Performance-enhancing or doping chemicals like anabolic steroids and erythropoietin, a hormone that boosts red blood cell formation and increases oxygen consumption in the body, are no longer exclusive to competitive sports and are increasingly being utilized by the general public.
Anabolic steroids appear to be the most widely used doping substance, and while they can provide benefits such as increased strength, stamina, and body image – as well as increased confidence and self-esteem – anabolic steroid use has been linked to a variety of physical and psychological syndromes, as well as adverse effects such as suicide and premature death.
The negative repercussions of anabolic steroid usage, on the other hand, extend beyond the individual user’s physical and mental health to society as a whole.
A broader social issue
Anabolic steroid use has serious consequences for families and society. The usage of anabolic steroids has been linked to an increase in hostility and violent behavior. Although the link between anabolic steroid usage and criminal behavior is still unknown, a recent population-based study in the United Kingdom found
People who took anabolic steroids were more likely to be convicted of a criminal offense in Sweden, according to the study.
In a box, ‘Roid anger.’ F. Roberta
Anabolic steroids are now widely available. People can now obtain anabolic steroid-usa without needing to interact with traditional sporting communities, as was the case earlier. This trend appears to be drawing many sub-populations of users, including individuals with underlying mental health issues or vulnerabilities.
There are stories in the media about so-called “roid rage,” and there are extreme cases like mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who, despite his mental health and social problems, was able to easily obtain anabolic steroids from the internet and wrote about them in his “manifesto,” which discussed various anabolic steroids and even recommended websites and shops where readers could purchase them.
The public’s opinion
My colleagues and I studied the impact of perceived doping on the perceived user’s personality or social image in a recent experimental study. Participants were asked to judge the personalities of four protagonists based on a plot that had been assigned to each of them at random. Food, anabolic steroids, erythropoietin, and protein powder were the four options dependent on what the protagonist consumed before training. The five-factor model of personality, a rating system for openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, was then used by each participant to rate one of these users or non-users.
We discovered that non-users were regarded or viewed as less neurotic than anabolic steroid and erythropoietin users, who both had high neuroticism scores. Irritability, anxiety, distress, aggression and violence, and antisocial personality disorder have all been linked to neuroticism.
Thus, whether or not a user of these substances truly experiences these “neurotic” or negative consequences, the general opinion is that they do. Taking this into consideration, anabolic steroid use can actually affect a person’s personality and social image.
Most anti-anabolic steroid campaigns utilize scare tactics to persuade people to avoid the substances by emphasizing the harmful effects on physical and mental health. However, these have been criticized for not reflecting the experiences of the majority of “healthy” or “healthy-looking” users.
According to a recent study, this strategy is less effective than messages based on societal disapproval. Our findings that anabolic steroid use negatively impacts users’ personality and social image could be highlighted in attempts to reduce the use of these medicines.