Updated: Jun 3
A real life story from Sheldon Stringer, DNA co-founder and self-confessed 'Silverback'.
Testosterone plays many vital roles, of which sex drive and muscle gains are merely two of them and the effects of testosterone deficiency go well beyond these boundaries and like mental illness, can be a very lonely and isolating place.
Being married to a woman that is equally intelligent as she is beautiful is a wonderful thing, but when you have declining testosterone levels, it can make life a lot harder than it needs to be.
It's hard to articulate to your partner who you idealise and adore that it isn't that you don't find her attractive anymore or that you have gone off them but that one of your primal instincts has all but been obliterated by feelings of absolute exhaustion, inadequacy and just a general lack of joy can prove to be beyond challenging but what is the alternative? Leave you partner feeling unwanted, unattractive or God forbid, unloved.
Talking about the things that makes you the man you are, or talking about how you don't feel like you're firing on all cylinders anymore can be a tricky one to approach, but you shouldn't feel ashamed about feeling this way or be embarrassed to talk to your wife or partner about it.
How did your decline in testosterone affect you?
In my case, it literally felt like someone had stolen half my soul. Considering myself to be a real man's man, and partaking in many physical activities like grappling, MMA, motocross, rugby, surfing etc it was hard for me to consolidate why I would wake up tired, and then be pissed off because I was tired. I would be angry for wanting to do things but not have the energy to do them. Simple things like going out for dinner with my wife on date night would fill me with resentment as all I wanted to do was go to sleep.
My sex drive was non existent, which as you can imagine put stupids amount of stress on my relationship. My wife thought I didn't find her attractive anymore and this couldn't of been further from the truth. I just didn't want to have sex, full stop.. Like it was too much effort. I just wanted to be left alone.
My drive and ambition had gone from roaring inferno to a pissy ant camp fire that couldn't even heat a cup of water and I found myself both frustrated and angry at my lack of gumption.
Finding joy in anything became hard work in itself and things that had previously brought me vast amounts of joy had turned into a chore more than a pass time. Working on my motorcycle, playing guitar or the drums, going to the gym, surfing, meeting up for a beer with my buddies. All of this became too much and I found myself withdrawing from the world. I found myself isolated and alone.
I consulted my doctor who sent me for the blood tests as I had expressed my concern with my lack of interest in sex but according to my GP, the results were within the normal range and so the doctor diagnosed me as having depression and put me on a course of anti depressants, Two years later after several different medications and doses, I felt no change. Not a peep.
I got to the point where I decided enough was enough and that I wanted to feel like myself again. The person who would wake up at 2am, drive 5 hours to surf for 3, just to drive back home again afterwards.
The guy that would work on his bike on the Saturday and go for a burn on the Sunday. I wanted to feel like the person I knew I was, not the person I had become. After talking to my wife about everything I was feeling (one of the best decisions I have ever made), we decided to come up with a natural solution. Being a naturopathic nutritionist, my wife started researching all the possible reasons I was feeling this way and after quite a bit of digging, it became apparent that I was suffering from testosterone deficiency. All the symptoms fit to a T!
Have things changed for you now?
Fast forward two years and I am back to the person I wanted to be, and used to be. All those symptoms are a distant memory and I feel almost as good as I did in my twenties. The best part is that I am not taking pharmaceuticals to make myself feel better. Just a very well thought out and formulated blend of vitamins and minerals that have increased my natural testosterone production and have made me the man I used to be and am glad I am today.
Talking about testosterone deficiency with those you love can be scary, but believe me, it's not nearly as daunting as trying to fight to make it through every day, especially if you're doing it alone. Studies have shown that 48% of men would rather end a long term relationship with their partner than talk about their symptoms or how testosterone deficiency is effecting them.
Be brave, inhale and talk to those you care about. Tell them how you feel and how hard things have become for you. I guarantee that if they love you, it won't even be an issue and you will have all the support and understanding you need.