You've heard the term "Roid Rage" numerous times. When the subject of anabolic steroids comes up, in many cases the topic of roid rage is often soon to follow. For years, roid rage has been one of the primary arguments made by those of an anti-anabolic steroid nature and based on the definition of roid rage it is a strong argument and one that is hard to defend against; that is if we go by the definition. The problem with the roid rage argument is what if it's wrong; what if roid rage doesn't exist in the way in-which it's often portrayed? What's more, what if roid rage doesn't exist at all, is the use of this topic still a valid argument against anabolic androgenic steroids?
It is an undeniable fact; anabolic androgenic steroids are hormones, powerful hormones and hormones can have an impact not only on our very physical nature, but they can affect other areas of our life too. Does this mean they have the ability to alter our mind as do many recreational drugs? With recreational drugs, the mind altering effects are often the primary reason they are used but what about anabolic steroids, do they share this trait? What we want to do is to explore roid rage, first defining it by its meaning as deemed accurate in popular culture, examining the ins and outs of this definition determining if it holds true as well as discussing the effects of anabolic steroids on the mind. In short, we're going to find out if roid rage is real, a myth or an outright lie.
Roid rage is a very basic idea that revolves around the use of anabolic androgenic steroids. The idea is simple; the individual supplements with anabolic steroids, in-turn the hormones cause the individual to become angry and violent. Further, by the nature of the hormones the individual is unable to control his anger in-turn causing him to act aggressively. In short, the definition of roid rage is an increase in aggression that manifests itself in an uncontrollable way.
By the definition of roid rage, one of the best examples by-which this definition is portrayed was in a 1994 episode of the HBO series "Lifestories: Families in Crises" in an episode starring Ben Affleck titled "A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story." In this episode, Affleck portrays a young man supplementing with anabolic steroids, and when discovered by his girlfriend Jeannie he goes ballistic! Affleck proceeds to rough the girl up, trash his bed room and starts pouring pills down his throat like a starved man who hasn't eaten in a year. After he takes the pills he thrashes around some more until he falls to the floor in a spastic fashion, beating his arm and shoulder into the hard floor where he then starts crying and calling out for help. This little scene may sound utterly ridiculous, but by the perception of the anti-anabolic side, this is not only the definition of roid rage but one that is 100% factually correct. If you supplement with anabolic steroids, this is the notion most in the public eye hold to.
Undoubtedly, the obvious question at hand is roid rage real? Is the scene depicted above true to real life? One of the defining studies in this regard was done by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in an article titled "The Effects of Supraphysiologic Doses of Testosterone on Muscle Size and Strength in Normal Men" supraphysiologic referring to doses far beyond traditional therapeutic procedure; we're talking about performance enhancement. In this study, the NEJM used 40 healthy adult men ranging from 19-49 years in age. Of the men, 20 were given 600mg of Testosterone-Enanthate per week for 10 weeks; three times the average high end therapeutic dose. Of the remaining 20 men, 10 were given a placebo and the remaining 10 nothing at all. The study measured the effects of testosterone in every aspect and by the findings the test provided positive results in each and every category but here we are only concerned with the mental aspects. What did the NEJM find, "No significant changes in mood or behavior were reported by the men on the Mood Inventory or by their live-in partners, spouses, or parents on the Observer Mood Inventory" and if that is not telling then nothing is and if roid rage is real shouldn't at least one of the men displayed a different result?
Of course, that's only one study, and although the NEJM is one of the leading medical journals in the world this study has largely been ignored by the anti-anabolic crowd and for good reason, it is detrimental to their argument. Of course, there are many other similar studies we have to pull from. For example by looking at the Archives of General Psychiatry, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, all have concluded the same thought in that anabolic steroids show no psychological effect; leading to the conclusion that either roid rage does not exist, or the impact on negative, aggressive behavior is so small it cannot be measured. This is not to say anabolic steroids do not have an impact on aggression; we're simply speaking of aggression in a negative sense and of an uncontrollable nature.
