Is ‘Roid Rage’ REAL or just propaganda?

One of the most frequently listed side effects from steroid usage is the so-called ‘roid rage’ or aggressive behavior caused by the intake of synthetic hormones.


The general public has been convinced that taking testosterone under the form of anabolic substances turns you into an aggressive killing machine. A popular example would be the scene part of  the terrible HBO show, Lifestories: Families in Crisis where Ben Affleck falls into a deep ‘roid rage’ case and decides to break everything in sight. You can see the scene in the player below.


Of course, the majority of the ‘roid rage’ reports on the TV are propaganda and the truth is not as it seems. However, that does not mean that ‘roid rage’ is a myth.

The intake of synthetic hormones can definitely influence your behavior and state of calmness. People report all kinds of side effects when taking drugs – insomnia, paranoia, excessive sexual desires, aggressiveness…etc.

Testosterone in general is linked to many typical male qualities and it does make you aggressive. Without a doubt high intake of testosterone and many other steroids gives you a lot of energy and puts you into the so-called ‘alpha male’ mode. You just want to own the world and be on top of everything.

That’s why bodybuilders suffer from horrible depression when they stop taking steroids for a while. It does not take much before the lethargy kicks in and the power of the needle leaves you weak in the corner of the room.

Many can’t handle it and remain on steroids for as long as possible. When you’ve been taking anabolic steroids for so long, your natural testosterone production is shut down hard and you don’t have much left in the tank, if any. As a result the energy bars go down and many bodybuilders count on TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) to look like men.

Can you develop steroid addiction?

Without a doubt one can develop steroid addiction due to the high steroids give you. First, having a great physique that people admire is a hard thing to give up. Once you have developed an identity solely based on anabolic steroids it’s really hard to turn your back on it and live without ’em big arms.

Second, as we mentioned bodybuilders usually stay on anabolic steroids for a long time because the feeling of getting off could be terrible depending on how much abuse your body has went through.

This suggests that  one can get extremely irritated when the supply to the miraculous muscle drugs is cut for good.

‘Mom, where are all the candiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiies?

What do the studies say?

A study performed in 2000 revealed the following:

BACKGROUND:Field studies of illicit anabolic-androgenic steroid users suggest that some develop manic or aggressive reactions to these drugs-a potential public health problem. However, controlled laboratory evaluations of these effects remain limited.

METHODS:In a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, we administered testosterone cypionate for 6 weeks in doses rising to 600 mg/wk and placebo for 6 weeks, separated by 6 weeks of no treatment, to 56 men aged 20 to 50 years. Psychiatric outcome measures included the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm (a computerized provocation test of aggression), the Aggression Questionnaire of Buss and Perry, the Symptom Checklist-90-R, daily diaries of manic and depressive symptoms, and similar weekly diaries completed by a “significant other” who knew the participant well.

RESULTS:Testosterone treatment significantly increased manic scores on the YMRS (P = .002), manic scores on daily diaries (P = .003), visual analog ratings of liking the drug effect (P = .008), and aggressive responses on the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm (P = .03). Drug response was highly variable: of 50 participants who received 600 mg/wk of testosterone cypionate, 42 (84%) exhibited minimal psychiatric effects (maximum YMRS score, <10), 6 (12%) became mildly hypomanic (YMRS score, 10-19), and 2 (4%) became markedly hypomanic (YMRS score, > or =20). The 8 “responders” and 42 “nonresponders” did not differ significantly on baseline demographic, psychological, laboratory, or physiological measures.

CONCLUSIONS:Testosterone administration, 600 mg/wk increased ratings of manic symptoms in normal men. This effect, however, was not uniform across individuals; most showed little psychological change, whereas a few developed prominent effects. The mechanism of these variable reactions remains unclear.


So, is ‘roid rage’ a myth?

The data suggest that ‘roid rage’ is real but to be honest it largely depends on your character. If you are more aggressive in general, you will be affected more by the side effects that come with steroids.

However, many of the stories in the media which claim that man have killed their families because of ‘roid rage’ are largely exaggerated. We assure you that there are plenty of psychopaths out there that kill much more than one family and have never ever taken steroids.

A good example would be the moronic  politicians that people elect year after year only to see that there are no changes whatsoever. Those guys have taken more lives than the majority of all drug addicts in the world.

Final thoughts

Steroids can change your personality without a doubt and if you are prone to explosiveness and anger it can be amplified. However, they only amplify what’s already there. If you are a dick, they make you a bigger dick. How you handle the negative influences is largely dependent on your personal character, education, will power, mental state and current situation in life.

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