Dear readers, I have long wanted to start a blog about sensitive and taboo topics. Now it's finally up and running. I am a hard working woman in the health industry with a master's degree in biomedicine.
The purpose of this blog is to shed light on taboo topics such as eating disorders and doping abuse. For many years I have worked on several projects within the anti-doping work. Very few dare to tell about their past experiences with eating disorders and drug use. I choose to blog about people's dire experiences, with the purpose of contributing to enlightenment.
Neither teenage years with eating disorders nor all the exercising with a regulated diet gave Sarah the perfect body she longed for. In her head, the body was an instrumental object that had to be processed and transformed. No matter how much time and effort she put into the gym, it was never good enough. In her desperation to succeed with the body project, she finally chose to try anabolic steroids as a last resort, to improve her physics.
The idea of starting steroids had played on her mind since she was 17 years old. When she turned 21 years old, she decided to put her thoughts into action. She was from an small town, and decided to travel by train into a larger city to meet an acquaintance in the fitness community. Se meet a rather reserved fellow, wearing a hoodie, who also sold narcotics in addition to steroids. He gave Sarah her first injection with the steroid called Deca Durablin. She didn’t dare to inject it herself .
Immediately after the injection, she felt relief and excitement, thinking that now it is in progress, now it is rolling and going. The seller assured her that it would work out fine. They chattered for a little while about steroids after the injection, and then Sarah went home.
However, the good feeling did not last long. Sarah got sick and extremely unwell the first night after the injection. Something went badly wrong, and she ended up on emergency room with extreme nausea and poor general condition. The doctor who worked that night was sympathetic and prescribed the drug Afipran against queasiness.
She was told to take it easy and not overexert. Maybe the steroid was contaminated, but it didn’t scare her though, the dream of the perfect body was stronger than ever. And then it was back to the grindstone. Only one week later, she bought new ampoules with the anabolic steroid Winstrol and injected it without being taught how to. On one occasion she drew up too much air into the syringe and almost kept fainting.
As time went by she got big bluish balls in her seat muscles. However, that did not stop her either. She continued and gained bigger and harder muscles, les fat, more visible veins, higher energy levels and significantly better self-esteem.
It was as if the testosterone-like substance Stanozolol had blown life into her. From being stuck in an eating disorder universe, characterized by a rigid and deadlock mind pattern, she suddenly felt all reved up.
She grew stoned on herself, and lived in a constant euphoria, with a cloudless sky every day. Socially she went from being introverted and reserved to outgoing and sociable.The immense feeling of well-being that the steroids provided made her life a dream. She was no longer anxious and insecure, but unafraid and self-assured.
Sarah became the exact opposite of how she was when she struggled with eating disorders.
After having misused anabolic steroids for almost a year, Sarah stopped suddenly. One day when she stopped by the gym, she noticed that her motivation was gone. Her workout seemed meaningless despite the fact that it was a good day after all. No matter how much energy she tried to put into her workout, it seemed useless. The anabolic effects that the steroids had provided so far, started to level off.
Therefore, she experienced stagnation and got tired of bodybuilding and the lifestyle surrounding it. In general, life had revolved exclusively around body, food and training 24 hours a day, until this morning. As a result of this awakening, she started thinking differently.
Moreover, new thoughts had crossed her mind. When she was on steroids, she had been incapable of taking other people’s feelings into account. Her life was all about herself, and she cared less or little for others. However, this morning she started brooding about it, and felt dismayed by the terrible mistakes she had made in life. In spite of dark thoughts playing on her mind, she decided not to give up. The one hope that she clung to, was however the fact, that there had to be light at the end of the tunnel.
She wanted to do something with her life, and decided to get a higher education. Gradually, she changed her mind set and began focusing on the future. She went back to school and started to retake some general subjects to improve her grades. In order to get admission to college, she needed to have university admission certification. Her dream was a higher education in Health.
