BoySuffer's Story

Welcome to our community. Please fill in the following template as a way of introducing yourself, and helping others to understand your background and situation.

Where are you from (country)?
United States

How did you find this forum (Google search – if so, what search terms? Via link from a forum or website – if so, what page? Other?)
Google Search - “finasteride panic attacks”

What is your current age, height, weight?
27 Years Old, 5ft.11in (180cm), 175lbs

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)?

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
.5 mg/day (first month), 1mg (second month)

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Hair Loss (mostly prevention, Norwood 1.5)

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
2 Months

Date when you started the drug?
December 25, 2022

Date when you quit the drug?
February 27, 2023

Age when you quit?

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
Cold Turkey

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
1 Week (Depression out of nowhere)
4 Weeks (Testicular Discomfort, Subsided within week)
2-9 Weeks (Visual disturbances, Brain Fog)
9 Weeks (What made me stop was extremely severe anxiety/panic attacks)

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Anxiety, Visual disturbances, Slight Brain Fog

Check the boxes that apply. You can save your post first, then interactively check/uncheck the boxes by clicking on them. If your symptoms change, please update your list.

[ ] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[ ] Erectile Dysfunction
[ ] Complete Impotence
[ ] Loss of Morning Erections
[ ] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[ ] Watery Ejaculate
[ ] Reduced Ejaculate
[ ] Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

[X] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[X] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[X] Confusion
[ ] Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
[X] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[ ] Slurring of Speech
[] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[X] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks (Getting better every 2-3 weeks. No personal/family history)
[X] Depression / Melancholy (Depression subsided mostly after 2 months)
[X] Suicidal Thoughts (Subsided after 2 months)

[ ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[ ] Testicular Pain
[ ] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[ ] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ ] Muscle Wastage
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[ ] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

[ ] Prostate pain
[ ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[ ] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[ ] Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
[X] Vision - Light sensitivity, Image retention, Shaking Vision (No Loss in acuity) (Getting better every 2-3 weeks)
[ ] Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears)
[ ] Hearing loss
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[ ] Lowered body temperature

[X] Other (please explain)

  • Muscle Spasms (Related to anxiety, mostly resolved as of 3 months)

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?

  • Significantly reduced junk food
  • Supplements: Multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin D
  • I barely had these prior, but since Feb 15th, no alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes.
  • After first 3 weeks, maintained normal sleep pattern

If you have pre or post-drug blood tests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (please post your test results in the “Blood Tests” section and link to them in your post)?

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?
I wish I had done more research. I only knew of sexual side effects and had no idea how devastating the psychological side effects could be until I had my first ever panic attack a day after quitting. I have been making significant progress since the beginning of that crash in 2-3 week increments with side effects coming and going in waves throughout. I’m past the 90 days and still not close to being back to normal pre-fin, however, I went from being extremely severe for 2 months to moderate. I’d even say 80% better comparing to the first 2 months, but I wanted to come and share my experience. I want to give hope to anyone out there experiencing severe mental side effects that there is recovery out there. Especially in the pre- postfinasteride period of 90 days.

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.

I just want to preface my story by saying I have already reported my adverse side effects to the FDA immediately after connecting the dots to finasteride and notified the prescriber of my adverse side effects.

Personal Background:
To begin with me, I was a relatively healthy 27 year old. I exercised regularly and ate mostly clean. I have never had anxiety or anything resembling a panic attack in my entire life. My friends would describe me as cool, calm, and collected no matter what was happening. I would drive over 700 miles in a single sitting and not be afraid of doing anything or going anywhere. I also have never had an visual anomalies in my entire life. My visual acuity is 20/25 (average of both eyes) and that luckily is still intact. I have had times in my life of feeling down, but certainly nothing I would describe as depression. I was generally happy go lucky and nothing could really get me down longer than a minute.

The Story:
After mentioning my hairline slightly receding (Maybe a norwood 1.5) to a friend, he mentioned that there’s a drug called finasteride that is a good preventative. I did some light research of my own and saw really good results on r/tressless. I read varying degrees of sexual side effects occur, but only in 3-8% of men and that those side effects would subside in 3 months after stopping ingestion, so I wasn’t worried too much. I had not seen anything about mental side effects prior to taking finasteride. I filled my script in October, but decided to finally take the plunge on Christmas day.
Week 1: I noticed no side effects the first week.
Week 2 (Onset of depression): In the beginning of the week, I started to notice I was feeling really depressed. More than just “feeling down.” And it didn’t make sense because I just had a great holiday and didn’t have any outside stressors. This is the first time I googled “finasteride depression” and saw some slight links to depression. Still not aware of any other mental side effects at that point other than depression, but decide to keep taking fin. I figured I may have been overthinking it.
The Middle:
Week 2-6 (Onset Visual disturbances): The depression got slightly worse but still didn’t concern me. However, my eyes started to occasionally have trouble staying still. I never lost my visual acuity, but my eyes were also beginning to retain images of older things I was looking at seconds ago. However between these weeks, I was still able to function and it wasn’t constant or even that severe. So I continued taking fin not even thinking that the visual disturbances were from fin. I developed “ball ache” for a week at week 4, but it went away entirely after that week.
The End (of taking fin):
Week 6-8: Despite the side effects, they weren’t severe enough in the beginning to affect my day to day physical functioning. I even went on a 14 hour road trip in one sitting. When visiting friends, they made note of how I wasn’t enjoying anything and I just ignored them thinking they were kidding around.
Week 9 (End of February): Toward the end of the week, started to notice side effects ramping up. Visual disturbances are worse including colors looking weird, seeing shadows and thinking they were objects. Getting startled more easily. Even harder to keep my eyes still. Started experiencing bad muscle twitching and spasms.

