Anabolic Steroid’s Effect on the Mind

I’m sure there are several cases where you go to a local gym and see some people that are so massive that they can’t even fit in their shirt, or rather even straighten their arms.  I’m sure you wonder, how did this man/woman get so big?  More often than not, the answer is anabolic steroids.  Steroids have been prevalent for years now and are common among body builders who perform in heavy weight lifting competitions simply because it is the easiest and quickest way to take off fat and gain muscle, resulting in a phrase that most people like to refer to as ‘gains.’ They are also extremely common in male athletes to enhance their performance as well.  I’m sure you all have heard of the notorious baseball sluggers Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodrigues, and many others.  These drugs obviously have a physical effect on the body, but how does this affect them mentally?



Anabolic steroids drive up the male hormone referred to as testosterone, the hormone that constructs male features, along with playing a role in the male’s appearance and influencing their behavior.   These high testosterone levels are attributed to many different psychotic symptoms, especially aggressive behavior and even depression.  Mood swings are also very common, along with a rise in anxiety levels, often referred to as a term called “roid rage.” The Structured Clinical Interview provided diagnostics for a randomized control trial conducted in 1994.  They conducted this trial with a sample of 88 athletes who used anabolic steroids.  In 23% of these cases, signs of mania and depression were present.  The null hypothesis the researchers would use in this case is that steroids do not have an effect on behavior and the alternative would be that there is an effect.  Another astonishing statistic is that 25% of these athletes experienced a dependence for the drug, which could cause severe withdrawal symptoms.imgres

Additionally, aggression and certain behavioral attributes are not the only things that steroids psychologically effect. As steroid use continues, one is more likely to experience withdrawal from the drug, especially after building up a tolerance.  This is extremely dangerous, and can even lead to serious depression and unfortunately in some cases maybe even suicide.  An observational study of COPD patients was conducted, where two groups of n=20 patients were observed, one group receiving steroids and the other not.  It was observed that steroid users had a significantly higher level of depression and dependence after a t-test was performed, resulting with a p-value of less than .01. Evidently, these studies may have a correlation, however this does not imply causation.  Several confounding variables may be present in these tests.  For example, do these participants consume alcohol and how frequently? Do they have a family history of any psychological disorder?  These are third party variables to consider.

Sure, steroids may make you look ‘yolked’ and they may enhance physical performance, but the negative side effects definitely outweigh the pros. In conclusion, the dangers of steroids are clear and it is important to stay away from this substance, and stick to a more natural way of putting on muscle, for example having a high dose of protein in all your meals. This may not be the most efficient way for achieving what is widely known as ‘gainz,’ however, it is the safest and most natural, and you won’t have to live with the possible negative side effects that steroids could cause.    Be safe, be natural, don’t use steroids.



3 thoughts on “Anabolic Steroid’s Effect on the Mind

  1. Cole Donald Rogers

    At this day in age I feel as though if you are not taking some kind of supplement you have to feel as though you are at a disadvantage. Even if it is just the newest protein bar; they market these items as if over night you will have the transformation of a lifetime when the fact of the matter is you can achieve what you want without enhancers. Personally I find the way we are consumed by these products as disgusting because now some people will decided not to go to the gym just because they ran out of pre-workout. It is as if we need an assist in everything we do, cellphone to communicate, supplements to be fit, maids to clean. We are learning to stop doing for ourselves and let others do things for us. Do you think this is how society is becoming? Here is a list of famous athletes who were caught on steroids: (many you had no idea about)
    Best Athletes on Steroids

  2. Bernarda Jarrin Alvear

    I have also noticed many people who just want to bulk up, I believe that this is not only caused by steroids its a combination of that and many protein supplements. I agree with you, people do not know the side effects. For instance protein supplements are very popular now everyone drinks it. They are everyone and even women are starting to buy them more than usual. I found an article that talks about the possible health consequences that both supplements and steroids have. If there are many negative consequences by this, why use them. Here is also an article from WebMed that talks about why protein shakes are very unhealthy for you.

  3. David Ross

    I enjoyed reading this article because I too have noticed some of the characters in the gyms here on campus with absurdly large muscles. I often think that there is no possible way to get that big without steroids. While it would be cool to bulk up and lose fat, I certainly do not wish to have any of the negative side effects of anabolic steroids. Heres an article discussing a possible alternative to serious: electro stimulation Do you think this method also has its own negative side effects or is it actually significantly safer than steroids?

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