Rocket Roger and Raging Roids in Rural Raikot

* (the asterisk)
This symbol should be assigned to most of the professional baseball’s records over the last two decades. From Barry Bonds to now Roger Clemens, most of the greats of this baseball era have had their images tarnished by allegations of cheating. Whether the baseball owners and media are accomplices will be left for another post.

steroids.jpgHowever, the steroids use hits closer to home. Although this article (you may need to register for a free account) is over 4 years old, recent visits to Punjab makes me believe that the problem has gotten even worse. A more recent article from only two weeks ago discusses how steroid usage is now common among school children for athletic competition.

Steroid usage has become normal throughout village health centers.’ In rural areas, unemployment is high, alcoholism is high, mix that in with steroids and you have a volatile mix. Chris Benoit’s heinous murder of his wife and son and subsequent suicide was largely based on the neurological damage caused by prolonged steroid usage. Will we be reading more reports in the future about roid rage violence against women?

Bringing the issue to the diaspora, there are many Punjabi males that take steroids. Bodybuilding and gym usage is popular. This phenomenon is nothing unique in our community, but are there any specific pressures or attributes within our community that many males to take to steroids?


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25 Responses to “Rocket Roger and Raging Roids in Rural Raikot”

  1. P.Singh says:

    A few general comments first:

    I was unable to link to the first article, but it is worisome to hear school-age children are taking performance-enhancing drugs, if only because the negative impact of steroids is greater on children, teen-agers, than it is on adults.

    Up until the age of about 21, the endocrine system is still developing and introducing supplemental hormones is very dangerous. Moreover, teenagers already have so many issues with their bodies, a 'quick-fix' like steroids is not a great answer.

    I know of one or two guys who started taking roids when they were younger, and being 'big' became their entire image – when they went off the roids, they lost what made them 'special' – it wasn't long before they would start using again.

    However, for an adult, I do not see nearly as many problems in taking steroids, if that is what they wish to do after careful deliberation. There is plenty of information on how to take steroids safely and successfully, with little to no side-effects.

    Heck, for athletes wanting to compete at the highest levels, and in sports involving explosive power, it is nigh inevitable they will have to use some form of steroids to be competitive. One would be hard pressed to find Olympic athletes relying on explosive power (sprinters, weightlifters etc.) who have not tinkered with steroids or some form of prohormone.

  2. P.Singh says:

    A few general comments first:

    I was unable to link to the first article, but it is worisome to hear school-age children are taking performance-enhancing drugs, if only because the negative impact of steroids is greater on children, teen-agers, than it is on adults.

    Up until the age of about 21, the endocrine system is still developing and introducing supplemental hormones is very dangerous. Moreover, teenagers already have so many issues with their bodies, a ‘quick-fix’ like steroids is not a great answer.

    I know of one or two guys who started taking roids when they were younger, and being ‘big’ became their entire image – when they went off the roids, they lost what made them ‘special’ – it wasn’t long before they would start using again.

    However, for an adult, I do not see nearly as many problems in taking steroids, if that is what they wish to do after careful deliberation. There is plenty of information on how to take steroids safely and successfully, with little to no side-effects.

    Heck, for athletes wanting to compete at the highest levels, and in sports involving explosive power, it is nigh inevitable they will have to use some form of steroids to be competitive. One would be hard pressed to find Olympic athletes relying on explosive power (sprinters, weightlifters etc.) who have not tinkered with steroids or some form of prohormone.

  3. P.Singh says:

    With regards to steroids and Punjabi/Sikh culture:

    I don't think there is a connection. I have not seen Punjabis/Sikhs taking more steroids than the general masses.

    If there is some force driving Punjabis/Sikhs to take steroids, it exists among men in general – the desire to be stronger, faster, tougher, bigger….or at least to have the image, if not the actual qualities.

    While there may be a problem with fixating on just the image (and there are many that do!) of being strong, and tough – having the actual qualities is not a bad thing. Stronger and faster is a lot better than weaker and slower.

