In SEVERE need of help
- 06-02-2011, 12:51 PM
In SEVERE need of help
Hey guys. I've been following posts around here for quite some time and I'm desperate for help and advice. I will try to make this as short as possible.
I am 25 years old and I live in an eastern european country. I suffer from panic disorder with agoraphobia ever since I hit puberty at 14. My "illness" is so devastating, that I can't go around my own town by myself... and recently with anyone else for that matter. I won't go into much details, but I'm about to put the rope around my neck.
There was nothing that triggered it, no childhood trouble, no abuse, no nothing.
There is some family history (my father) of mental illnesses, but im not sure what he had, since i dont even know him...
I was put on SSRI (Lexapro) 10mg and Klonopin 0.25mg when I was 18 and it seemed to work well. My daily anxiety was under control and I managed to go "some" places. It worked well for 5 years, during which I had some alcohol abuse (non-stop parties). I'm a smoker ever since I got my attacks (14 years old).
An year ago, I met this girl and we started dating, until the moment when I got an UTI infection from her and we were put on Ciprofloxacin and Flagyl. That drug combination spun me to hell. Devastating anxiety + panic attacks+blood sugar levels going crazy + what not. My girlfriend at the time got them too, which was really odd, since she never had any history of the "disease". She actually had an attack infront of me and it was weird to watch it from the side.
Anyway, I was doing so bad, that I had bloodwork done 6 months later, because no matter what AD I started, nothing helped. I was stuck at home. I tried 4-5 different Anti-Depressants back then. When they failed, I got back on Lexapro and had my bloodwork. Here are the results:
FT3 6.03 / 3.1-6.8
FT4 14.22 / 12.0-22.0
TSH 1.46 / 0.27-4.20
Prolactin 419.2 / 86-324
Estradiol 181.4 / 28-156
Progesterone 1.79 / 0-5.3
Testosterone 9.64 / 9.0-27.8
DHEA-S 11.14 / 4.34-12.5
Cortisol 1 231.0 ?
Cortisol 2 98.3 ?
I'm not sure which Cortisol is morning and which evening, but here is the refference: 6am-10am 124.2-662.4 ; 4pm-8pm 49.68-179
ACTH 21.080 / 4.7-48.8
4 androstenedione 7.790 / 1.22-11.00
17 alpha OH progesterone 2.887 / 1.52-6
Somatotropic hormone 0.11 / 0.10-5.92
I have never had bloodwork done before.
From what I have researched, SSRI's can heighten Prolactin and lower Testosterone. I dont have much info on benzodiazepines like Klonopin and their effects on hormones.
I'm pretty sure that my issues are hormonal, due to the time when I got my panic disorder (puberty) and because I'm definitely not a "panicking" type of a guy, even now. Also, there just isn't anything wrong with me mentally. SSRI's don't help, therapy doesn't help and I've spent the last year living in hell.
All advice will be VERY welcome.
I am going to get some bloodwork done again, when I get some cash. Should be in a couple of weeks. I think my levels should be better, because I've been going to the gym for the past two months and eating healthy, running too.
Since a child until 18 I was always like a twig, tall and VERY skinny, no muscle mass. After I started the ADs I went up to 110kg. Now I lost some of the weight and I'm back to 87kg. I'm also 188cm tall.
Do you think that my issues can be hormonal ? All the endos here don't believe that hormones can cause panic disorder. What do you think ?
All advices will be very welcome.
Also, ask anything.
- 06-02-2011, 01:01 PM
All I can say is that you should speak to doctors about this. If you're already in a messed up situation and take the advice from someone without any real knowledge, you could be risking your life. Seek professional help before implimenting ANYTHING you find online.
- 06-02-2011, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the advice, but my life is already messed up. I'm just looking for directions and I'm not going to just jump into ideas thrown my way.
06-02-2011, 01:24 PM
Are you conferring with a mental health specialist or just a GP/family doctor?
06-02-2011, 01:40 PM
Mental health specialist + Doctor. Both of them don't think that my problems could be hormonal and think that my hormonal profile is OK, when some of my hormones are way out of range.
The mental health specialist (Psychotherapist) is highly dedicated to psychology and strongly refuses all biochemical/neurological/hormonal relations with any "mental illnesses".
The general doc doesn't take much part into this and believes that AD's should fix it, but they don't.
06-02-2011, 01:49 PM
06-02-2011, 01:51 PM
I'm in eastern europe.... trust me, there are no professionals here. I've met a ton already. The ones that are good aren't in my town... and I can't travel.
06-02-2011, 02:09 PM
I've read over here posts regarding high estradiol and that it causes anxiety and panic.
I would love to hear more on that topic.
06-02-2011, 02:10 PM
How about separately working with a local endocrinologist? If you can't get the psych to work with caring about hormones, continue working with him anyhow and see the endo separately
06-02-2011, 02:21 PM
The endo who did my bloodwork, offered T injections, but I refused, because I had tried Tribulus before and it brought a lot of anxiety. She said that it was normal to have low T, since I'm on AD's. In my oppinion, that number is way too low for a 25y old man. From what I have read on this forum, it is possible that I convert most of my T to estradiol. Is that right ?
In general, doctors here study books written during communism - 20years and older.
There is a huge lack of professionals in my country, that's why I'd rather speak with people who deal with blood samples/hormones on a daily basis. That is why im here.
I was brander "Mentally healthy" by 2 psychotherapists and 1 psychiatrist.
My GP doesn't do much, but fill my prescriptions as she is a general doctor and doesn't find physical problems with me.
The endo has never heard of panic disorder being caused by hormonal imbalances.
06-02-2011, 02:23 PM
06-02-2011, 02:29 PM
I don't really know much about it. I just gave it a shot back in the day when I was regular at the gym. From what I read, it is supposed to be a "natural testosterone booster".
06-02-2011, 02:34 PM
Not trying to be harsh with you, but we do see a lot of guys who spend more time second guessing their doctors than trying the doctors recommendations. Often times reaching a solution is a process of trying different things, not a single eureka! I'd really suggest since you have a doctor willing to prescribe the testosterone to try it and see if you do get anxiety or not.
06-02-2011, 02:39 PM
I'm going to go for that for sure. I had already made my mind up about it.
What worries me the most is my high estradiol. I've read that it causes anxiety and panic. What if the testosterone I get turns into estradiol ?
Should I try arimidex or tamoxifen first, to see if my testosterone restores to normal levels, without additional T ?
Also, are there any studies linking low T to anxiety and panic ?
06-02-2011, 02:54 PM
Well, possibly you can get the endo to prescribe exemestane/aromasin for you. long term thats better than arimidex.
from what I recall, there is some link mentioned between low t + anxiety but its not well established.
06-02-2011, 03:01 PM
Thanks a lot for the info. I will check out those drugs right away.
By the way, I was just browsing pubmed and i found this:
"Excessive estrogen influence produces anxiety, agitation, irritability, and lability. It can promote the development of anxiety manifestations (e.g., panic, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder). Progesterone and its metabolites inhibit kindling and seizure activity. They have potent anxiolytic effects, possibly by virtue of their GABAergic activity. "
06-02-2011, 03:57 PM
Is there any way for me to find out if I convert my testosterone to estradiol on a higher-than-average basis ? Right now I'm trying to find out which came first, the egg or the chicken.
BTW here is some more 1st hand info on testosterone and anxiety:
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