Emotions and taking testosterone

Lately, I’ve felt an increased breadth of emotionality, and I’ve been wanting to embrace that and document it.  At this point, I’ve been on injections for about 2 months.  I’d say I could first recognize this about a month ago – I saw the film, Moonlight, and I felt choked up / on the verge of tears a couple of times.  This was no small event:  I haven’t cried or even come close for a very very long time.

About two years ago, I was seriously depressed for a year.  It’s definitely different for everyone, but whenever I’ve been depressed in that way, I do not cry.  I don’t have any emotional experiences, really, other than fear and panic and deadened mental capabilities.  And physical pain, but not in the way where I want to cry.  Then, after about a year of trying different meds, I got on one that I actually like, for the first time ever.  It helps me sleep.  It helps me not think in obsessive ways.  It helps me absorb new information and changes and take those things in stride.  I’ve had some serious high notes, in this past year.  This drug has actually helped with that, perplexingly.  I’ve also had a couple of anxiety attacks, but they were extremely few and far between, and related to stressful times.

But I had not felt sad, or any of those nuanced pallets / ranges within the emotion called “sadness.”  Until I started (again) on testosterone – which is kinda interesting because the more likely narrative is “once I started T, I couldn’t cry anymore.”  I have yet to actually cry, but the sensation is there, and I welcome it.

Today, I was listening to a podcast, and I felt overwhelmed with emotion.  Like I said, this has been so rare, that I embraced it.  It was “This American Life,” the episode called, “Ask the Grown Ups.”  Tig Notaro was giving some advice to a teenage girl who’s mom had recently passed away.  It was so moving that the world around me changed, temporarily.

Also, I’ve recently been seeking out music that I listened to while I was depressed, 2 years ago.  (There’s not much at all to uncover because I listened to so little music.  It’s basically 2 albums by Royksopp, something by The Notwist, and, probably a couple more I could track down if I really wanted to dig…)  It’s been… interesting.  There have also been big changes in my life lately, mostly at work, that has triggered some images of violence to flash before my eyes.  I’m all too familiar with this, and in the scheme of things, it’s been super mild.  But, yeah, haven’t experienced that in a very long time.  Instead of acting on it or obsessing on it though, I just came home, took my pills, and went to bed early.  I feel sooooo grateful that that’s all I have to do.  And then the next day it is not too bad.  What???!!!  It’s true!

So, essentially what I’m saying is that I have felt some intense emotions over the past couple of years, but very rarely did that involve any form of sadness.  Which, is pretty bizarre if I think about it.  And that’s been due to depression and medication.  And then, this higher dose of T opens back up a world I have not been able to access.  It includes nostalgia and emotional connectedness and feelings associated with the weather and isolation and the season and the environment, etc. etc.

As long as I’m not continuously bawling my eyes out, it’s all good.

If you’re interested in this topic, I also wrote these posts:
Depression and taking testosterone
Depression and taking testosterone pt. 2

10 Comments on “Emotions and taking testosterone”

  1. Lesboi says:

    I haven’t been able to cry, even though I’ve felt choked up and on the verge a few times, ever since I started taking T. Just recently, I was watching some videos on youtube and tears actually started flowing down my cheeks. I watched more so it would keep coming. I’m going through some really heavy emotional stuff right now and dealing with it is freaking me out a little. The depth of my emotions around this thing are scary to me and the fact that it makes me cry now is also a bit alarming. I am happy that I can cry, because I think I really need this release of emotions, but because I haven’t felt this wide a range of emotions for quite a while, it worries me that I might not be able to turn it off. I guess I’m afraid that I’ll have a total breakdown emotionally and not be able to control it because those emotions feel so deeply embedded and pent up in me from not being able to process them for several years. Don’t know if that makes any sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lucky says:

      It was very cathartic to me when I started crying again… but I will agree that it was intense.. years of not crying being pent up and releasing at that moment.

      I still feel a very wide range, but as long as I stay aware of my actions, it’s not a concern of mine.