    Regarding Chris Benoit – his was an extreme and rather isolated case; I'm not sure it transfers all that well as a forewarning of things to expect in the Punjab.

  4. P.Singh says:

    With regards to steroids and Punjabi/Sikh culture:

    I don’t think there is a connection. I have not seen Punjabis/Sikhs taking more steroids than the general masses.

    If there is some force driving Punjabis/Sikhs to take steroids, it exists among men in general – the desire to be stronger, faster, tougher, bigger….or at least to have the image, if not the actual qualities.

    While there may be a problem with fixating on just the image (and there are many that do!) of being strong, and tough – having the actual qualities is not a bad thing. Stronger and faster is a lot better than weaker and slower.

    Regarding Chris Benoit – his was an extreme and rather isolated case; I’m not sure it transfers all that well as a forewarning of things to expect in the Punjab.

  5. Mewa Singh says:

    I understand your libertarian viewpoint and can see its validity, but too often these steroids are not obtained through the advice of a physician, but rather through a seller who will do anything to push their product. So even for adults, I am not sure how much deliberation they are going through.

    You may be right about this being a 'man' thing and I doubt Jodha is trying to say that this is exclusively a 'Punjabi/Sikh' thing, but I wonder if certain types of body images and beliefs of masculinity get played up more in certain communities than others. An example being in the United States, if a party is broken up due to fights, many will assume automatically that it was because of Punjabis (fair or unfair this is the assumption). I live in an area that Punjabis are the minority within the desi community, but this is the general perception. So where does this perception come from (often it is the truth)?

    And you are right that hopefully Chris Benoit is an extreme case, but instances of 'roid rage that don't end in murder are less likely to make the news. But for the people that live with these steroid-abusers, they face the consequences everyday. So while I don't think Jodha is saying that all of a sudden we are going to see a proliferation of murders due to steroids in Punjab, I think that in a place where many women suffer abuse, with the entry of steroid abuse, will this problem become even further exacerbated.

  6. Mewa Singh says:

    I understand your libertarian viewpoint and can see its validity, but too often these steroids are not obtained through the advice of a physician, but rather through a seller who will do anything to push their product. So even for adults, I am not sure how much deliberation they are going through.

    You may be right about this being a ‘man’ thing and I doubt Jodha is trying to say that this is exclusively a ‘Punjabi/Sikh’ thing, but I wonder if certain types of body images and beliefs of masculinity get played up more in certain communities than others. An example being in the United States, if a party is broken up due to fights, many will assume automatically that it was because of Punjabis (fair or unfair this is the assumption). I live in an area that Punjabis are the minority within the desi community, but this is the general perception. So where does this perception come from (often it is the truth)?

    And you are right that hopefully Chris Benoit is an extreme case, but instances of ‘roid rage that don’t end in murder are less likely to make the news. But for the people that live with these steroid-abusers, they face the consequences everyday. So while I don’t think Jodha is saying that all of a sudden we are going to see a proliferation of murders due to steroids in Punjab, I think that in a place where many women suffer abuse, with the entry of steroid abuse, will this problem become even further exacerbated.

  7. P.Singh says:

    Mewa Singh,

    You are correct – the vast majority of times, steroids are purchased illegally, or made illegally with home-chemistry kits. For some, an illegal purchase does not entail much deliberation; however, there are many smart, educated individuals who carefully consider the pros and cons of going this route, and still end up purchasing steroids. I'm not encouraging illegal activity, but simply want to point out the purchase of steroids happens across a broad spectrum of society, including professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers etc.

    Regarding the lives of those living with steroid-users, at this point, I'm not convinced they are at any more significant risk than they would have been without the introduction of steroids – I have my reservations re the connection between steroid-use and the phenomenon of 'roid-rage'. The connection may exist; however, at present, that connection appears more tenuous than concrete.

    As far-fetched as it seems, in my opinion, I think many individuals living with steroid-users probably benefit from the (usually) health-conscious lifestyle of steroid-users. These benefits include greater attention to healthy diet, and more exposure to the benefits of working out, staying fit.

