Anabolic steroids are a huge issue in sports, even though they are banned substances, and steroids can create a lot of complications. Some of the worst side effects of anabolic steroid use can occur when an athlete stops using steroids, and goes into withdrawal, which is a sign of dependency to the drug.
Here are three of the biggestÂ withdrawalÂ symptoms that an athlete is likely to go through, if he or she stops using anabolic steroids.
Using anabolic steroids is like using any other altering chemical, which means that the anabolic steroids create a sense of euphoria. When an athlete quits using anabolic steroids, he or she will likely become sad or feel depressed. Depression is a common symptom of withdrawal because the drug causing euphoria is no longer there, which alters the brain chemicals and chemistry, and the athlete might have a lower self-esteem. An athlete that use anabolic steroids essentially has the same positive feelings that an opiate drug user would have, which means that coming down off of the drug and into a state of depression is likely, although he or she might not notice it at first.Depression
Fatigue or Lethargy
An athlete that stops using anabolic steroids is also likely to notice fatigue or lethargy, which can significantly impact his or her athletic abilities. When an athlete uses anabolic steroids, it can increase muscle mass, which in turn will mean he or she is using more energy to sustain athletic ability. After an athlete stops using anabolic steroids, he or she will notice he or she is tired more often, wants to sleep more, and just overall lacks motivation to move quickly. Anabolic steroids create a false sense of energy and metabolism, which is not noticeable until anabolic steroids are stopped, and then the body feels run down. Fatigue and lethargy are also withdrawal symptoms associated with other drug use as well, since using any drugs create mental and physical changes within the body. An athlete might notice he or she cannot run full speed during a game, might want to sit down after a few minutes, and might just want to sleep all day or night. An athlete might also be training less for his or her sport, since he or she will not feel energetic enough, and this could cause a loss of strength or coordination.
Having suicidal tendencies is one of the most serious withdrawal symptoms that an athlete is likely to suffer, after quitting anabolic steroids. The suicidal feelings come from the depression, which is likely to occur right after anabolic steroid use is stopped, but it can last for months. Although the possibility of suicide is rare for an athlete, it is possible if he or she feels inadequate without the anabolic steroids, and this will deepen the feelings of worthlessness. If an athlete has already suffered mental problems in the past, such as depression or attempted suicide, then the risk increases that he or she might become suicidal after quitting anabolic steroids. If an athlete plans on quitting anabolic steroids, he or she should seek medical attention right away, so that he or she can be monitored safely during the withdrawal stages.
Jeanne Rose has certification in nurse assisting, worked as a dietary clerk for three years in a hospital, and went to vocational school for Allied Health.