Steroids and the Mind


A new study connecting mental health issues and anabolic steroids used 700 athletes and compared their steroid use to mental health issues like depression. Of the 700 athletes used in the study 20% of them admitted to using steroids. At the end of the day the data showed that the athletes who used steroids were more likely to have been diagnosed with mental health issues like depression. Based on the results of this study Claudia Fahlke says, "This suggests that the anti-doping efforts remain very important, both in and outside of sports."


Based on what I know about the study that you can see here I don't think that the results of this study should be used as strong evidence for keeping steroids out of sports. First, the article states that the athletes who took steroids were more likely to abuse alcohol, which could explain the high rate of conditions like depression. I am also suspect of the way this study gathered its data. I think that it is probable that the people who didn't admit to using steroids might also not want to admit to dealing with a mental health problem. Also, I think that the people who were forward enough to admit to using steroids are forward enough to admitting they have a mental health problem. I believe that this could help skew the data towards the results that were reported.


While this study doesn't give strong support for the ban of steroids in sports it doesn't mean that steroids shouldn't be banned. Steroids still provide a competitive advantage to those who choose to take them. Solid evidence that steroids can harm mental health could be out there but this isn't that study. If it becomes apparent that steroids do harm mental health then it will be easy to understand the ban.


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