    If we are concerned with domestic violence, then again, I'm not convinced at this point steroids will have any significant impact on an already dreadful landscape. If domestic violence in the Punjabi/Sikh community is as widespread as I've heard it is, then any impact of steroids can be likened to drops of water in an ocean. This ocean exists because it is fed by rivers of misogynist and ridiculously patriarchal thoughts/belief systems in Punjab. I think these rivers need to be dried out before we turn our attention to the possible negative impact of steroid-use.

    For fear of being misunderstood, I'm not writing to dismiss what Jodha has written, and am glad he brought this to everyone's attention. I'm simply presenting another viewpoint to round out the picture.

  8. P.Singh says:

    Mewa Singh,

    You are correct – the vast majority of times, steroids are purchased illegally, or made illegally with home-chemistry kits. For some, an illegal purchase does not entail much deliberation; however, there are many smart, educated individuals who carefully consider the pros and cons of going this route, and still end up purchasing steroids. I’m not encouraging illegal activity, but simply want to point out the purchase of steroids happens across a broad spectrum of society, including professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers etc.

    Regarding the lives of those living with steroid-users, at this point, I’m not convinced they are at any more significant risk than they would have been without the introduction of steroids – I have my reservations re the connection between steroid-use and the phenomenon of ‘roid-rage’. The connection may exist; however, at present, that connection appears more tenuous than concrete.

    As far-fetched as it seems, in my opinion, I think many individuals living with steroid-users probably benefit from the (usually) health-conscious lifestyle of steroid-users. These benefits include greater attention to healthy diet, and more exposure to the benefits of working out, staying fit.

    If we are concerned with domestic violence, then again, I’m not convinced at this point steroids will have any significant impact on an already dreadful landscape. If domestic violence in the Punjabi/Sikh community is as widespread as I’ve heard it is, then any impact of steroids can be likened to drops of water in an ocean. This ocean exists because it is fed by rivers of misogynist and ridiculously patriarchal thoughts/belief systems in Punjab. I think these rivers need to be dried out before we turn our attention to the possible negative impact of steroid-use.

    For fear of being misunderstood, I’m not writing to dismiss what Jodha has written, and am glad he brought this to everyone’s attention. I’m simply presenting another viewpoint to round out the picture.

  9. P.Singh says:

    …and, for fear my stance on steroids is taken the wrong way – No, I have not had sexual relations with that woman. I mean, I did not inhale….er…

    But no, I've never taken steroids; for me, the cons always outweighed the pros.

    Regarding Punjabi men, body image, and beliefs of masculinity – I agree with you, there does appear to be some connection there. I don't think all of it is necessarily bad (physical fitness is a good thing), but Punjabi men do fight more often than men in other desi communities it seems.

    Does our culture make us more aggressive, or less likely to walk away from a fight? I'd love to hear what other forumites/bloggers have to say on this matter.

  10. P.Singh says:

    …and, for fear my stance on steroids is taken the wrong way – No, I have not had sexual relations with that woman. I mean, I did not inhale….er…

    But no, I’ve never taken steroids; for me, the cons always outweighed the pros.

    Regarding Punjabi men, body image, and beliefs of masculinity – I agree with you, there does appear to be some connection there. I don’t think all of it is necessarily bad (physical fitness is a good thing), but Punjabi men do fight more often than men in other desi communities it seems.

    Does our culture make us more aggressive, or less likely to walk away from a fight? I’d love to hear what other forumites/bloggers have to say on this matter.

  11. P.Singh says:

    This rationale doesn’t make sense to me — because domestic violence is a significant issue in the Punjabi community, the increased use of substances that increase the capacity to fly into a murderous rage is unimportant?

    Camille, I apologize for not being more clear in my writing. If you read the paragraph above the one you directly quoted, I indicate that I am not entirely convinced there is a strong connection between steroid-use and 'roid-rage'.

    Given that I am not convinced of this 'roid-rage' connection, my opinion that followed should make sense.

    You assume steroids "increase the capacity to fly into murderous rage". I hold no such assumptions; moreover, I have not come across any scientific literature that would support this notion of 'roid-rage'.

