Thursday, 8 July 2010

Steroids

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!

8 comments:

  1. Unfortunately,anything can be bought today from the internet or other underground source.

    But I also saw a relative go downhill this way and that was from prescription steroids.

    It is a great tragedy and when I heard on the news yesterday that Moat's mother said that he was a completely different personality when he was young, I was filled with compassion for her.

    Lets hope that it can be concluded without further blood shed.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  2. I'm not sure if steroids are illegal but, as Maggie said, they can be bought over the internet anyway :-(

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  3. Dear Ayak, thank you for sharing your experiences. You make a very valid point, but unfortunately in a globalised world, prohibitions don't solve problems anymore (if they ever did), IMO.

    I feel extremely sorry for this man's family. The UK media this morning report that his mother would rather see him dead. I cannot imagine what it takes for a mother to wish her son was dead. Devastating beyond words.

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  4. It's not just steriods that can alter people's personalities. A very good friend of mine at school got into drugs (around the time that raves became really popular) and did a complete personality change. Was such a shame because he had been one of those people who just lit up a room when he walked into it!!

    Let's hope that this story comes to an end without anyone else getting hurt.

    C x

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  5. Jan: Of course they can...mores the pity.

    Astro: His mother saying that, in itself is so tragic. You're right, we as mothers can't possibly imagine how we would ever wish that. I feel so sorry for her.

    Carol: Yes of course this happens with the use of other drugs. At the time I was working with my client, some 20 years ago, no-one really took the psychological effects of steroids seriously. They just looked at the change in body shape and ignore the other damage being done to mind and body.

    I too hope this story comes to an end without further bloodhshed.

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