The topic of this literature review will be to examine the psychological effects of anabolic steroid abuse in body builders. Behavioural and the motivational aspects will also be analyzed. Many effects of anabolic steroid abuse are already known, but further research into the motivation of taking steroids and possibly a greater insight into the major risks and benefits can be used to identify the behaviours associated with the use of anabolic steroids. The purpose of this literature review will be to gain more an insight into the world of bodybuilding and weightlifting and the psychological aspects of anabolic steroid abuse. II. Review
The studies each declare that low doses of AAS, or anabolic–androgenic steroids, have little or no psychiatric effects on the users, as Hall, Hall and Chapman (2004) agree, as well as Trenton and Currier (2005) that with AAS abuse psychiatric effects such as aggressiveness, euphoria, suicidal and homicidal behaviors and hyperactivity are very real risk. A study cited by Hall, Hall and Chapman (2004), done by Pope and Katz showed that an interviewed group of 41 football players and bodybuilders, that of the 41, 22% demonstrated a psychiatric syndrome and that 12% developed symptoms associated with the steroid use. This demonstrates that major psychotic effects are a result of the use of AAS'. In a two week long, double-blind controlled experiment, Su et al. (1993), studied the effects of 40mg/day and 240mg/day of methyl-testosterone on twenty men. Noted was the symptom scores of the twenty men during the administering of the higher dose. Similar to Hall, Hall and Chapman (2004) point symptom overview, irritability, mood swings etc... were present in this study as well.
Some characteristics of the typical AAS abuser is normally a male, with low self esteem and inadequate school performance. Hall, Hall and Chapman (2004) also state that male are up to three times more likely to become AAS abusers as compared to females. A family history of drug abuse, high socioeconomic status are also considered characteristics. Physicians are the only legal way to obtain anabolic steroids, as they are banned by almost every National and International sport association. Steroids are normally only prescribed for medical conditions including natural lack of hormones and growth deficiencies, Ormsbee and Vukovich (2005). A study conducted in 2001 by the National Collegiate Athletic Association found that 1.1% of the 13 914 athletes used anabolic steroids, and approximately 40% of those who used said they obtained the drugs from a physician, Ormsbee and Vukovich (2005). Only 0.7% of the survey participates said they didn't use steroids because of the inability to obtain them. Steroid users have shown to exhibit more of a narcissistic nature, and much less empathy, in relation to other weightlifters who did not use AAS'.
Six cases of AAS abuse are present that have led to either homicide or violent assault, all were non premeditated and occurred during a aggressive mood swing. In half on these cases, histories of violence and criminal behavior were present, showing that it is possible to believe that only a certain person will want to begin abusing AAS, and those seem to be the already increasingly aggressive and spontaneous people, Hall, Hall and Chapman (2004). Some studies have attempted to examine the psychological effects of AAS in how the abuser died. The study looked at 34 deceased steroid abusers and found that of the 34 subjects, 12 death were by the means of an accident, and 11 were of the result of suicide. Hall, Hall and Chapman (2004) stated that this study concluded that abusers are at a much higher risk of a violent death because of the aggressive and