No doubt many of you, or at least those living in the UK, are following the news reports about Raoul Moat
This story is very disturbing. One thing that really bothers me is the fact that he is addicted to steroids and the effect they have on a person's state of mind as well as the obvious physical effects.
Before I worked in the mental health field, I worked with young people coming out of the care system. One of my clients was a young man who was addicted to steroids. His story was a tragic one. He was systematically abused by both parents from an early age. He ended up in care and at the age of 16 started bodybuilding and using steroids. He also changed his name. In effect he was trying to become a totally different person...as if this would wipe out the past.
Does anyone remember the "strongest men" competitions on TV? Run by Geoff Capes? My client started entering them and reached a pretty high level. I knew him from the age of 17 and could see the change in him, the more hooked he became on steroids. The aggression is unbelievable...and the steroids provide all this extra strength that, if the mind is unbalanced, can have devastating results.
At the age of 21, he was taking part in a round of the competition up in Edinburgh and he collapsed on the field and died instantly. The doctors said the strain on his heart from the steroids was so bad that although appearing to be physically fit...he had the heart of a 70 year old.
What a waste...he was highly intelligent, a gifted artist, and in his more "normal" moods one of the gentlest, kindest young men you could meet....but at his worst, extremely aggressive and intimidating.
This ongoing story about Moat has brought it all back..one of the unhappiest times of my career.
I strongly believe that Moat's abuse of steroids has contributed to his actions.
Are they banned in the UK? I'm really not sure...if they're not ..... they should be!