Anabolic steroids are often abused by those who want to increase their physical performance or enhance their appearance. Therefore, a degree of anxiety about perceived inadequacies is often at the root of the decision to take the drugs.
Abusing steroids, however, can lead to increased anxiety levels, which can spring from both direct physical properties of the drugs and from reactions to the drug’s effects.
Anabolic steroids produce their results primarily by mimicking the actions of the natural hormone testosterone. In muscle cells, they stimulate protein synthesis and promote cell growth. They also block cortisol from binding to muscle cell receptors, which slows muscle breakdown. Over time, the use of steroids reduces levels of a hormone known as allopregnanolone. Since allopregnanolone acts as a natural tranquilizer, lower levels in the body may lead to a more agitated baseline state, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety.
Steroid use can often be associated with a variety of psychiatric conditions. A 2007 article in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology found steroid use to be associated with depression, irritability, aggression, confusion, psychosis and delirium as well as anxiety.
Animal studies also corroborate the association. A 2010 article in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reported that mice administered steroids showed significantly elevated anxious behavior. Unwanted Effects of Steroids Anxiety may also arise as a reaction to some of the drug’s side effects.
Users who began taking the drugs to enhance their physical appearance may be especially distressed by some of the unwanted physical changes steroids can cause. In males, steroid use can lead to shrinking of the testicles and unnatural breast development, and women may experience facial hair growth. Users of both genders may experience baldness. Teen users may develop severe acne and the drugs may stunt their growth.
Steroid abuse can trap users in a cycle of increasing physical and emotional problems. If you are ready to recover from steroid abuse, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about steroid abuse, addiction and treatment.
We can also check your insurance coverage to help you understand all your options. Call 877-345-3357 today and begin your journey of recovery.
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