat sugar?)

    Let me confess up front that I’m a ketogenic diet devotee and have lost 200 pounds on this diet and put rheumatoid arthritis mostly into remission. While my wife has lost 70 pounds and is controlling type II diabetes through diet.
    I just have to wonder how much of this ties back to eating incorrectly? A lot of the symptoms you describe sound an awful lot like what is affectionately known as the ‘carb rollercoaster.’

    And women are by far the most likely to deny themselves essential fats setting off a cascade of health problems. I honestly don’t know if this is the answer, I do know that an improper diet is very often at the root of these types of problems.

  18. Perimenopause and menopause are really roller coasters for a lot of women. doctors are not always especially helpful. Hormones play a huge role. 2 years ago I went to my family doctor and asked for a full panel. Nothing came of it. A year ago went back and got the diagnosis of perimenopause. Supplements help a lot so does sex even when the mood is not there. Research and learn then go to the doctor and ask the right questions.

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  1. […] talked about this in particular back in February, but the link between endocrine levels being out of whack and crappy moods is well established. […]

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