One of the first questions that must be asked is: are there a higher percentage of bodybuilders with mental health problems than other parts of the population? Some research indicates that there may be. Bodybuilders regularly engage in high risk behaviour which may indicate they have a poor understanding of action versus consequences. Other research has indicated body builders may experience high levels of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder and low levels of empathy. Male bodybuilders not only take high levels of anabolic-androgenic steroids to produce their desired body, but they are also prone to taking high levels of recreational drugs. This combination can be a potent mix for someone who is already experiencing mental health problems. One of the reasons given by bodybuilders to choose recreational drugs over alcohol is the consumption of calories. Alcohol has a large number of calories compared to recreational drug intake.
So is it possible to take a sample range of bodybuilders and gain an accurate picture of roid rage either through empirical or anecdotal research? The answer is probably no. Anecdotal research is not scientifically based and is unreliable in its findings. And empirical research would be unethical. Why would this be the case? To scientifically study the effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids on body builders, two non-bodybuilding sample groups would be required. One group would be required to take a placebo and the other would be required to take anabolic-androgenic steroids. The sample group taking anabolic-androgenic steroids would be required to take them at a similar dosages to replicate the levels taken by body builders. Body builders take multiple combination of anabolic-androgenic steroids at excessively high dosages. The levels taken by body builders places the users at risk of harm. Ethically all research must not place the participants at any risk of harm.
Research has indicated that there are numerous health risks associated with the illegal use of anabolic-androgenic steroids. Some side effects are kidney or liver damage, high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart problems, baldness, infertility and the increased risk of prostate cancer. Other long term effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids can be an increased risk of DVTs and the reduction of testosterone. Long term use of artificial testosterone can turn off the body’s natural production of testosterone. However not all medical practitioners agree that anabolic-androgenic steroids should be banned. Dr Tony Miller from Lewisham Sports Medicine Clinic in 1996 believed that it was better to prescribe and minimise health risks for bodybuilders and athletes rather than obtain them illegally. Dr Miller suggested that most illegal anabolic-androgenic steroids sold in Australia were veterinary in origin. Dr Miller suggested that many of the reasons given for not taking steroids: liver cancer, heart trouble and psychiatric disturbance were also common conditions associated with the oral contraceptive.
Christopher Swane - Counselling And Psychotherapy For Men - Wellington New Zealand