In 1990, the United States Congress passed the Steroid Control Act of 1990, officially classifying anabolic androgenic steroids as Schedule III controlled substances. In order to Schedule anabolic steroids, congress was charged with a task of providing the burden of proof in one single regard as is required by law. To Schedule a substance, there must be evidence that such a substance carries with it traits that lead to mental or physical dependency, and further that show a strong potential for both mental and physical damage. This was the responsibility laid before congress, as is stated by the law in-which congress is charged to uphold when considering such a classification, but the results are far from what you might have expected.
During the hearings that led to the 1990 Act congress called upon several medical and law enforcement agencies including the American Medical Association (AMA) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), as well as a host of others. During testimony, the AMA stated there was no evidence that anabolic steroids exhibit traits that lead to mental or physical dependency, or a strong case that proved anabolic steroids lead to severe mental and physical damage. This testimony was shared in a similar fashion by the majority of medical professional agencies who were called to testify and at the hearings based on the findings the AMA stated "we vehemently oppose the ban." A sentiment held by the majority of the medical and law enforcement agencies including the DEA, the very agency now charged with arresting those who violate the legislation. The long and short, while there were several claims that led congress to pass the Steroid Control Act of 1990, the one surrounding roid rage was supposed to be one of its primary weapons; it proved to be a weapon that shot blanks, but many have been led to believe it fired like a cannon.
Testosterone is a hormone that largely affects our aggressive nature, and as testosterone is the primary anabolic androgenic steroid and the hormone by-which all anabolic steroids owe their existence, anabolic steroids can have an impact on aggression. The problem with aggression is it has in recent years been inappropriately labeled; more or less it has been turned into a "Four" letter word. Aggression itself is not a bad thing, no more than a car is a bad thing; what we do with aggression is what defines it. Absolutely, anabolic steroids can increase our aggressive nature, they can make us more aggressive to a degree, and this can be a very useful trait. Ask yourself this question; do you want your football players to be aggressive or do you want them to walk around like little princesses? Do you want your soldiers to be aggressive or do you want them to pee their pants every time someone turns the lights out? What about in simple everyday life ventures, who's better off; the lethargic man who waits for a miracle to fall in his lap or the man who gets up and charges at the world and makes something happen? These are pretty basic questions and ones you should already know the answer to. The point, aggression is not the dirty word it has been painted to be.
The truth is very simple, anabolic androgenic steroids do not alter our mind, they do not alter our thought process or create an inability to control our actions. While anabolic steroids can increase aggression, what we do with the aggression is still fully in our control. There is an example or school of thought that has floated around in performance enhancing circles for decades, and while it may sound simplistic it hits the nail square on the head. If you're a jackass, and you supplement with anabolic steroids you're going to be a more aggressive jackass. If you're someone who is already an angry person, someone who is already violent in nature, if you supplement with anabolic steroids this isn't going to change. You're still going to be that same person only more aggressively so; if you're a jackass you're simply going to be a bigger jackass. Then we have the rest of us, the sane, the even minded, the non-violent, and the normal human beings. If these individuals supplement with anabolic steroids nothing is going to change, they will still be the same person. Their personality won't change their ability to distinguish between right and wrong will not go away, it can't; anabolic steroids, as has been proved and discussed here do not have this effect on the brain. Anabolic steroids do not create a chemical reaction in the brain; they do not cause a mutation of the brain cells nor any other factor that would cause the individual to act any differently than he already dose. What does this tell us and it all boils down to this one simple fact; roid rage is not real it is a myth and as such the concept of roid rage is an outright lie.
The truth is absolute; roid rage is not real as it is simply not possible. Yes, anabolic steroids can make an already angry and violent person more aggressively violent and angry, but they cannot change the core of who we already are. Of course, there is also the issue of a placebo effect and this can be a problem. As human beings, we are often highly susceptible to ideas that have been planted in our head, and for this reason, when some supplement with anabolic steroids they expect to get angry and violent, as this is what they've been told to expect. In this case, the idea has been implanted so strongly that's exactly what some individuals will do; this can be very common in younger people who supplement as their minds are often easily persuaded, but it can hold true to all age groups. The bottom line is it is simply not real; medical science has proven time and time again roid rage is nothing more than a myth. What you do with your actions, how you carry yourself and the choices you make, anabolic steroids or not it's all in your hands and based on the choices you make.