Can Anabolic Steroids Cause Depression?

By | November 30, 2018

Anabolic steroids are a tricky subject around the world and in the UK they are classified as a prescription-only medicine.

However, because they help increase muscle mass many people want them for personal recreational use rather than medical use.

Many people take anabolic steroids without a prescription to help improve their athletic performance and body. That is why athletes and sports stars are usually tested for them, but you don’t have to be a professional athlete or novice sports star to want to use them.

a depressed bodybuilder looking sad

Bodybuilders, runners, fighters and people just looking for a shortcut to help them get in better shape might try to find anabolic steroids even with the legal ramifications.

However, the legal issue isn’t quite as simple as you might think either.

While it is illegal to have anabolic steroids without a prescription and they are usually labelled a class C drug it isn’t actually illegal to possess them and have them for personal use.

This is a bit of a legal loophole because it effectively means selling and dealing the steroids to others is illegal but using them yourself isn’t.

In professional sporting organisations, anabolic steroids are usually outright banned to ensure no one has an unfair advantage. So, now we’ve covered the legal side of things the question remains are anabolic steroids safe to use and can they cause depression?

Anabolic Steroids and Depression

Anabolic steroids when not carefully managed can cause a wide range of side effects, however, one potential issue that is rarely talked about is their potential to cause depression.

To take a closer look at how anabolic steroids can cause depression let’s take a more in-depth look at how they work.

Anabolic steroids come in many forms and they can be taken in many different ways. The most popular form is tablets although they can be injected also.

It doesn’t matter what type of delivery you are using for the anabolic steroids either they work in pretty much the same way. The steroids help your muscle cells process more protein and increase the amount of ATP produced.

ATP is the primary energy carrier in the human body but it’s found in all living organisms. So, more ATP combined with greater levels of protein can help your muscle growth as long you work out after you’ve taken them.

Some people incorrectly believe anabolic steroids increase muscle mass without you having to do anything else.

But this, of course, isn’t true you will still need to stick to a proper workout plan and exercise regularly but with the aid of steroids, your muscles will grow at a faster rate.

So, now you know how steroids work how does the risk of depression come into it?

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone or they increase the bodies levels of it.

During and after a cycle your body’s natural testosterone levels reduce which can cause issues like depression.

This is why some doctors will usually advise slowly reducing the steroids in a tapering of fashion to try and minimize issues.

Coming off steroids very suddenly can increase the risk of negative effects like depression which is why anyone using steroids shouldn’t attempt a “cold turkey” like approach to stopping.

Once any steroid cycle ends the user must always start a PCT cycle. This is to help the body start producing its own testosterone faster. Its the lack of testosterone that causes the majority of the depression.

Anabolic steroids can also cause depression due to the user losing size and strength after they stop using them.

Research has also shown strong evidence that prolonged use of anabolic steroids especially in excessively high doses could cause issues with the brain and increase the risk of problems like depression and anxiety.

The most well-known side effect of anabolic steroids is mood swings, especially increased anger, which caused the term “roid rage” to be created.

But these mood problems and imbalances will almost always cause feelings of depression as well which can then develop into other problems.

There is a lot of evidence that shows how and why anabolic steroid use can cause depression, especially when not used for medical purposes and both men and women are at risk when it comes to using them.

So, while it might not be illegal to own and use anabolic steroids they do come with some potential negative effects, depression just being one of many.

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