    As such, we are left with an inconclusive and unsupported connection between steroids and rage, let-alone "murderous rage".

    So yes, I have doubts as to the importance of steroids as a contributing factor to domestic violence, or its ability to psychologically enable acts of domestic violence.

  12. Camille says:

    I think many individuals living with steroid-users probably benefit from the (usually) health-conscious lifestyle of steroid-users. These benefits include greater attention to healthy diet, and more exposure to the benefits of working out, staying fit.

    If we are concerned with domestic violence, then again, I’m not convinced at this point steroids will have any significant impact on an already dreadful landscape. If domestic violence in the Punjabi/Sikh community is as widespread as I’ve heard it is, then any impact of steroids can be likened to drops of water in an ocean.

    This rationale doesn't make sense to me — because domestic violence is a significant issue in the Punjabi community, the increased use of substances that increase the capacity to fly into a murderous rage is unimportant?

    I think the conversation around the hyper-masculinization of Punjabi (male) identity is a useful and interesting one. From what I hear from elders, this "meat-headedness" was not always so en vogue. What factors may have shifted things towards a hyper-aggressive model? Is this model even accurate?

  13. Camille says:

    I think many individuals living with steroid-users probably benefit from the (usually) health-conscious lifestyle of steroid-users. These benefits include greater attention to healthy diet, and more exposure to the benefits of working out, staying fit.

    If we are concerned with domestic violence, then again, Im not convinced at this point steroids will have any significant impact on an already dreadful landscape. If domestic violence in the Punjabi/Sikh community is as widespread as Ive heard it is, then any impact of steroids can be likened to drops of water in an ocean.

    This rationale doesn’t make sense to me — because domestic violence is a significant issue in the Punjabi community, the increased use of substances that increase the capacity to fly into a murderous rage is unimportant?

    I think the conversation around the hyper-masculinization of Punjabi (male) identity is a useful and interesting one. From what I hear from elders, this “meat-headedness” was not always so en vogue. What factors may have shifted things towards a hyper-aggressive model? Is this model even accurate?

  14. P.Singh says:

    This rationale doesnt make sense to me because domestic violence is a significant issue in the Punjabi community, the increased use of substances that increase the capacity to fly into a murderous rage is unimportant?

    Camille, I apologize for not being more clear in my writing. If you read the paragraph above the one you directly quoted, I indicate that I am not entirely convinced there is a strong connection between steroid-use and ‘roid-rage’.

    Given that I am not convinced of this ‘roid-rage’ connection, my opinion that followed should make sense.

    You assume steroids “increase the capacity to fly into murderous rage”. I hold no such assumptions; moreover, I have not come across any scientific literature that would support this notion of ‘roid-rage’.

    As such, we are left with an inconclusive and unsupported connection between steroids and rage, let-alone “murderous rage”.

    So yes, I have doubts as to the importance of steroids as a contributing factor to domestic violence, or its ability to psychologically enable acts of domestic violence.

  15. Mewa Singh says:

    P.Singh,

    I want to comment further on the topic of violence and Punjabi Sikh men, but for lack of time I thought I would make a quick point of the lack of evidence of anabolic steroid usage and anger.

    Even a cursory glance of the scientific literature via a search engine like Google Scholar pulls up much evidence of such linkages. I used the search words "anabolic steroid anger" and a few links should suffice:

    http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/aug19/corriga…From: The Medical Journal of Australia

    Anabolic steroids and the mind by Brian Corrigan

    MJA 1996; 165: 222-226

    Below are some notable excerpts:

    Anabolic steroids were first used by weight lifters and others involved in pursuits of strength, but are now taken, often in large doses, by young men interested in enhancing their appearance. The severe psychogenic side effects of these high doses include aggressive and violent behaviour. Problems with drug withdrawal and drug dependence are also common in users of anabolic steroids and these drugs may also provoke psychiatric disorders. I review these complications, as reported in the past decade, and comment on two recent violent murders in Sydney in which anabolic steroid use was implicated.

