Note: I’ve had a lot of problems trying to post on this site before, so I’ve just been using the yahoo egroup to update people on my progress. This is the fourth update on my “dopamine routine”, copied verbatim from the egroup.
Here’s the latest on my dopamine routine and the progress I’ve made
thus far. To reiterate, here’s the evolution of my routine:
Beginning: Tyrosine/Phenylalanine (increase dopamine), C3 (reduce
cortisol), progesterone cream (increase GABA, thereby reducing
cortisol), other little things like milk thistle
Middle: Cut out everything but Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, and
Now: Am taking just tyrosine and phenylalanine.
And, as far as progress goes, I’m almost 100% back to normal. I have
night time erections, strong morning erections (not 100%, but
three-ish months ago I was at 0%, so I feel amazing), libido comes in
waves–at times it’s stronger than others, but I can feel overall that
it’s regulating. Brain fog is completely gone, I feel a much stronger
will to live and enjoy life than I have since I took finasteride, and
moreso in general I just feel like I give damns about things. I’ve
gone back to wanting to listen to music, talk on the phone with my
friends, ride my bike and enjoy the warm weather, etc. I just feel
more creative/compassionate/all these things I liked about myself
before I took finasteride. Sex feels way better, I HAVE CRUSHES ON
PEOPLE for the first time in years, and I maintain erections
post-ejaculation. Given my personal struggle with this problem, my
progress over the past few months is like night and day.
The only adjustments I’ve done to my routine recently are two-fold: I
cut out progesterone cream (I just had this intrinsic feeling that I
didn’t need it anymore) and increased my daily dosage of tyrosine and
phenylalanine from 2 grams each to 3. I think this second step is
what’s made a huge difference.
This slight adjustment in my routine and its consequent effectiveness
have posed a very difficult question in my mind. Before I ask it, I’d
like to remind everyone that we, as a community of dis-eased men, are
suffering from essentially the same side effects: anxiety, depression,
emotional displacement, and sexual dysfunction. It’s obvious that
these four conditions are symptomatic of the same problem–in other
words, whatever cause we have for all these woes is the same.
So, with that in mind, are we all clinically depressed? I personally
don’t like how candidly depression is diagnosed in people, especially
in the US, but I feel like our endocrine systems are exactly that–so
depressed they can’t stand up on their own and need some sort of
outside assistance, be that medical or what have you.
It makes too much sense to me to ignore. Several anti-depressants
essentially mimic this dopamine routine in a more intense way. I feel
that as the dopamine routine I’m following is directly having a
positive impact on all of my symptoms, it’s likely because it is
medicine for an actual condition I didn’t suspect I had: depression.
So what to do now? I feel like if I keep following my dopamine
routine, I will eventually go back to completely normal, than be able
to taper myself off these amino acids. (It’s worth mentioning I went
off my amino acids for two weeks to see what would happen, and
absolutely none of my positive progress diminished–once I went back
on them at higher dosages, I began feeling more and more progress at
noticeably faster rates). I’m also considering taking Wellbutrin, a
dopamine reuptake inhibitor commonly sold to treat depression, to sort
of add rocket boosters to my routine.
I’m not claiming to know exactly what’s going on in our systems, but
the rational side of me says that it’s absolutely impossible for a
drug to chemically rewrite someone’s mind to the point that they can
no longer enjoy life. Even poisons don’t do this to people; even if
you chemically castrate someone, those effects eventually fade away.
I just don’t think anyone in our situation is allowed to lose hope,
because it’s so unlikely that there’s hope to be lost. If absolutely
nobody had made any progress from their lowest point despite repeated
efforts, I might consider this problem unsolveable. But, well,
evidence anecdotal and personal suggests something contrary. People
have improved, even at tiny steps at a time, but this is enough to
prove that our lives are not over.
I still stand by my idea that finasteride is a dopamine antagonist,
which wreaks havoc on quite a few seemingly unrelated systems in the
body. As dopamine levels diminish, cortisol increases, which further
complicates the situation by preventing the metabolism of key hormones
such as DHT, Testosterone, and Progesterone. People might see bouts
of progress by taking testosterone and progesterone supplements (I
know I did), but I think the most effective way to treat this problem
is to get it at its source: dopamine. Be that through natural methods
(amino acids) or more artificial ones (anti-depressants), I have a
strong hunch that this is the ticket out of this misery.
To people who are reading this and wondering if your situation was
worse than mine, I’ll reiterate my history. I was prescribed propecia
at age 19, took it for less than 4 weeks, and was practically
impotent, libido-less, and miserable for three years. Only a few
months ago did I decide to take it into my hands to actively solve
this problem, and that’s exactly what I’m doing–solving it. I feel
like this drug has robbed me of my college years, but if anything I’m
grateful to know that I can have my life back. There is no doubt in
my mind that this is the worst obstacle I will ever face in my life,
and just reminding myself of that gives me the will to keep fighting.
In addition to this problem, another thing we all have in common is
time: we are not in a race to fix ourselves, and there is no sense in
giving deadlines for well-being and dizzying ourselves with scrutiny.
You shouldn’t be in a rush, it’s just going to add to your anxiety.
I’ve been doing a lot of researching, as well as exercising and
reflection, and it’s really helped center me. And, in all honesty,
once it occurred to me that I might be clinically depressed, something
inside me went off like a bell and I’ve felt so calm with my situation
since then. And that’s when the pace of my improvement rapidly
increased, because I feel a million times more confident with the
nature and direction of this ailment.
I apologize for writing such a long email, but I hope it gives most
everyone here something to think about. As always, it’s wonderful to
receive private emails from people on the board, and I’m always happy
to discuss progress and ideas–although I am pretty busy most of the
time now, so my emails might be surprisingly brief!