The Other Side Of Steroid Use
To feel the need to look good and feel good are very natural emotions. Who doesn’t love to look great, feel confident and not mention have attention showered on them? These factors boost a person’s ego and add to their self-esteem. But the question remains, how far will you go for that ego boost? The best way obviously is to look after yourself, eat right and exercise moderately, that will help you stay healthy and fit. Sometimes this much is not enough and people choose the shorter way out and resort to using steroids that help them achieve their dream body.
What do steroids compose of?
Steroids are available in various kinds, but basically, they are all synthetic versions of testosterone, the male sex hormone. Steroids were initially crafted to help in cases of stunted growth and palliative and treatment option in case of many conditions like respiratory conditions, osteoporosis, cancers, severe inflammations and much more.
But soon the misuse of this vital component began. People started with steroid abuse, as steroids help in building muscle mass. It also helps in improving athletic performance and increases the body’s endurance to a great extent.
The effects of steroids are so magical, that it is very easy to get addicted to them. The effects are only while the strength of steroids lasts. Too much of anything always has ill-effects. The side-effects of steroids are hazardous. It can cause some serious health damage to a person’s body that includes hormonal fluctuations, poor physical appearance, enlargement of organs, acne, shrinking of private parts etc.
Along with the physical consequences, steroid abuse also has some devastating effects on the person’s personality. There are many behavioural changes that occur, and steroid abusers sometimes enter a vicious cycle of upping the dose to feel better and have more long term side-effects.
What is the vicious cycle of steroid abuse?
The principal of a coveted school mentions, “It usually starts at a young impressionable age when winning a title or a trophy is the most important. Kids take steroids to get an upper hand over competitors, and gradually increase the dose to get more advantage. And so they enter vicious cycles, from which, getting out is an uphill task”
As soon as the effect of steroid wears off and the side-effects begin to surface, people usually hike their dosage to get back the effect, which invariably does more harm than good.
Effects of a changed personality on family life
The behavioural side effects of steroid abuse can have devastating effects on the family life of the person concerned. Some serious personality changes noticed in steroid abusers and their repercussions faced by the entire family are noted below:
- Depression: This is the commonest side-effect of drug abuse. As the effect of steroids wears off, it often becomes difficult for a person to deal with the side-effects and in turn feels depressed. The more side-effects, deeper depression the person experiences. There have been many instances where depression lead to suicidal thoughts in the minds of the steroid abusers.
Such conditions have serious effects on the family, especially if the abuser has children who are not emotionally equipped to understand the condition.
- Mood Swings: This is yet another side-effect of steroid abuse. The user may experience, sudden euphoria, which could alternate with despondency, emotional breakdown and sudden rage as well. The family is often the worst affected in such cases, as they can never guess how the steroid abuser would react to a certain situation. The affected family may often be at the receiving end of sudden mood changes, which affects the general atmosphere of the household.
- Aggression: As the dramatic effects of steroids wear off, obviously the person not only stops looking as bulky and athletic as they did, they often start looking worse. This could include water retention, weight gain, sagging muscles and oily skin full of acne and much more. Along with all this comes along yet another side effect that is sudden aggressive behaviour. Studies have proven a clear link between withdrawal of steroids and aggressive behaviour.
- Impulsive: As withdrawal symptoms set in a person, especially when one suddenly stops taking steroids. A person tends to become very impulsive in behaviour. This along with aggression makes the user potentially dangerous. As soon as their mood swings and they get aggressive, an impulse to do harm to themselves or people around them becomes a big threat. The relatives of a steroid user are always at a risk of harm befalling upon them by the hands of the user. If the user harms self, even that could result in permanent damage and loss to the family. The users feel an impulse to overreact in situations that may or may not be worthy of such a destructive reaction.
- Roid Rage: This terminology was recognized in the 80’s when it was noticed that several violent crimes were committed by body builders. It was soon linked to steroid abuse which caused excessive aggressive behaviour paired with a sudden impulse to cause harm.
- Sexual dysfunction: One of the physical side-effects of steroids is shrinkage of testicles. This along with synthetic testosterone may cause a diminished sexual desire or cause problems like erectile dysfunction.
This problem inhibits a person from having a normal sexual life with their partner, leading to frustration. The sexual partner, in turn, has to face a poor sex life and suppressed desire.
Financial Burden on the family
While the long term psychological effects are tremendous for the family to deal with. The effects of these sudden psychological changes may overflow to the person’s professional life. With sudden mood changes, aggressive behaviour and impulsiveness, the person could be a potential criminal in the workplace. And probably sudden outburst of such behaviour might cause the person to lose their job.
Such a professional setback along with emotions like depression and suicidal tendency, the person becomes extremely vulnerable. The family not only have to deal with these changes in the behaviour of the person, they may also face serious financial burden. And if the physical side-effects of steroids begin to cause physical conditions, treatment expenses and other factors may land the family in deep trouble.
While the effects of steroids may be dramatic, one must always bear in mind that the short term and long term side effects are severe. And they not just affect the user physically and psychologically, but cause a great strain in the relationships with near and dear ones as well.
And so such indulgences are best avoided keeping the interests of relatives and self in mind.