Most of us have heard about athletes and other sports figures using anabolic steroids to enhance performance. The media has often highlighted the increase in performance that these steroids can provide. The dangerous side effects that these anabolic steroids can cause often remain unreported.
Anabolic steroids work by increasing the testosterone levels in a body. The hormone testosterone is responsible for masculine traits in an individual.
After being discovered, anabolic steroids were initially used for treating depression and other disorders that were caused by abnormally low testosterone levels in the body. It is now argued that instead of curing depression, they actually caused it.
Abuse of anabolic steroids usually starts with a desire for enhanced performance, larger muscles, or improved physical appearance. It almost always ends with side effects that have serious repercussions.
The therapeutic benefits of anabolic steroids are overshadowed by the side effects that accompany it. More than the recommended amount of anabolic steroids can cause issues with the mental health of an individual. Stopping the use of steroids immediately can also result in withdrawal symptoms. People who use anabolic steroids go through various phases.
- Initially the drug causes feelings of elation. It enhances energy and confidence. Fatigue is eliminated and pain tolerance increases. At the same time, it gives rise to increased irritability, intolerance, and aggressiveness.
- Prolonged use leads to further boldness and loss of reasoning ability. This leads to delusions and abrupt mood swings.
- The aggressiveness often leads to antisocial activities, sometimes resulting in criminal behavior.
- Upon discontinuation of the dosage, the user misses the exuberance and confidence that the steroids cause which can lead to depression.
Depression caused by anabolic androgenic steroids is no different from other types of depression. The mainstream treatment focuses on rehabilitation, in which natural remedies for depression can play a significant role. Whenever possible, drug-induced depression should be treated naturally to avoid introducing more synthetic chemicals into the body.
The process of treating depression naturally involves various aspects.
- Diet – A diet rich in B-complex vitamins and magnesium is recommended.
- Self help – Forming a group and sharing experiences can provide a cathartic effect.
- Counseling – A psychologist can enable the process of understanding the causes of depression.
- Exercise - Yogic, aquatic, or aerobic workouts can help in channeling energy and creating an exuberant state of mind.