      I can understand and empathize with your fears… but as long as you have good coping mechanisms (and I suggest a good therapist, if you don’t have one… especially since you’re dealing with other big things), you will be fine.

      Personally, I think it’s good that you’re feeling things more in depth, so long as you don’t get stuck in one… and once you get through whatever you’re dealing with, chances are, you’ll feel more control with that same potential of range/depth, while only going to those lengths when the situation warrants it.

      Hang in there… I hope you can use this to your advantage in getting through your tough time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lesboi says:

        Thanks for sharing your experience Lucky, I really appreciate hearing this from someone who’s been through it. I just figured that I had lost the ability to cry and so when the tears started flowing the other day I was really surprised and a bit alarmed. It’s all good though and I’m glad to be working through some of these things now. In general, I’ve found that T has helped me feel more connected to people and my feelings even though I’ve been much more even emotionally. It sounds contradictory but it actually works quite well most of the time. Estrogen always had my emotions running on hyper drive and they were all over the place so T has been a very welcome break from all of that up and down stuff. I guess I’m just a little scared that I’ll go back to being that way or worse and I don’t want that. Thanks again for your input.

        Liked by 1 person

    • janitorqueer says:

      Yeah, it sounds like being able to feel these emotions will help you work through the stuff that is going on. It could be a good thing – and I doubt it’ll spiral out of control because you’re in such a different place now! Being able to be more true to yourself gives you a baseline of confidence and calmness that you’ll be able to check back in with, I believe. Take care Shawn, thinking of you! I personally think of all I’ve accomplished with transition as a safety net.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lesboi says:

        Thank you! I like how you think about your transition as a safety net. I’ll have to give that some thought. I think it’s just my anxiety speaking when I worry about losing control of my emotions. Other than one time in my life, a long long time ago, that has never happened to me, so I doubt it’s about to start now.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kris says:

    Interesting, Kameron, and it sounds like you are in a better place overall. Happy for you, young man!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. imankingblog says:

    Agreed , I too experienced a weird yet welcomed shift in the ability to feel emotions


  4. Lucky says:

    I first had troubles crying when I started T… especially during any episodes of depression. But that was in my early years (18-21 years old), when my shots were a higher strength (100mg/week) because my doctor wanted me to mimic the rush of hormones that teen boys get during puberty…. Actually, there was a time in those early years (about only 6 months at age 18) where I had a different doctor, who had me on 100mg/bi-weekly, and at that point, between day 7 and 10 (around that 10-day half-life that T has) that I would feel this HUGE drop-off and my energy drained and my emotions were running wild until shot day.

    Now, at 30, I’m at 50mg, after I peaked in my physical changes (and my blood tests put me in the upper part of normal for cis-males… which is more important to note than my dosage, as I have friends who take less or more and land at about the same spot). My depression has been in remission for 8 years, my anxiety is manageable and my mood is overall stabalized… And I cry. Sometimes I have troubles (especially when I’m really down), but I tear up at the beautiful and happy moments, and equally at the sad. And I feel like I reach this point of feeling that full range of emotion (though my anger is reduced a lot since my pre-t years).

    Anyway, I think it’s awesome that you’re embracing the emotions– even, and especially when you cry. It seems like you’re in a great spot to live authentically, which is never short of amazing… In a way, moreso than a lot of cis-gendered people manage (or at least the ones that fight to stay strictly in the binary).

    I’m glad you’re documenting this… I did a rather poor job, in a way (but blogs didn’t really exist then), and I wish I had. It’s a very unique experience that changes in so many ways over time… keep embracing it.


    • janitorqueer says:

      Yeah, I definitely embrace it. Rather than it feeling like it’s out of control / scary, it just feels like there are more subtleties to notice, and that can be beautiful, even the sad notes. I feel like crying is cathartic, but to be honest, I don’t miss it. I’d be fine with not crying, as long as I can be reminded by being on the precipice.

      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experiences.


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