Struggling with mental side effects, I just want to progress on that

Where are you from (country)?
Uruguay

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?)
I think I clicked on a link in some kind of blog, searching about possible side effects.

What is your current age, height, weight?
18 yo, don’t know about the rest for certain.

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

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

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Hair loss lol

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
51 days

Date when you started the drug?
Don’t remember exactly, probably around 30 of september of 2021

Date when you quit the drug?
February 18

Age when you quit?
18

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
I stopped taking it immediately

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
Don’t know for certain, I think I noticed side effects soon after taking it

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Reading problems, lack of focus, maybe cognitive impairment? I don’t know, I feel dumber. I certainly have more trouble expressing my ideas since then.

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.

Sexual
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

Mental
Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
Confusion
Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
Slurring of Speech
Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Severe Depression / Melancholy
Suicidal Thoughts

Physical
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

Misc
Prostate pain
Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears)
Hearing loss
Increased hair loss
Frequent urination
Lowered body temperature

Other (please explain)
Wrinkled and dry skin, trouble reding, veiny penis, thinning of eyebrow hairs, limbs prone to get numb, total lack of body odor in the armpits.

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
Nothing for now.

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)?
No tests neither, will check my blood soon tho.

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?
I should have listened to my mom.

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
Well, first of all, I want to thank this site for existing. Second, please be warned that i’m not a native speaker, so my english may not be very good.
About me, I think i’m in trouble, hopefully not, though. While I was taking it I noticed some side effects, but since respectable medical sources online didn’t mention them, I assumed it was because of something else and I kept taking them for some time. I was aware of it having sexual effects but I hadn’t read anything about mental ones, it was after finding out about this site that I realized what was going on, so I stopped taking fin 2 months ago. At first I had brain fog, I couldn’t focus or concentarte, a complete mental block. That thankfully went away after stopping dosage. But there’s another problem that persists, something that it troubles me deeply, and it’s that my reading capacity has been reduced significantly, as it sounds, I have trouble reading, I mess up the words, it’s terrible, and I fear it will impact my studies and chances of having a professional career. Not only that but i’ve always enjoyed literature a lot, i’m very sad about it. Mom said it may be an eye sight issue, and while it’s true that my sight is a little bit more blurry now (could be because of aging), I know it’s not the case, this is more like dyslexia. I also know that this is not true because not only it has improved a bit after stopping fin, I also had truble with stuttering while on it, which also has improved, thankfully. So I think it’s a cognitive issue.
Some days ago I think I had what you here call a crash, my penis shrinked and twisted (I don’t think I ever had any sexual side effect before) and I started having terrible intestinal issues (no joke, they were terrible and I didn’t eat for days), not to mention I had panic attacks (never had those before, so I don’t know for sure, but I think they can be described as such), yeah, a terrible week. But hey, look, listen, I don’t care about that stuff, i’m a virgin, a complete looser, and I already internalized I would die as such loooong time ago, I don’t care about my dick falling off, I just want my intelligence back, i’m studying to be an engineer, I fucking need it, not only that but it was also a part of me, of my personality even, it’s as if you cut the legs to an athlete. It’s humillitaing even, I feel dumb, I may be now.
Has anyone fully recovered from this? I can wait some time. I also considered starting taking aderall if I don’t recover soon, studies are starting to get heavy and I may need it. Any advice is more than appreciated.

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Also, some things that i’ve thinking lately:
*I don’t know if I will ever improve, from what i’ve read here, some people do, some people don’t, but what I know is that I definetively don’t want it to get worse, that’s for sure, but what should I do exactly to keep sure i’m not worsening my condition? What I shouldn’t eat or do? I’m sure that you guys must have some experience in this topic, after all this forum is very old. This is crucial and you should pinpoint this, thanks to you I realized about the dangers of anti-androgenic products, antidepressants, and creatine, for example. But this was only after lurking for hours, I understand that you may not know for certain, but there is no wrong in being cautious and warning others.
*While some posts here may well be true horror stories, I want to point out that there are also some really inspiring bits here and there, and again, I want to thank you, specially this guy axolotl, he is a true inpiration, most of his posts here are really motivational, he’s a true fighter and it shows, as I want to be too. If this place was only a dark hole of depressed crybabies, there would be no hope at all.
*I have some ideas about how to get funding, any thread you could link about that?

Hi @Call_Me_Fighter

Sorry to hear you’re experiencing this.

It’s good that you’ve already read some posts about the dangers of anti-androgenic products, antidepressants, etc. Regarding things you should steer clear of, those are really the big two. It will be hard for other users to give you a succinct summary of the entire patient experience, but the search function is pretty useful to find information on topics you’re concerned about.

For example, if you’re worried about a certain food or substance, if you search for it here you’ll usually find first-hand patient experiences on it.

There is indeed hope for the future, as our charity has recently organised new research into PFS, and is active increasing awareness and appreciation of the disease. I note you have some ideas about funding - if you’d like to get involved please reach out as I manage the fundraising arm of PFS Network.

Finally, I note that you stopped taking the drug Feb 18th. Please know that some patients experience a full resolution of their on-drug side effects after 3 months, as the patient record indicates these can sometimes linger and are not typically PFS. This may be the case for you, so please take care of yourself and avoid further exposure to anti-androgens such as finasteride, dutasteride, minoxidil, saw palmetto, etc. Even after 3 months, some patients experience improvements to varying degrees, and as I said, there is significant progress being made towards eventual treatments.

Take care for now.