    One of the earliest papers on psychological effects reported the side effects of anabolic steroids in 32 weight-trained men; 8 56% had a subjective perception of increased irritability and aggression. This also applied to a smaller group of 10 weight-trained female athletes. 9 A more recent report compared 13 anabolic steroid users with 14 non-users and 18 former users. 10 Steroid users had more frequent episodes of anger, which were of greater intensity and duration, and a more hostile attitude towards others. In general, psychological changes need to be related to the dose and duration of anabolic steroid use (e.g., taking one or two 5 mg tablets would not produce any changes, but after taking an increasing dose for some days several psychological changes may occur). These changes will develop if anabolic steroids are taken for long enough (just how long could possibly depend upon individual tolerance).

    The psychological changes that occur can be arbitrarily divided into three groups, representing a continuum of effects from milder through to more severe changes, especially if continued high doses are taken.

    Early effects are seen as changes in mood and euphoria: there is an increase in confidence, energy and self-esteem, with enhanced motivation and enthusiasm. There is also diminished fatigue, sleeplessness and an ability to train through pain. Libido may be decreased, but is more often increased, sometimes markedly. 11 Irritability, anger, agitation and a "strange edgy feeling" are commonly reported.

    With larger doses or after taking anabolic steroids for a longer time, there is a loss of inhibition and a lack of judgement, with mood swings or grandiose ideas. Prolonged users become suspicious, quarrelsome, impulsive and more aggressive. 7

    Severe effects manifest when these aggressive feelings increase to the extent that violent, hostile, antisocial behaviour develops, meriting the descriptive title, well known in the steroid-taking community, of "roid rages". These rages can result in property damage, self-injury (including reckless driving or crashing cars), assaults, marriage break-ups, domestic violence, 12 child abuse, 12 suicide 13 and attempted murder or murder. 14-20

    This is a review article citing the recent research. Thus there does seem to be in fact a link.

  16. Mewa Singh says:

    P.Singh,

    I want to comment further on the topic of violence and Punjabi Sikh men, but for lack of time I thought I would make a quick point of the lack of evidence of anabolic steroid usage and anger.

    Even a cursory glance of the scientific literature via a search engine like Google Scholar pulls up much evidence of such linkages. I used the search words “anabolic steroid anger” and a few links should suffice:

    http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/aug19/corrigan/corrigan.htmlFrom: The Medical Journal of Australia
    Anabolic steroids and the mind by Brian Corrigan

    MJA 1996; 165: 222-226

    Below are some notable excerpts:

    Anabolic steroids were first used by weight lifters and others involved in pursuits of strength, but are now taken, often in large doses, by young men interested in enhancing their appearance. The severe psychogenic side effects of these high doses include aggressive and violent behaviour. Problems with drug withdrawal and drug dependence are also common in users of anabolic steroids and these drugs may also provoke psychiatric disorders. I review these complications, as reported in the past decade, and comment on two recent violent murders in Sydney in which anabolic steroid use was implicated.

    One of the earliest papers on psychological effects reported the side effects of anabolic steroids in 32 weight-trained men; 8 56% had a subjective perception of increased irritability and aggression. This also applied to a smaller group of 10 weight-trained female athletes. 9 A more recent report compared 13 anabolic steroid users with 14 non-users and 18 former users. 10 Steroid users had more frequent episodes of anger, which were of greater intensity and duration, and a more hostile attitude towards others. In general, psychological changes need to be related to the dose and duration of anabolic steroid use (e.g., taking one or two 5 mg tablets would not produce any changes, but after taking an increasing dose for some days several psychological changes may occur). These changes will develop if anabolic steroids are taken for long enough (just how long could possibly depend upon individual tolerance).

    The psychological changes that occur can be arbitrarily divided into three groups, representing a continuum of effects from milder through to more severe changes, especially if continued high doses are taken.