In the commencement, it all went well. At the first glance, it could look like Sarah had changed and developed a healthier lifestyle. Finally, she was becoming her old self again, her family thought. Yet, what goes around comes around. The past consumed her. After two months, depression set in, her life started to unravel and time had come for bitter things.
The first time after she had quit using steroids, the substances remained stored in her adipose tissue. Only when the chemicals finally left her body, she experienced a horrendous comedown. However, it all came as a shock. While she made an effort to end her abuse, she thought she would return to her old mental state. Nevertheless, that did not happen. Moreover, Sarah sank into deep darkness and got intense thoughts about ending her life. In general, life had taken a gloomy view, and nothing made sense anymore. Her new mental state frightened her to death, because she had never been depressed before.
Sarah’s failing health, made her consult a doctor. The General Practitioner got seriously worried when he saw the fragile condition she was suffering from. Moreover, her doctor entered into her journal, that she had also had visual and aural hallucinations. Sarah told him about her struggle with compulsions and her other actions considered as self-harm. The doctor also noticed her dark voice and a beginning masculinisation of her body. At last, the session finally ended, and Sarah went home. During the next weeks, her mental health would live its life own its own. Moreover, she alternated between being calm and balanced, and deeply depressed. Sadly, it was going to get wors.
Sarah made a new appointment with her General Practitioner and showed up at his office on time. Her doctor glanced at her. There was no doubt that she had become even worse. Moreover, Sarah told him about her suicidal thoughts. Her doctor snapped into action, and prescribed an antidepressant. Next, he also sent an urgent referral to a psychiatric outpatient clinic. Finally, the appointment ended and Sarah walked out of the door.
Furthermore, she took the medicine as prescribed and became even worse. She started developing a psychosis. It felt like her head was exploding and everything around her seemed changed. She no longer knew who she was. Moreover, one evening she heard a distorted woman’s voice in her own head talking to her. Regardless of the fact that her life had become a hell, she decided to stay alive. Yet, she often thought that death might be a welcomed relief.
Several months after her doctor sent the referral, she got an appointment at the outpatient clinic. There she met a caring psychiatric nurse who wanted to help her. Unfortunately, it was of no use. During this period as a patient, Sarah got even sicker. Over the course of a day, she could experienced frequent and intense mood swings, and she was alternately euphoric and plunged into chaotic darkness. In the end, she lost the ability to take care of herself.
After a short while, one of the doctors working in the clinic, decided to hospitalise Sarah. She was admitted to a psychiatric ward, and was carefully monitored by the staff. Still, not for long, though. Unfortunately, she was quickly discharged from the hospital. She ran home as soon as she came out. The doctors concluded that she had experienced short-term psychotic episodes, and in their opinion her excessive use of anabolic steroids had made her vulnerable to psychosis.
One year after she stopped using steroids, the physical and mental adverse effects began to disappear. She kept struggling with her life while receiving treatment as a psychiatric outpatient for some years. The treatment was supportive and aimed at helping her to manage everyday challenges and to form her plans for the future. She moved away and completed a degree of higher education. With the aid of therapy, her studies and a huge change of environment, she finally managed to liberate herself from the body-fixated focus and got on with her new life.
Sarah’s upbringing reflected a great deal of unrest. Her parents had a strained marriage. There was rarely peace and harmony while both were in the same room. Sarah experienced the adults arguing endlessly, for nothing. Dad struggled with drugs and alcohol abuse, and was sometimes violent to her mother.
Father’s miserable childhood made him live under a shadow. In periods, he would open up and talk about his upbringing. Sarah had to be emotionally present for her father in a way she really should not have been, but which was not up to her to decide. Dad’s long-term alcohol abuse caused him to develop severe heart failure over time, and he died when she was 12 years old.
All the commotion constantly surrounding her, made her feel out of the ordinary, and she felt left out, as well. She was a fragile child who took in the whole world, and she could not close up for anything or anyone.