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Maybe it’s a bit too early to make a post recording my progress, but I’ve been struggling a lot lately and I really need to clear my mind and organize my thoughts about all this.
Seems like most of my symptoms have stabilized as of now, what I mean by that is that, while I still have most of them, they are now on a constant and manageable level, while before (during what I think it was my crash) they would vary throught the day, things which inluded the penis shrinkage (strangely, my penis size and form would vary in amazingly short times, I didn’t even know that was possible, now, it’s just always slightly deformed and smaller, not as if I was going to give it a proper use anyways, sigh…), the stomach pain/digestive issues, and my overall mood.
Luckily, my reading problem has improved quite a bit.
Also, I want to note that my hair is still not falling at the same rate as pre-fin; now, i’m not an expert on how finasteride or PFS works, but that must obviously mean that it still has an effect to a certain extent on my body (I could have been a happy, bald man; now I look like a vampire instead, full of hair, but also dead inside).
Yes, I know i’ve obsessed over all of this and I know that it’s probably not very healthy, but honestly, and this is the worst part, I don’t want to do anything right now aside from waiting for recovery, I don’t want to play videogames anymore, I tried watching movies to forget about it all but I just wasn’t interested, I didn’t even know I liked certain things so much until all of sudden I don’t want to touch them anymore, I just want to go to sleep indifitively until I awake cured. This has turned into a vent post, sorry about it, though week.

I understand how you feel, but just want to add that I recently just had resolution of basically all mental sides, including insomnia which was my worst one. I’ve been off fin for over 2 years now. So even if substantial time has elapsed there’s still chance for recovery or at least improvements. Don’t lose hope!

As @Sugarhouse pointed out, you’re still way to early into this to draw any definite conclusion that it will be permanent. Chances are you’ll start feeling a lot better in the upcoming months, just try to take it chill and don’t hop on any supps / drugs and try to let your body do it’s thing. In my experience some light cardio can really help with the mental clarity, but don’t overdo it.

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Thank you a lot for the encouragment, and congrats on your recovery, man.
Maybe I should abstain from this forum for a while and just relax, as you guys say, will update only if things get worse.

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Might be a good idea if you’re getting obsessive, but please come back and report if things are starting to look up as well. It’s always nice with a happy update and not only the catastrophic ones. :slight_smile:

And thank you, although it’s only a partial recovery and not full (sexually I’m still bad). I could probably live like this and be happy all my life, but it wouldn’t hurt to be able to feel my dick again lol.

So I did a 3 day long fast, and wanted to record it here.
What has improved? Nothing really, at least significatively, just an almost unnoticeable bit. Again, maybe it’s just natural recovery.
On the other hand, i’ve noticed some slight changes in my skin all over my body, very minor stuff, when you pinch it it has a weird texture, hopefully nothing, but having read about other people’s experiences here about dermic issues, it might degenerate into something more troublesome later i’m afraid. I have a bad feeling about it, like it’s the calm before the storm.
Mentally i’m fucked up, really, I must look like a moron to others, I forget words, can’t communicate correctly at times, people have to explain things to me specifically, had I not proofread this paragraph 4 or 5 times, it would have been a mess. Gosh, yesterday I was wondering how the fuck could I read so many complicated books so well, now sometimes I can’t even read memes. And it seems adderall is out of the picture for now too, at least in my country you need the aproval of a psychiatrist.
It’s all so tiresome. I await the day when I will write the words “Hey guys you may not believe it, but i’m fucking cured. See you in Disneyland, loosers” here.

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Anyone who can fast 3 days or longer earns my respect. Then again, I imagine most people on here have done 3 days or longer. The longest I have done is 4 days without food; 3 days without any water/liquid.

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Yes, it was not a bad experience, probably will repeat it, but next time I will try a week long water fast.

So, after the aforementioned fast I started a keto diet which I think helped inmensely with my reading; but after some weeks on it I got hit by a very severe headache and a terrible taste in the mouth, which I read are possible side effects of that diet, so got off it. It was intersting tho, my head hurted like hell but my reading was significatively better lol. Now the reading is getting worse again I feel, but not as much as before, so that probably means it had some kind of lasting benefits.
I’m very excited to try it out again in the future, will do a water fast and then will start eating keto.

Self-reporting form

  1. Name of the therapy/substance: Ketogenic diet
  • Dosage: -
  • How often you took it: -
  1. Status
  • Still using [ ]
  • Stopped with no lasting change to initial symptoms [ ]
  • Stopped with persistent change to symptoms [X]
  1. Duration of use: Days [X] Months [ ] Years [ ]
  2. Response when you started:
  • Greatly improved [ ]
  • Slightly improved [ ]
  • Stayed the same [X]
  • Slightly worsened [ ]
  • Greatly worsened [ ]
  1. Current response (if you’re still using) OR Response in the time before you stopped the treatment
  • Greatly improved [ ]
  • Slightly improved [X]
  • Stayed the same [ ]
  • Slightly worsened [ ]
  • Greatly worsened [ ]
  1. 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 [ ]

Today marks 3 months since I stopped using finasteride, which means that I officially have PFS now, yaaay you can bring the popcorn now guys, i’m part of the club!
In all seriousness tho this disease fucking sucks, I really hate what i’ve become, I was never prepared to handle being physically deformed and especially cognitivelly impaired; but I guess that’s life for you, and you can’t but keep going forwards. I guess at least i’ve come to accept it, i’m not in the constant state of panic that consumed me before anymore and that’s good on its own, now i’m just in a depressed and grumpy mood hoping for recovery (which I know it’s possible).