    Early effects are seen as changes in mood and euphoria: there is an increase in confidence, energy and self-esteem, with enhanced motivation and enthusiasm. There is also diminished fatigue, sleeplessness and an ability to train through pain. Libido may be decreased, but is more often increased, sometimes markedly. 11 Irritability, anger, agitation and a “strange edgy feeling” are commonly reported.
    With larger doses or after taking anabolic steroids for a longer time, there is a loss of inhibition and a lack of judgement, with mood swings or grandiose ideas. Prolonged users become suspicious, quarrelsome, impulsive and more aggressive. 7
    Severe effects manifest when these aggressive feelings increase to the extent that violent, hostile, antisocial behaviour develops, meriting the descriptive title, well known in the steroid-taking community, of “roid rages”. These rages can result in property damage, self-injury (including reckless driving or crashing cars), assaults, marriage break-ups, domestic violence, 12 child abuse, 12 suicide 13 and attempted murder or murder. 14-20

    This is a review article citing the recent research. Thus there does seem to be in fact a link.

  17. P.Singh says:

    Mewa Singh,

    Thank you posting the review article – I think it can only be helpful to consider a broad range of literature when forming opinions, or discussing controversial issues. I have no great attachment to the opinion I have put forward, and should an objective assessment prove I need to rethink my position, I will be happy (and wiser for it) to do so.

    I will respond with a more detailed post when time allows; however, suffice it to say, I do not think the article provided is conclusive on the issue of steroids causing 'roid-rage'. My informal research on this subject, a few years past, did not parallel the thrust of the provided email and I believe my research may have been more current than the review article provided above.

    In fact, I can point to at least one research article, more recent than the one above, which stated:

    Findings regarding the AAS (anabolic/androgenic steroid) use and aggression relationship are inconsistent and vary with the nature of the study and design. Although widely accepted as fact, a review finds little, if any, strong evidence for a direct causal relationship.

    This brief review of the literature finds no clear, consistent, and unequivocal support for the hypothesis that AAS use causes aggression.

    The article is by Dr. Jack Darkes, and can be found at the following link:

    http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/darkes/aggres

  18. P.Singh says:

    Mewa Singh,

    Thank you posting the review article – I think it can only be helpful to consider a broad range of literature when forming opinions, or discussing controversial issues. I have no great attachment to the opinion I have put forward, and should an objective assessment prove I need to rethink my position, I will be happy (and wiser for it) to do so.

    I will respond with a more detailed post when time allows; however, suffice it to say, I do not think the article provided is conclusive on the issue of steroids causing ‘roid-rage’. My informal research on this subject, a few years past, did not parallel the thrust of the provided email and I believe my research may have been more current than the review article provided above.

    In fact, I can point to at least one research article, more recent than the one above, which stated:

    Findings regarding the AAS (anabolic/androgenic steroid) use and aggression relationship are inconsistent and vary with the nature of the study and design. Although widely accepted as fact, a review finds little, if any, strong evidence for a direct causal relationship.

    This brief review of the literature finds no clear, consistent, and unequivocal support for the hypothesis that AAS use causes aggression.

    The article is by Dr. Jack Darkes, and can be found at the following link:

    http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/darkes/aggression-01.htm

  19. Mewa Singh says:

    Dear P.Singh,

    I appreciate your willingness to continue with this discussion and the fact that you are open and have not staked out a particular position. I even appreciate the link you sent by Dr. Jack Darkes.

    However, in defense of 'good science' I have to question the source. Like you, I don't have a particular position staked out, but since I have worked in multiple clinical environments and have spent far too many hours in science laboratories, I have to question your source. In peer-reviewed journals, the opinion seems far more convinced than the link you sent that advertises 'nutritional supplements' right next to the article.

    It seems similar to the case of global warming. The general scientific community has a position. Sure, you will find one or two scientists that differ (often working for companies that are sponsored by petrochemical companies and the like), but one or two differing opinions does not negate the general scientific consensus.

    Granted the peer-reviewed article I cited before comes from 1996. So here is another peer-reviewed article from Google Scholar from 2005.

    I am just cutting-and-pasting the abstract:

    Behavioural Manifestations of Anabolic Steroid Use.

    CNS Drugs. 19(7):571-595, 2005.

