Anabolic-androgenic steroids have been linked with body dysmorphic disorder, or more specifically, muscle dysmorphic disorder. Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health issue and is the preoccupation with a slight or imagined defect in a person’s appearance. Muscle dysmorphic disorder is a preoccupation and dissatisfaction with the size of muscles and body. It is normally experienced by male body builders. A body builder may perceive themselves as small and will constantly compare themselves with other body builders. The preoccupation with their size may lead them to train excessively. They may constantly seek reassurance from friends or partner but they may doubt their honesty. In severe cases a body builder may take to wearing heavy clothes to conceal their size. There may be a sense of shame attached to their size. Bodybuilders with muscle dysmorphia also may share similarities with those suffering from eating disorders. In particular there is a similarity to anorexia nervosa, as both syndromes excessively control their eating habits to obtain their desired goal.
There has been wide spread condemnation of the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids from the medical profession, law enforcement, media and politicians. There are many myths that surround the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids. These myths have been exploited by the media. Roid rage is one of these myths. Roid rage is a condition that is also associated with body builders. Roid rage was a term coined by the media in the 1990s to explain uncontrolled acts of violence or aggression by bodybuilders. Roid rage has been connected with the ‘dumbbell defence’. The dumbbell defence is a legal strategy of blaming criminal acts on the psychological effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids. There has not been any substantive empirical research that has proven a link between the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids and increased violence. All research has either been anecdotal or based on behaviour changes in rats or mice.
However, humans do not react the same way to medications as rats or mice. Scientists do not take the research on rats or mice and then assume that the same results can be duplicated in humans.
Another myth was originally propagated by the medical profession. The medical profession stated that anabolic-androgenic steroids did not directly affect the size and strength of muscle. This was later discounted as there is clear evidence to counter this argument.
Christopher Swane - Counselling And Psychotherapy For Men - Wellington New Zealand