Anabolic steroid use gives people a fast way to bulk up and make them feel a certain way. However, the side effects of steroids can cause damage to the body.
Many people, men, in particular, will look at a body-builder, or someone that just works out regularly, and wish they had that body type. They are often sculpted and appear very strong and confident. That aura will come with the way they look, and others will want that. For some people, their path to that type of body comes at a cost.
While anabolic-androgenic steroids are not often thought about as an addictive drug, or even readily abused drug – they actually are. Most likely the people are right in front of you, and you think they look great because they are muscular. Inside though, what they lift and look like is never enough. It will never be, and they will work towards destroying their bodies with steroids in their effort to reach this unattainable goal.
Anabolic steroids are a prescription medication used to treat a variety of legitimate medical needs. Most often, people will be prescribed in the form of inhalers for asthma, or sometimes to help with muscle pain.
Anabolic steroids, or more specifically, anabolic-androgenic steroids, are a variation of the male hormone testosterone. These are the hormones that provide some specific male traits, such as muscle mass and aggression. Steroids may be naturally occurring or artificial, but have the same side effects either way.
One of the main side effects of steroids is muscle growth. This can be used to help with diseases that destroy muscle mass, like AIDS or certain cancers, but the main appeal comes from weight lifters and people that want to put on muscle, and do it fast.
This may not be a term you’ve heard of, but it’s a common term in weight lifting culture. The term is a play on anorexia, where a person will starve themselves to death because they cannot be thin enough. In bigorexia, the opposite is the case. A person cannot bulk up enough, weigh enough, or have enough muscle to satisfy what is driving them.
This is very dangerous, as it puts just as much stress on the mind and body as anorexia does. It may not be something that gets a lot of attention or clinical concern until it’s too late, as looking fit and muscular is often praised in this culture.
It becomes a continual feedback loop. A person wants to lift more to look and feel a certain way. The steroids help them lift more, which makes them feel better for a while. Until they want to lift more, and then they keep repeating that process.
Spotting the behaviour and signs of someone struggling with bigorexia is the same as someone with anorexia, you just may not notice until things are unfortunately far along the path of the disease.
Someone struggling with this will often:
While bigorexia is not a mental health diagnosis yet, these patterns of behaviour are very similar to anorexia, and adding a substance like anabolic steroids into the mix, makes it have potentially deadly results.
Steroids taken in small doses for a limited time can give relief to people suffering from many muscle-destroying ailments. For people wanting to put on muscle, they take it in high doses consistently with no end in sight. This puts them at risk of having side effects from steroids and health problems.
Being a male hormone, it means that they will become more aggressive, angry and violent. This may not be true for people taking it short-term, but over a longer period of time, those on anabolic steroids become more likely to act and be paranoid. They may not be able to control themselves and hurt the ones they love.
Some other side effects of steroids, when taken in excess, are:
The effects of anabolic steroids also will put someone at higher risk for certain cancers, like prostate cancer in men.
For men, it may put on extra mass, but it also leads to:
In women, it has different effects:
Research has discovered that some steroid users turn to additional drugs, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids This raises their risk of overdose.
Some drugs regularly abused by steroid users include:
Those misusing steroids will undergo many of the same outcomes as those abusing other drugs, for example. They may buy them illegally, take them in larger doses than prescribed, feel the requirement to have them even when they don’t need them, and go to more diverse ways to get them, despite the harm being done to their lives and bodies.
Anabolic steroid abuse, and bigorexia, are treatable, and people can find a balance in their lives without the use of mind and body altering drugs. Addiction treatment and ongoing support can be used to help a person detox from steroid abuse, and then begin to treat that underlying need to be bigger and lift so much. These are just compulsive behaviours and help is available for them.
Many people don’t realise that steroids have addictive properties and can cause addictive behaviours. Still, it can be hard to quit without help—many steroid users who stop on their own relapse again. If you’ve been struggling from an addiction to steroids or any other substance, help is available.
Contact our dedicated treatment advisers now to learn more about your treatment options. This can end, and you can find peace. Reach out to us today for help now. You can start the recovery process and get back into perspective and live a healthy and happy life.