Muscle Sport Magazine

Roid Rage – Is It Real, or Just an Asshole on Steroids?

2 of 4
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Illicit Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use

Gen Kanayama, M.D., PhD., James I. Hudson, M.D., Sc.D., and Harrison G. Pope, Jr, M.D., M.P.H.

Horm Behav. 2010 Jun; 58(1): 111–121.


The consensus of the above field studies is that some AAS users exhibit hypomanic or manic symptoms during AAS exposure, occasionally (albeit rarely) accompanied by psychotic symptoms. Some studies have also reported users showing depressive symptoms, occasionally associated with suicidality, usually during AAS withdrawal. However, it is impossible to estimate the prevalence of these syndromes in the overall population of illicit AAS users, because there is such wide variation among the various studies. Some studies report relatively frequent and often severe pathology (Pope and Katz, 1988Thiblin et al., 1999b), whereas others find little or even none (Bahrke et al., 1992). These differences may be partially attributable to differences in the doses of AAS used, with more frequent symptoms in studies that included large numbers of high-dose AAS users (particularly those ingesting the equivalent of more than 1000 mg of testosterone per week; see discussions in (Pope and Brower, 2009Pope and Katz, 2003). Differences in methods of selection and evaluation of participants also likely contributed to differences in the findings.



The evidence of the above laboratory studies, combined with the extensive experience of field studies, strongly suggests that high doses of AAS may indeed produce psychiatric effects, and that these effects cannot be fully explained by psychosocial factors. However, it is also clear that these effects are quite unpredictable and idiosyncratic: most illicit users, including even those ingesting high doses, exhibit little or no psychopathology, whereas a few demonstrate striking mood changes, aggression, and even violence in association with AAS use.

2 of 4
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *