Question 1: I’ve heard of “road rage” but what is “‘roid rage?”
Answer 1: The word “roid” comes from “steroid rage.” Although the term was originally specific to anabolic steroid abuse, the concept has more recently begun to be used with general corticosteroid usage, including topical steroids.
Question 2: I feel like I’m another person, and I get out of control so easily…is that normal?
Answer 2: As part of steroid adjustments in the body, yes, that can be a side effect. However the extent of the rage needs to be checked. In the cases of body-builders and weight-lifters who abused anabolic steroids, there are documented cases of extreme “‘roid-rage.” In topical steroids it has not been documented as well due to overall lack of reporting. However there are various forms of emotional distress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and temperament control.
Question 3: What other emotional/mental symptoms are there?
Answer 3: Anxiety, aggressive behavior, sleep disorders, depression and even suicidal tendencies can develop as a result of the imbalance of hormones from steroid misuse.
Question 4: How can I control my emotional health when I’m dealing with so much physical anguish and embarrassment of my skin being so bad?
Answer 4: Unfortunately, dealing with the inner non-visible part of your health can get neglected or side-swiped for the more immediate external visible side to your health. However, they go hand-in-hand. Sometimes the root source of the dermatology problem stems from psychological/psychiatric problems that manifest on skin. So by denying the emotional/mental health variable, you could be missing the key factor that could make the healing journey easier and shorter. The relationship between skin and the brain exists due to more than a fact, that the brain, as the center of psychological functions, and the skin, have the same ectodermal origin and are affected by the same hormones and neurotransmitters.
- Question 5: Where can I get help?
- Answer 5: There is a new field of medical specialty called, “Psychodermatology.” It connects the two disciplines of psychiatry dealing with the internal non-visible struggles with the external visible diseases of dermatology. At these crossroads one can find valuable resources that intersect and can help reduce various symptoms and quite possibly, discover root causes of either problem, or both.
- Question 6: Are there steps I can take to administer self-care to myself?
- Answer 6: There are valuable life skills we can all gain by learning. If we could reduce our stress levels by immediately practicing simple breathing techniques, time outs and walking away from temporary surges of stress, the better our body will react. Our immune system would not go into overdrive each and every time. That, in itself, could make a huge difference.
- What if we don’t turn to sugar and/or alcohol for compensation? What if we didn’t splurge into a pint of ice cream with each heartbreak? What if we alternated our habits into taking a walk in a park with green trees? What if we sat in our car in total silence deep breathing or singing at the top of our lungs? What if we gained a higher spiritual sensitivity? The key is to identify the baby steps that can lead to better habits that reduce overall psychosomatic symptoms.
- Beyond our basic survival instincts to self-medicate, we must always remember we are social beings that need others. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that it’s time to grow and recover. That takes strength.
The importance of understanding the psychological relationship of skin, mind and emotional health can not be disregarded. Assessing the whole is absolutely integral to maintaining the highest possible level of quality of life under difficult circumstances.