At home, her body was constantly the subject of discussion. A calorie table had a visible place on the wall. She had been the favourite, slender daughter, who got lots of compliments about her beautiful appearance. Occasionally, mom came with a tape measure to check her waistline. She was very concerned about her daughter having the right proportions.
Dad had a strained relationship towards food at times. He was over-eating and throwing up in fear of gaining weight. If father’s weight increased, mother threatened to leave him. In other words, Sarah was in a way, brought up with the words “body” and “appearance”.
Things had gone well until she turned 16 years old. Her hormone changes led to puppy fat, sticking to her ass and stomach. She gained weight despite eating the same amount of food. At home, comments would follow whenever she put on weight.
Out in the wider society, she was brainwashed everyday by the HM commercials portraying the mostbeautiful models. Often, she would try on underwear in the dressing rooms of various stores, and was disappointed every time. Sarah thought she was many miles away from being close to something that could remind her of an ideal body.
Her body and soul was hurt. She felt so limitlessly unsuccessful. She could not live up to the ideal at home nor out in the community. Why could she not just pull herself together and lose weight? What would become of her? The message was crystal clear she was not good enough as she was. The goalbecame everything she lived for.
Sarah’s disgust for her own body evolved and she developed eating disorders. There was a lot of self-hatred and self-torture. Food was no longer a matter of course, but something she had to earn. She yo-yoed between binge eating, vomiting and starving herself. She was struggling with a low and fluctuating self-esteem. Daily she exercised for hours. She used calorie-rich food to alleviate her feeling of inadequacy. When she consumed huge portions of cakes and candies, it was as if she forgot everything and everyone.
Sarah ate sweets and cakes until she felt blown up. Until there was physically no space for more. Still, she wanted more. Sarah was never satisfied and craved more food. She drank large amounts of water, stuck her finger in her throat, threw up and repeated the circle. Exhausted after consuming another serving, she crawled out into the bathroom again. She reiterated the ritual ad nauseam. Sarah kept living in the present while she was stuffing herself with food. Vomiting may have removed some of the shame of eating too much. Still, the action itself just gave her even more shame.
Sarah saw herself through the eyes of others. She thought will people see me if I only get thin enough? Her obsession with food and looks led to isolation. It became a secluded life with plenty of time on her own. She shut out old friends and avoided social gatherings, if food was served. The calorie table became her best friend and she despised her own body fat.
The strangled rom part 1The eating disorder was like a tight and strangled room. She had frozen into a state characterized by a rigid and deadlocked mind. A friend of hers expressing: “You don’t live your life, you barely exists”. Sarah did not care much about the comment, pretended not to hear.
By gaining “full control” over energy intake and weight, she should regain self-respect. For Sarah, food and body became a language to deal with emotions and life problems. She tried desperately to create order in her own universe. Nevertheless, everything remained just chaos and mess inside her. Little did she know about who she was.
She loved making fatty and high-calorie foods for the family that she herself would not eat. In the end, the dishes became so fatty and shiny that her mother also refused to eat what Sarah served. Her lean body desperately needed the food she made for the others. The surplus had disappeared a long time ago and her glance looked empty. Now she was just thin and no longer had the strength to exercise. Her mother started to get worried and expressed that her daughter should gain weight.
Life had begun to become dull and sad. Meaning and content of existence remained absent. Sarah felt the emptiness that embraced her. She became desperate to find a new identity, a new shell that she could crawl into. She decided to convert. She no longer wanted to be thin and hinged but hard, muscular and defined. Slowly but surely, she slipped into this fitness world with visible blood vessels, fat-free bodies and bulging muscles. She increased her food intake to be able to exercise. It was a kind of rescue. Hunger was no longer the necessary evil, nor a goal in itself.
