Females aren’t the only ones who suffer with body image issues. Increasing numbers of men and boys are admitting to having problems with the body image.
The image for men projected by the media is muscular, tall, chiseled face, and strong. Men may get a message that “real men” have to have six pack abs and able to lift their 100 pound girlfriend over their head (You’ve seen the commercials. All muscular guys have female companions that weigh about 100 pounds wet.) This can be an extremely hard goal for men and boys to achieve. Problems surface when excess exercise and other extreme tactics are used.
One of the things that more and more men are turning to is steroid use. Young boys and men many times look up to sports players as role models for inspiration. There have been more and more stories in the news about baseball players using steroids. In fact as I write this, baseball officials are trying to come up with new ways to find out how to get a grip on this situation.
What do steroids do to the body and why would someone want to use them? To try to get a muscular look, some people are using anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are synthetic (chemical not natural) pills or liquid injections that are similar to the male hormone testosterone. The purpose of anabolic steroids is to help skeletal muscle growth and help in developing masculine sexual characteristics. Doctors also use anabolics to treat other things such as delays in puberty, impotence, and “to treat body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases.” (http://www.drugabuse.gov/SteroidAlert/Steroidalert.html#Anchor-Anabolic-4495)
The side effects of steroid abuse (using them without a doctor monitoring you) are very dangerous.
Psychological Side Effects
• Edginess, impatience, feeling paranoid
• Severe mood swings including depression
• Obessesion with body image, having to wore out, and food
• Angry and violent outburts known as “roid rage”
General Physical Side Effects
• Live damage
• Kidney damage
• Increase in blood pressure and cholestorol
• Depressed immune system (which means an increased risk to get infections)
Some Physical Side Effects in Men
• Breast enlargement
• Shrunken testicles
• Lowered sperm count
• Increase sex drive
• Decreased sexual performance
Some Physical Side Effects in Women
• Growth of facial and body hair
• Male pattern balding
• Develop and Adam’s apple
• Enlargement of the clitoris
Some Side Effects in Teens
• Severe acne
• Stunted growth
Is it really worth all of these risks to take steroids? The side effects are dangerous and can be permanent! The illegal versions of anabolic steroids are often impure and may contain other things other than the steroid. Needles are often shared. This increases your risk of getting the AIDS virus and other infections.
For more information, here are some links.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science
Teens and Anabolic Steroids