Steroids have been used for sports since the mid 1950 s. In order to understand the psychological effects of steroids, you must first understand what steroids are and where they come from. The natural form of steroids is the hormone testosterone, which is produced in males by the testes and adrenal glands and by the adrenal glands in females. The body uses these hormones to combat inflammation, stimulate development of bones and muscles, contribute to the growth of skin and hair and can also influence emotions. Anabolic Steroids are a synthetic version of the hormone testosterone. They can be taken oral or injected with a syringe. Given the right training stimulus and diet, these steroids enables the user to process protein into muscle fibers at astonishing rates, creating increased muscle size and strength with a drop in body fat due to an increase in metabolic rate. They are the chemical essence of physical power and masculine aggression.
Synthetic steroids were developed in the 1930's to rebuild and prevent the breakdown of body tissue from disease. In the 1950's, synthetic steroids became popular with weightlifters because they helped produce this greater-than-normal muscle size and strength, but the abuse of these synthetic steroids has many dangerous physical and psychological effects.
Taking steroids orally has been found to do more damage to your body than injecting them. The oral steroid is very hard on the liver. They are created not to breakdown or activate while passing through the liver to reach the gastrointestinal tract where they will be absorbed into the blood stream. The added molecule that keeps it from breaking down in the liver is what causes most of the liver problems that are heard of. Injectable steroids are a much safer alternative to the oral. It is put directly into the muscle. Once in the muscle, the molecules of the steroid travel to "receptor sites" in the body tissue that receive signals to carry out certain functions. They store up nitrogen levels in the muscle, promote protein synthesis, and heal muscle tissue. They also cause unwanted side effects such as hair loss, over secretion in the sebaceous glands, and water retention.
Steroids are fast catching up with antibiotics as the most abused class of drugs prescribed by doctors even though they cannot cure one single condition. All steroids can do is supress the bodies ability to express a normal response. Sometimes suppression will give the body a chance to heal itself, but more often causes permanent damage. Doctors cannot by law prescribe anabolic steroids for the purpose of athletic enhancement. Possession of these steroids without a prescription is a felony. Today there are an estimated one million current or former illegal-steroid users in the United States.
People are always encouraged to do their best at everything they do. For some people it isn t good enough, they are not the strongest, fastest or even the best looking. Steroids are a very temping easy way to move up from being an average person to being one of the best. People get the sense that winning is everything and will sometimes do anything to get there. Some athletes can feel so pressured to succeed in their sports because they are constantly told that taking risks in sports is essential to success. Sports magazines or commercials also influence people to want to look good
Society demands and rewards great athletic ability and success, so young people do not concern themselves with the long-term effects of using steroids. They know that steroids can give them what nature had not. The desire to make the team or to impress their peers is much more immediate than the future prospect of possible damage to the liver, heart, or other vital organs and the long-term consequences. The social pressure of appearance is the greatest force that drives young men to the use of steroids. Many young men feel the need to look strong and muscular. Bodybuilding stresses such muscularity, and some men, and women, abuse anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass and definition. Steroids are an "ego" drug and society sets the standards. One's appearance plays a critical part of acceptance in society, thus the need to look strong and muscular, to create a body with large and well-defined muscles.
Along with the enhanced physical appearance comes an increase in self-confidence and esteem. While these drugs normal do not produce a physical addiction the psychological addiction is very real. An emotional high that comes with an improved body. So what happens when users terminate the use of steroids? They have become so dependant on their appearance and the "pumped" feeling they had while on the steroids, when they discontinue their use, they become depressed, can't sleep, can't eat properly, and can possibly become suicidal due to the psychological "withdraw" symptoms. They become so psychologically dependant on the drugs to produce that incredible appearance they had and they like their looks and increased strength so much they cannot stop using them.
The use of steroids by females is not as common as with men. Again, appearance plays the role here also. Steroids in women causes irreversible manliness, muscle size and a leaner looking body but promotes the growth of hair on all parts of the body, lowers their voices and decreases the size of their breasts. These characteristics are not as appealing to their appearances or to society, they produce the opposite feeling of self esteem and confidence that men on steroids have, but some females like to compete and do not mind the manly side effects.
Each and every one of us cares about our appearance and the way we feel about ourselves. From the way we wear our hair, the clothes we wear, right down to the cars we drive and the homes we live in, we want to be noticed. We follow the latest fashions, styles and trends because we want to fit in and we want acceptance from our peers and society. We spend endless hours and countless numbers of dollars on all sorts of miracle products promising us all the ways to achieve these goals, such as the miracle diet pills and weight loss plans. We are willing to do whatever it takes in order to fit in. Some people are never satisfied with the way they look, even those who use steroids and have those muscular bodies will always want bigger, better and more. The desire to win and be the best is the main reason that drives people into using steroids.
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