    Trenton, Adam J 1; Currier, Glenn W 2

    Abstract:

    The use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) for gains in strength and muscle mass is relatively common among certain subpopulations, including athletes, bodybuilders, adolescents and young adults.

    Adverse physical effects associated with steroid abuse are well documented, but more recently, increased attention has been given to the adverse psychiatric effects of these compounds. Steroids may be used in oral, 17[alpha]-alkylated, or intramuscular, 17[beta]-esterified, preparations. Commonly, steroid users employ these agents at levels 10- to 100-fold in excess of therapeutic doses and use multiple steroids simultaneously, a practice known as 'stacking'. Significant psychiatric symptoms including aggression and violence, mania, and less frequently psychosis and suicide have been associated with steroid abuse. Long-term steroid abusers may develop symptoms of dependence and withdrawal on discontinuation of AAS.

    Treatment of AAS abusers should address both acute physical and behavioural symptoms as well as long-term abstinence and recovery. To date, limited information is available regarding specific pharmacological treatments for individuals recovering from steroid abuse. This paper reviews the published literature concerning the recognition and treatment of behavioural manifestations of AAS abuse.

  20. Mewa Singh says:

    Dear P.Singh,

    I appreciate your willingness to continue with this discussion and the fact that you are open and have not staked out a particular position. I even appreciate the link you sent by Dr. Jack Darkes.

    However, in defense of ‘good science’ I have to question the source. Like you, I don’t have a particular position staked out, but since I have worked in multiple clinical environments and have spent far too many hours in science laboratories, I have to question your source. In peer-reviewed journals, the opinion seems far more convinced than the link you sent that advertises ‘nutritional supplements’ right next to the article.

    It seems similar to the case of global warming. The general scientific community has a position. Sure, you will find one or two scientists that differ (often working for companies that are sponsored by petrochemical companies and the like), but one or two differing opinions does not negate the general scientific consensus.

    Granted the peer-reviewed article I cited before comes from 1996. So here is another peer-reviewed article from Google Scholar from 2005.

    I am just cutting-and-pasting the abstract:

    Behavioural Manifestations of Anabolic Steroid Use.
    CNS Drugs. 19(7):571-595, 2005.
    Trenton, Adam J 1; Currier, Glenn W 2

    Abstract:
    The use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) for gains in strength and muscle mass is relatively common among certain subpopulations, including athletes, bodybuilders, adolescents and young adults.

    Adverse physical effects associated with steroid abuse are well documented, but more recently, increased attention has been given to the adverse psychiatric effects of these compounds. Steroids may be used in oral, 17[alpha]-alkylated, or intramuscular, 17[beta]-esterified, preparations. Commonly, steroid users employ these agents at levels 10- to 100-fold in excess of therapeutic doses and use multiple steroids simultaneously, a practice known as ‘stacking’. Significant psychiatric symptoms including aggression and violence, mania, and less frequently psychosis and suicide have been associated with steroid abuse. Long-term steroid abusers may develop symptoms of dependence and withdrawal on discontinuation of AAS.

    Treatment of AAS abusers should address both acute physical and behavioural symptoms as well as long-term abstinence and recovery. To date, limited information is available regarding specific pharmacological treatments for individuals recovering from steroid abuse. This paper reviews the published literature concerning the recognition and treatment of behavioural manifestations of AAS abuse.

  21. P.Singh says:

    Mewa Singh,

    Thank you for your reply and I’m likewise glad we can discuss this topic from a vantage of seeking to learn, as opposed to arguing for the sake of arguing.

    Please allow me to address the points you have raised.

    First, while the article by Dr. Drake is indeed on a website hawking supplements, it may have been an article the store decided to reference, not an article the author published for the website. Furthermore, a read through the three part article shows referencing of peer-reviewed journals and I believe the author does a very sound job of analyzing and critiquing certain studies and study methodologies. Do take the article with a grain of salt if need be, but I think it is an oversight to outright dismiss the cogent analysis presented by the author.