After fin:
February 27th: I had been taking swanson’s mushroom complex along with some other supplements like hyalauronic acid, B5 and multivitamins. Decided to stop everything I was taking, including finasteride, because I wasn’t sure if something I was taking was causing the symptoms.

February 28th (The crash ~ 1.5 day after stopping): Went to store to buy bananas and electrolyte drink thinking I was low in electrolytes. Come home and started a video game with friends after 2 weeks of no outside stress, I had my first ever panic attack. It was so bizarre. The state of delirium and paranoia was insane. I had been sober for 2 weeks and knew there was nothing wrong with me. The attack also included major muscle groups misfiring/twitching. My whole body was vibrating and I could barely speak for an hour. I went to my living room and told my mom if I collapse or start having a seizure to call an ambulance. Luckily I waited it out, because I know an ambulance can be expensive and i dont have insurance. After it subsided, I googled my symptoms and realized I had just had a panic attack. I then thought of everything i had taken and realized that finasteride could be the culprit given it caused my depression earlier. I then realized I was in for the long haul.

March 1-7: 80-90% of my day (yes probably 10-12 hours cumulatively) was spent managing panic attacks. The kicker is the triggers are all external. Anything too visually complex or anything auditory could cause the onset. Overstimulation you could say, however, it wasn’t hard to get there. Sleep is almost non existent. A few hours some nights and no sleep on others. It seemed to get worse over the week and March 7th was the worst day of my entire life. 12+ hours vibrating in a chair in the garage secluded from house noise. 20 minute intermissions between hours of attacks. Breathing in and out in 4 second increments and trying to focus on counting to clear the mind was the only way to manage. Disorganized/Unsound thought patterns. Started derealizing very bad and almost considered checking into a mental institution fearing I would break from reality. I couldn’t believe a cosmetic drug could be so severe and started to think that there was something else wrong. Luckily I push through. Also, the visual effects were so bad I could barely look at my phone screen, let alone a TV.

March 8-21: Symptoms are the same but easier to manage. Started to get 5 solid hours of sleep each night. Panic attacks are now only 50% of day. Able to think a little more clearly. Start researching treatment and see tons of stories of people trying to treat their side effects in the first 90 days and end up making things worse and came to the conclusion that only time will help. I decide I’m going to clean up my diet and take multivitamins and supplements and let my body heal naturally for as long as possible.

March 22 - May 26:
Panic attacks were 10-30% of my day. Heart rate no longer is increased durinf attacks. Sleep has returned to normal 7-8 hours (one of the only things that has kept me going. Actually sleep better than prior to fin funny enough) Still uneasiness throughout the day but nothing as bad as an attack. Seeing progress every 2-3 weeks. Feel like an MKultra victim at this point. Every day was like being tortured. Any other sickness, your mind can escape into other thoughts. But there is no escape from your own head. I almost don’t leave my housing development this entire time.

May 27-28: (90 days)
I’d say I’m 80% recovered. The severity of my symptoms are I’d say almost out of the moderate category. I am no longer suffering to the degree I was. Most of my days I no longer have panic attacks, but still feel uneasy. I am still seeing visual disturbances such as shaky vision and slightly alerted to shadows, but thats not as severe as it used to be. I started driving short distances again and running errands, but even the grocery store can trigger uneasiness/attack.

May 28 - June 5:
Coming up to 100 days, not much of a change from 90 days.

Conclusion: The last 100 days have been Hell. After 90 days, I technically have post finasteride. However, I believe strongly my symptoms will resolve by the end of the year. I still felt it important to share my story for anyone in the early stages only dealing with mental sides that there is hope. But it takes a lot of time. At least for me. After lurking for 90 days, I also want to be able to post. When I am able to start working again, I will be making donations as often as possible. And to all of you on this forum dealing with mental sides as well as sexual sides on top of this, god bless your hearts. It takes signifcant perserverance and determination to go through all of this!


  1. Name of the therapy/substance:
    • Dosage:
    • How often you took it:
  2. Status
    • Still using [ ]
    • Stopped with no lasting change to initial symptoms [ ]
    • Stopped with persistent change to symptoms [ ]
  3. Duration of use: Days [ ] Months [ ] Years [ ]
  4. Response when you started:
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
  5. Current response (if you’re still using the therapy/substance) OR Response in the time before you stopped the treatment
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
  6. Lasting changes to initial symptoms after cessation (if you have stopped for more than 3 weeks)
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]

Hi your symptoms were extremely severe and would say still are pretty severe. I unfortunately don’t know how you can project to recover(fully recover?) in one year, but hope you would. Consider spreading awareness about this drug as the risks far outweigh any benefit and the amount of information on the internet on this drug is still insufficient for young men to make informed decisions in my opinion. You should be warned about even 0.001% chance of any neurological symptoms especially if it is permanent. And those neurological symptoms should not be brushed off as depression as in most cases it never is ‘normal’ depression.

