Why Am I “Not Feeling Like Myself?” (NFLM)?

Man and woman on the beach embracing

Why am I “Not Feeling Like Myself” (NFLM)? After all, haven’t you been around yourself the longest time? If something’s not going right, wouldn’t you be the first one to know? You’re probably used to feeling pretty good, right? Maybe even great. You try to talk to others, and they say, “Well, you’re just getting older.” You go to the doctors; they order the same lab work, and when the results come back, they say you’re normal. But deep inside, you know you’re not. You’re used to having that pep, high energy, that get-up-and-go. My God, you’re not used to feeling just “normal”; you’re used to feeling great, right? What’s going on? Is this what the future looks like?

These are all valid questions. And they are VERY real. On one hand, you may still be going to work or doing the things that you have to do, yet you may feel a little tired, maybe a little depressed now and then, maybe not sleeping as well as you used to, not doing the things that you used to enjoy as much, you’re not as sharp. Not frankly depressed, achy, or weak. Kinda just going through the motions. And unfortunately, these are very common symptoms we doctors hear. These are now collectively and appropriately termed “Not Feeling Like Myself” (NFLM).

The Reality of Aging and Modern Life

Yes, it’s true, age does have its effects, and when you’re busy, proper exercise and diet probably are the first to go out the window. Less time for yourself because you’re giving a lot of time to responsibilities and to others. In today’s busy whirl-wind of a world, in the concrete jungle, with its chronic stress, horrible news, anti-social media, etc., it’s hard to stay positive.

Man kayaking before he experienced "not feeling like myself"

You may often recall how you felt when you were younger: more carefree, more energy, more pep, creative, the life of the party, nary an ache or a pain, sexy, and so on. Heck, man, you used to feel like an A+, but now you’re feeling like a D! Just what the hell is happening? But according to today’s reactive, often compassionless healthcare system, that’s still a passing grade, right? Unfortunately, you don’t get much recognition until you get an F! You have to get pathologically sick—like frankly depressed, diabetic, morbidly obese, arthritic, have cardiac disease, compromised immune system, or such maladies—before you get any help. This is reactive, as opposed to proactive, and totally absurd. Yet, this is unfortunately the current state of affairs. Now, I hate to be a naysayer or a speaker of doom, so….

What Can You Do to Fight “Not Feeling Like Myself” (NFLM)?

First, realize that there is help AND the best part is, most of this you CAN do yourself. So step back and look at your state of being—mind, body, and spirit. Yes, you need all three to be optimized in order to feel great again. Just “two out of three IS bad.” Make sure the fundamentals to maintaining these are being done:

Mind

Yes, your outlook is key. It’s not just seeing if the glass is half-full vs. half-empty; the main point is, it’s refillable! Think positive and DON’T hang around negative people. Avoid or escape any toxic relationships. Get help if you need it—often this can be found on the back of your insurance card. Take the first step and get evaluated if needed.

Body

Yup, lifestyle—most important! Again, stick to the fundamentals. These are covered in depth in my books, “The MidLife Health Guide for Men” and “The MidLife Health Guide for Women.”

  • Proper Rest: We need that physical, emotional rest at night. Improper sleep often precedes depression. Accordingly, getting the proper rest will alleviate many of the symptoms of depression. Try OTC first, mindfulness, imagery, progressive relaxation, and other means besides drugs to help.
  • Proper Exercise: Have a “fun-out,” not a workout! Go with a friend. Try something new like hot yoga, pickleball, tai chi, or Pilates. Mix it up. Just go walking at sunset or in the morning and take deep breaths. Take the time to smell the roses, so to speak.
  • Proper Diet and Fluids: We truly are what we eat. So eat natural, non-processed foods. Eat three balanced meals a day. Avoid junk. Lastly, lots of fluids—a glass of water will energize you more than a cup of coffee AND there is no crashing afterward!
Dr. Rao showing his books on how bio-hrt can help "not feeling like myself"

The Newest Facts: Can Bio-HRT or Hormonal Optimization Help NFLM?

YES!! As detailed in my books above, our hormones are the chemical messengers of our body. Whether they are directing your body into feeling better or conversely that your body isn’t feeling well and they’re not at optimal levels, reflectively, hormonal optimization DOES help alleviate NFLM. This, according to Stephanie Faubion, MD, a proclaimed menopause superstar in a recent June 24, 2024, Medscape article. From hot flashes to night sweats, mood and sleep disorders, sexual and urine control issues, even joint pain, most women over 40 can relate to NFLM. It’s important to note that these can occur in both the peri- and post-menopausal periods. I agree when she states, “They’re getting 10 diagnoses for what is actually one hypogonadal problem.”

Is Bio-HRT, Hormonal Optimization Safe in Treating NFLM?

I also reiterate that the doctor must discuss the benefits and risks of any therapy and individualize it for her, as there are no two women that want the same options nor respond the same way. These modalities must be routinely monitored for safety and effectiveness. Hormonal optimization, both for women AND men, can alleviate many of the symptoms of NFLM and may be a safer option for many than prescribing other medications such as semaglutide, Zoloft, or Fosamax, to name a few, that only treat one facet of NFLM or menopause symptoms. These have quite serious side effects.

Spirit

Last but certainly not least, we must maintain a good spirit, as we are blessed to have this. It makes us human. Whether you’re religious or not, I believe we all have that component that must be nourished in some form. Be it a religion or simply tai chi, yoga, or such, it’s important to be on your special journey in this life.

I hope this helps you out, and please visit our website, sign up for further blog posts, give us ideas to write on, and most of all, come in for an evaluation—I promise you’ll be glad you did!