    Second, I still have not seen any studies showing steroid use causes rage. Are you sure the article you provided proves steroid use causes rage? From the abstract, it appears this study does not prove causation. Most studies do not appear to provide any concrete facts establishing causation – which is what we’re looking for here. If such studies exist, I would definitely have to reconsider my position.

    Furthermore, the study references steroid-abuse, not steroid-use – it would be interesting to know how the study defines these terms. I’m sure you would agree, use is NOT the same as abuse; a glass of wine is far different than 5 bottles of wine. If you have a full copy of this article, please let me know, I would be interested in reading the methodology behind this study.

    Third, while I have not come across any studies showing steroid use causes rage/anger, I have found studies giving weight to the null hypothesis – that steroids do not cause rage/anger.

    Please consider the following research article (1996): The Effects of Supraphysiological Doses of Testosterone on Angry Behavior in Healthy Eugonadal Men-A Clinical Research Center Study. I took care to make sure it was from a reputable and peer-reviewed journal – The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    The following link will take you to a copy of the entire article, and details the methodology used. As a point of interest, this study consciously sought to avoid the methodological errors and weaknesses of other research, and even though it used larger doses of drugs than in previous studies, it still found no evidence of causation.

    Our study failed to detect any significant effects of testosterone

    treatment on mood or the subsets of angry behavior examined. Several previous reports that have linked hostility and aggressive behavior to anabolic steroid use have

    had significant problems of study design and instrumentation; consequently, this issue has continued to be controversial. The subjects in this blinded study were men with nohistory of previous behavioral or sychiatric problems or drug abuse… The relative lack of significant effects of testosterone on angry behaviors indicates that there is not a simple, direct, causal relationship between steroid use and aggressive behavior in normal men.

  22. P.Singh says:

    Mewa Singh,

    Thank you for your reply and Im likewise glad we can discuss this topic from a vantage of seeking to learn, as opposed to arguing for the sake of arguing.

    Please allow me to address the points you have raised.

    First, while the article by Dr. Drake is indeed on a website hawking supplements, it may have been an article the store decided to reference, not an article the author published for the website. Furthermore, a read through the three part article shows referencing of peer-reviewed journals and I believe the author does a very sound job of analyzing and critiquing certain studies and study methodologies. Do take the article with a grain of salt if need be, but I think it is an oversight to outright dismiss the cogent analysis presented by the author.

    Second, I still have not seen any studies showing steroid use causes rage. Are you sure the article you provided proves steroid use causes rage? From the abstract, it appears this study does not prove causation. Most studies do not appear to provide any concrete facts establishing causation which is what were looking for here. If such studies exist, I would definitely have to reconsider my position.

    Furthermore, the study references steroid-abuse, not steroid-use it would be interesting to know how the study defines these terms. Im sure you would agree, use is NOT the same as abuse; a glass of wine is far different than 5 bottles of wine. If you have a full copy of this article, please let me know, I would be interested in reading the methodology behind this study.

    Third, while I have not come across any studies showing steroid use causes rage/anger, I have found studies giving weight to the null hypothesis that steroids do not cause rage/anger.

    Please consider the following research article (1996): The Effects of Supraphysiological Doses of Testosterone on Angry Behavior in Healthy Eugonadal Men-A Clinical Research Center Study. I took care to make sure it was from a reputable and peer-reviewed journal – The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    The following link will take you to a copy of the entire article, and details the methodology used. As a point of interest, this study consciously sought to avoid the methodological errors and weaknesses of other research, and even though it used larger doses of drugs than in previous studies, it still found no evidence of causation.

    Our study failed to detect any significant effects of testosterone
    treatment on mood or the subsets of angry behavior examined. Several previous reports that have linked hostility and aggressive behavior to anabolic steroid use have
    had significant problems of study design and instrumentation; consequently, this issue has continued to be controversial. The subjects in this blinded study were men with nohistory of previous behavioral or sychiatric problems or drug abuse… The relative lack of significant effects of testosterone on angry behaviors indicates that there is not a simple, direct, causal relationship between steroid use and aggressive behavior in normal men.

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