I think the mushroom extract could have added on top of the finsteride ones.

Either way, sounds awful. Good that you’re feeling a little better lately.

You are 100% correct. Even though I only took the mushroom complex a few times, I believe it further disrupted my DHT levels and might have helped bring them to a dangerously low level. Unfortunately, I had no idea that certain mushrooms can lower DHT at the time and had just read a lot about the benefits. I am very skeptical now about any supplement other than vitamins, minerals, fish oil. Yes doing a lot better, but like all of us, just hoping to a return to my pre-fin self at some point.

Yes, my symptoms were extremely severe the first 3 weeks. Sorry for my wording but I wrote at around 90 days that they were almost out of the moderate category meaning almost into the mild category. Again this is relative to how bad the symptoms were when they started. I have told every single friend and a lot of my family what the drug is and what happened. For someone with mild hair loss like me, I now realize it is like dropping an atom bomb to kill an ant. Yes, the depression was a huge warning sign that sadly I ignored. And I’d say the depression has left but the anxiety is lingering. My judgment about recovering in full is because I’ve seen improvement every 2-3 weeks. I’ve also read member stories with anxiety being the main symptom and most people recover in 3-9 months. Something about finasteride blocking the 5ar enzyme, which blocks alloprenenolone, which is responsible for holding open the barrier to fill the GABA A receptor, which controls anxiety. So I believe it’s just time and not taking anything that fills the GABA A receptor, because then my body would downregulate. I will post an update in a few months. I also want to mention that I read your story when you first posted and I was still lurking. I see a lot of similarities minus the sexual sides. Now that the pain and depression are mostly gone, the realization of the anhedonia is now setting in. The visual side effects for me are preventing me from watching anything on a screen so no more movies. We are both still early in this fight and I pray for your recovery even though we are both atheists :pray:

I am using severe here as in comparison to normal person. As feeling uneasy, perhaps having an odd panic attack, shaky vision, anxiety plus unfortunately anhedonia (the worst). I’ve had a hypothesis on the persistence of sideeffects which would state the further you go the less can recover, but I don’t know whether or to what degree it is true or for which symptoms. I don’t want to spew bad news here, but I haven’t seen a full anhedonia/personality recovery here especially for someone with very bad mental symptoms, but I continue to hope and :pray:. For me the anhedonia didn’t get much better, but somehow responds a little to vitamine d3+k1+e (but don’t take this as a supplementation recommendation, also this makes me only like 10% better).
Btw I wonder whether somebody having ONLY mental sideeffects without even loss of libido would tell something about the mechanisms of this condition - so perhaps not only AR is involved(bad news?).

I’m hoping too my friend. I take a d3 too as well as a multivitamin and hope it’s helping but can’t tell. The AR inhibitor reduces the production of certain neurosteroids related to anxiety/depression, so I think it’s something to do with those receptors in my brain being more sensitive to the DHT reduction. Similar to how someone can produce a lot of DHT and their scalp isn’t sensitive so they don’t bald. Although do note I did get testicle ache around week 4, but that didn’t last longer than a week. I also think the anhedonia is improving in my case as I have started to re-enter the world. Being stuck at home for 3 months and not being able to look at a television screen while also being tortured can wear on a man’s ability to feel pleasure. Hoping to learn how to feel joy again.

welcome to the fight brother

watch about for D3’s downstream anti-andorgen effects - people have gotten worse from vitamin D, but your results may vary.

this condition is extremely high in variation, and its completely unpredictable.

as a general rule, stay away from compounds with androgen receptor inhibiting properties, along with SSRi’s and acutane.

research any supplement you take on google and on the forum to see people’s experiences. set backs are often worse than the initial crash.

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Thank you for your reply. I had ordered turmeric a long time ago and have an unopened bottle in my drawer. Just seeing now that curcurim inside turmeric is anti androgenic too so I won’t be taking that. I still am seeing progress at least every 3 weeks (sometimes it’s only a little progress, but still a noticeable milestone). Today I was able to make a small trip to the store and was only a little uneasy toward the end of the trip which is better than I was 3 weeks ago. I will only have the d3 thats in my multi for a little while and see if there’s a difference. Yes, I have read many posts warning about ssri medication making things much worse so I will stay away. I am trying to manage without any prescription medication or even non script stuff that messes with GABA because it can cause downregulation and delay my recovery further.

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Update as of 10/14/2023: Most of my symptoms are gone or are manageable to the point where the days aren’t torture. I still have some muscle twitching and some bad vision issues. Still feel slightly overalert, but no longer sensitive to noise. Anxiety is almost non-existent. I am starting to believe that I may have something else neurological going on that coincided with the time I started Fin. Went to optometrist and got clean bill of health there. I will be seeing a neurologist, but that could take 2 months. I will update when that happens.

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