The Effects of Steroid Use You Should Know
One of the more interesting findings of the highly publicized testosterone-builds-muscle study recently published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine is the lack of mental aggression seen among the participants of the study. This seemingly contradicts previous extensive medical documentation concerning the negative effects of anabolic steroids on psychological status, popularly known as ‘roid rage.
The finding in the NEJM study that 600 milligrams a week of testosterone didn’t produce adverse mental symptoms could be due to the brevity of the study or to the fact that not everyone responds to steroid usage – or to be more precise, abuse – in the same way.
For example, in a report to the Endocrine Society in 1995, researchers noted that a deficiency of testosterone in 56 men produced personality characteristics (including anger and irritability) more commonly associated with steroid excess. When those 56 testosterone-deficient men were given supplemental testosterone injections, their personalities went from surly to genial.
A different conclusion was reached in a new study published in the Australian Medical Journal (165:222-26) that reviewed the evidence concerning the effects of anabolic steroids on the mind. Recent violent acts committed in Australia and allegedly related to steroid abuse seem to have precipitated this study.
The first case centered on a 29-year-old bodybuilder who beat his wife to death using a weapon described as a claw hammer. While he committed this horrific act, his four children were in another part of the house. He then shot himself in the head. Before this incident, his home life had been described as ‘‘happy.’’