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Your saying “ Quite frankly, I am ashamed and embarrassed to confess it [your downers].” demonstrates just what the main issue is with us men. We won’t admit to these feelings because we feel it shows a weakness and men can never, ever do that. Cowboys don’t cry, we recall from our childhood onward. And since most of the doctors we see are men, we can’t admit these feelings to another man, who wouldn’t understand anyway – and if we see one of the relatively few women urologists or oncologists, well…. We couldn’t show a woman our feminine side. Dr Charles “ Snuffy” Myers, well known to many men with prostate cancer says depression is the most under-diagnosed side effect of cancer treatments, and especially of ADT (Androgen Deprivation Therapy).
From what I’ve read of the few men who do discuss this forbidden topic from time to time, the biggest single problem (apart from the emotional roller coaster we go on) is a lack of testosterone. This sees some men taking testosterone supplements and reporting amazing increases in energy level and ‘feeling good.’ Needless to say, of course there are enormous differences of opinion as to the wisdom of this step, but……..it certainly works for some men and there is no sign, from what they say of the supplements fuelling any progression.
I am fortunate in some ways in that I have a slight tendency to bi-polar behaviour, which has seen me suicidally depressed on two occasions in the past. I say I am fortunate because those incidents made me very aware of the precursor to changes in mood and I can thus avoid heading down the awful spiral into the pit of despair that is true depression. The key, for me, is to force myself to do things, to have exercise, to get the endorphins flooding my system, not to allow myself to sink into lethargy, hard though that is initially. The point that Phred makes about his glass being half full rather than half empty is another key – difficult to do when on the slippery slope, but essential.
Hope you get out of your hole, George and recover your amazingly positive outlook on life. I am sure that many people have been given a boost in their energy levels and will have been inspired by your tale and the never say die attitude you exhibit.