Roid rage is a widely heard term whenever the topic of steroids comes up. But is it even a thing? And if it is, what is behind this so called “roid rage”? In this article, you’ll get the key information and background about this phenomenon.
What Does “Roid Rage” Refer to
The phrase “roid rage” refers to the aggressive behavior that is sometimes seen in people who are using steroids. The stereotypical image is one of a bulky bodybuilder injecting a steroid and then suddenly bursting out into a fit of rage.
However, as with all stereotypes, that image is not totally accurate. There is a risk of increased aggression among steroid users but it is not nearly as instantaneous or out of control as it is made to seem.
And some users are prone to extreme aggression than others. There are a lot of factors that go into it so it’s not as straightforward as it is made to appear.
What Causes Aggression in Steroid Users
So if aggressive behavior can occur in steroid users, why does it happen? Well, the answer lies in the testosterone hormone. Testosterone is naturally found in all humans. Its job is to trigger muscle growth, maintain energy levels, and increase sex drive among others.
It also increases strength and encourages competitive behavior—for the sake of sexual reproduction. Even in the natural amounts found in men who do not use steroids at all, testosterone’s effects can already be strong enough to cause aggressive behavior.
You’ve probably met people in your life who seem to have anger problems or who are quick to aggression when they feel threatened or offended. This is (partly) being caused by testosterone.
So in steroid users, testosterone levels are being boosted higher than they normally are. This can have the effect of increasing aggressive behavior because that’s one of the things that testosterone does.
However, it’s important to understand that steroids will not turn every person into an uncontrollable rage machine. If someone has issues with aggression already before starting steroids, the chances of violent outbursts is very high but in the average user who is more even tempered, the aggressive effects will most likely be milder and may only turn out to be increased motivation to workout.
Basically, if you’re angry before you start using steroids, you’ll be even angrier after. And if you’re calm and even tempered before steroids, you’ll most likely just feel an intense urge to work out or otherwise use up the energy building up in you.
With that said, there have been cases where otherwise even tempered people start using steroids and find they are having aggressive outbursts that could be called “roid rage” even though they aren’t normally angry or aggressive otherwise.
How Can I Manage Aggression While Using Steroids
If you are worried that excess aggression from steroid use could be a problem in your case, there are some things you can do to minimize and manage the effects. Try out these tips to keep you calm, cool, and collected during steroid cycles:
- Nip it in the bud. If you feel the anger rising rapidly and are about to lose control, stop everything, close your eyes, and breathe. If necessary, just leave the situation that’s triggering the situation. Go outside and take a walk. If you can stop an outburst before it happens, the urge will pass and you’ll return to normal.
- Take it out in your work out. If you find yourself getting angry, letting that energy out in the form of exercise can help calm you down. When an outburst is on the way, it can feel like you have all this energy in you that needs to explode out. Channel that into a workout that not only prevents you from a rage outburst but helps you achieve your gain goals!
- If your immediate urge is to yell and punch something (or someone), take a step back and try to express what is bothering you in full sentences. Try to keep perspective as much as possible by realizing that, considering the circumstances, you MIGHT be overreacting. So express yourself in full sentences, using your indoor voice. And then quietly listen when the other person expresses their side. And really listen. Instead of picking apart why you disagree with it, try to figure out why the person might have a different view of the situation than you.
If these sound like strategies for controlling everyday anger problems (steroid caused or not), that’s because they are. The trick with dealing with aggression, no matter what might be causing it, is to try and keep perspective and stay calm even when you feel it boiling up.
If you feel like it’s becoming a very serious problem and interfering with your daily life, consider taking a break from steroids for a while and practicing these aggression management techniques while you’re off them. Then, once you’ve gotten better at them, you can try steroids again and see if you’ve gotten better at managing the problem then.
In the end, whether or not you experience something like “roid rage” while using steroids will depend on you. If you struggle with anger problems as it is, the chances that steroids will make that problem worse is pretty high. But if you are pretty even tempered as it is, you’ll have an easier time dealing with this side effect.