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Do Hormones Alter Personality & Behavior?

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EchelonHunt:
Hello everyone,

I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss.

Hormones, such a messy little subject. ;D

Do you believe hormones have altered your personality and behavior for the better or worse? Or do you believe hormones have little to no change on your personality and behavior as a whole?

Do hormones change a person's personality over time or would it be a combination of environmental factors including life experiences, maybe something else entirely?

Before T, I suffered low levels of T and as a result, my body and mind was very sensitive to the sudden shift in hormonal levels. I would experience violent mood swings, depression, suicidal thoughts leading up to my periods and during, this accumulated into chronic depression that lasted several years. I was diagnosed with depression but anti-depressants did little to relieve the numbness and when I acquired T, my mood instantly lifted. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My friends noted the change in my behavior, that I was more happy, I smiled more, I became more social whereas before, I would be a nervous mess talking to people. I do still suffer from being depressed, nervous and the occasional irritability but I see these as part of being human, just the small parts of me that once dominated my personality but having hormones, walking the right path, keeping a positive outlook has helped shred away the unnecessary negative emotions and notions that once consumed me.

What were your experiences? Have you found any intriguing studies about hormones and the mind?

As always, please respect one another - I feel this discussion can bring varying viewpoints to the table that would be enlightening to read.

Kind regards,

Jacey   

suzifrommd:
Great question, Jacey.

For me, it's really hard to separate what hormones have done to me from the changes that other parts of my transitions brought about.

There is one thing I KNOW HRT changed:
* My sexual arousal and response mechanism has completely changed. Under T, I wanted to make something happen. Someone should have an orgasm, preferably both of us. We should get somewhere. We should achieve something. Get to a certain level of intimacy. Under E, it's totally different. I don't care whether I orgasm or not, whether we go all the way or just cuddle. It's a togetherness experience.

There are several other areas where I strongly suspect that HRT has had an effect:
* I am calmer. Under T, I was always feeling driven. Under E, I'm willing to let things happen in a way I didn't before.
* I am more loving. I find myself having tender feelings for my family that were very different from those that came before. I appreciate animals and children. I never used to.
* I am more tolerant of chores and housework. Cleaning around the house is pleasant in a way that I don't think it ever was.

So, I'd come down on the side of saying yes, hormones did change my personality.

amZo:
I feel the emotional and mental affects have been driven more by the physical changes on HRT than anything.

helen2010:
In my case the differences have been quite profound.  Post hrt I am less guarded, more open, more engaged and more authentic.  My personality and behaviour have therefore changed.  This has been noticed and commented on by others.  Perhaps I am a little less focussed, analytic and phlegmatic but this is a good thing.

Shantel:
I am a lot more laid back on estrogen than I was when I was loaded with testosterone, although I am a type A personality and suffer from impatience, and have a low tolerance for drama naturally, it does seem that some of that has changed dramatically, if not I would have been kicked off Susan's long ago. One thing that became evident is that I now have more empathy and relate on a more emotional level with others than ever before, which has enhanced my relationship considerably with my spouse. My endocrinologist claims that most male and female behavior is learned through socialization much more than it is hormonally driven that is notwithstanding the swings genetic females have to endure due to hormonally driven changes in cycle.

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