Steroid Victim: A Case Study

David took his first pill six years ago. He was 14 years old. The pill was white, round and as big as a Smartie. David wanted to kill himself for the first time when he was 17. He stood on the Erfurt railway line and waited for the ICE from Fulda.

His nipples had been hurting for two weeks and David had read that the body was converting excess testosterone into the female sex hormone estrogen. He panicked that his bosom was growing from the stuff he kept throwing in. Better dead than bitch tits, that’s what guys like David call the things they can get from anabolic steroids.


David trembled when he saw the train coming. He stopped

David hasn’t taken anabolic steroids since that day, he’s 34 months clean. But the long-term effects are killing him. David is not David. He’s a quiet guy, an angler who likes to go on bream. He walks across the cathedral square in Erfurt and looks out of tired eyes: He has sat half the night in the toilet again, diarrhoea is such a side effect that torments him to this day.

The pills opened a new world for him

David got his first pill from Thomas, the older brother of a friend. David took it on his way to the gym, then sat down at the curl desk to train the biceps. It went well. He was fished and bought a whole pack from Thomas.

After three weeks David pressed 65 kilos on the bench. Before that he had never managed more than 35 kilos. The pills opened a new world for him. David was now one that the girls liked. He met Tanja, his first girlfriend.

David went to the studio every day, first for an hour, then two, then two and a half, “until I smoked out of the pores,” he says. He doubled the dose of anabolic steroids, took two tablets at once. He ordered Testosterone Booster, a powder he used to mix with a drink every morning.

Because his pocket money wasn’t enough to get the stuff, David stole it. He pulled off other boys’ wallets, broke into a dentist’s office and sold the stolen goods. This went on for two years.

As time went by, David became more and more aggressive, and on the occasion of the smallest event he crushed his girlfriend. “When I watched ProSieben and she wanted me to switch to RTL, I turned her into a snail,” says David. And when Tanja wanted to cuddle him, he kept his distance. “Nothing went intimately.

In the morning he woke up bathed in sweat, his heart racing. Pimples sprouted in his face, on his shoulders and back – he had steroid acne. Red spots and scars formed on his skin. David’s eyes turned yellow, anabolic steroids burdened his liver. And the pain in his nipples. It was too much for him, and David made his way to the railroad tracks.

He put the tablets and the powder down, he didn’t go to the gym anymore. But as fast as he had pumped up his body, so fast he now collapsed. David lost weight. He was listless and often lay in bed.

“I thought I was rotting,” he says.

The depressive phases came and went. When he saw a strong upper arm, he became jealous, which could trigger a thrust. His parents wondered what was going on with their son, but did not ask further questions. David didn’t tell them anything, they still don’t know that he took anabolic steroids.
David walks across the cathedral square in Erfurt, thin and pale. He suffers from stomach cramps, often he feels sick. But he trains again, a little bit. He can’t help it. With his parents in the cellar he lifts weights. But he doesn’t go to his old gym. He is ashamed. “The way I look,” says David.

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