The aim was to achieve a perfect, fat-free, muscular body with visible veins – a personal suit of armour that she could wear with pride. Sarah had decided. In one way or another, she would turn herself into a “Terminator woman”. A feminine figure, one would think, which was made of steel or carbon fibres. There should not be an ounce of fat on her body.
The idea of trying anabolic steroids was constantly emerging. At the gym she usually went to, many people used performance enhancers. It was not difficult to obtain, nor very expensive. If only for a short time, Sarah thought. The goal would however justify the means, no matter what the cost might be. Unfortunately, she decided to put her thoughts into action.
I begynnelsen av juni måned får Sarah endelig en time hos rusteamet ved den psykiatriske poliklinikken. Sykepleieren Nina og en psykiater tar henne imot. Sarah overser Nina og er kun opptatt av å forholde seg til psykiateren. Akkurat denne dagen føler hun seg utmerket og forstår egentlig ikke hvorfor hun er der. Sarah sitter anspent og snakker fort og hektisk. Hun beskriver de voldsomme humørsvingningene som kan forandre seg fra dag til dag eller fra time til time. Hun forteller glødende om sin tidligere omfattende bruk av anabole steroider.
En stillhet fyller rommet etter at Sarah har ramset opp alt hun har puttet i seg den siste tiden. Et skummende mørke brer seg utover når Sarah begynner å fortelle om det som plager henne. Sarah snakker raskt og intenst om de depressive følelsene som ofte ledsages av selvmordstanker og lysten til å skade seg. Sarahs maniske oppturer har uten tvil vært preget av stor intensitet og ukritiske handlinger. Hun sitter urolig på stolen og skifter hurtig fra tema til tema med en mørk maskulin stemme. Sykepleieren forsøker gjentatte ganger i å få kontakt med den unge jenta. Til slutt gir Sarah etter og stirrer tilbake. Nina spør om hun fortsatt misbruker anabole steroider. Sarah svarer blankt nei og forklarer at hun kuttet ut bruken for et halvt år siden. Pinlig berørt innrømmer hun også å ha forsøkt partydop i helger. Nina journalfører at Sarah gir blikk-kontakt og tar korreksjon når det blir påpekt. Sykepleieren tror kanskje at Sarah bruker krefter på å framstå som rolig og behersket og er usikker på om dette er situasjonsbetinget.
Timen går mot slutten. Sarah får beskjed om at behandlingen de kan tilby henne er samtaleterapi to ganger ukentlig. Behandlingen vil gå over tid og være av støttende karakter. Aller først ønsker de å utrede henne. De er usikre på om hennes nåværende psykiske plager skyldes misbruk av anabole steroidene eller om de kan knyttes til tidligere traumatiske livshendelser i barndommen. Sarah får beskjed om at hun ikke vil få noen nye medisiner før de har fått observert henne medikamentfri over tid. Timen avsluttes og psykiateren konkluderer med at Sarah ikke viser tegn til psykose denne dagen. I journalen spekuleres det i om hun kan lide av en adferdsforstyrrelse, og de anser det som hensiktsmessig å forsøke å bygge en relasjon til henne over tid. Nina er alvorlig bekymret for hennes psykiske helse og ønsker å samarbeide tett med psykiateren for hyppige vurderinger.
Ved neste timeavtale er det bare Nina og Sarah som møtes. Sarah opplever den psykiatriske sykepleieren som varm, nær og tilstedeværende. Hun fordømmer henne ikke. Sarah er ikke vant til betingelsesløs kjærlighet eller aksept for den hun er. En følelse av skepsis brer seg om henne. Ninas væremåte oppleves forvirrende. Hva hvis hun blir glad i Nina? Angsten for å bli glad i noen har alltid vært der. Sarah velger å forholde seg distansert til Nina og forteller henne på nytt om alle steroidene og annet partydop hun tidligere har inntatt.
Nina forsøker å forstå Sarah men hun har ikke hatt pasienter som har misbrukt anabole steroider tidligere. Hun tror bestemt at det er det beskjedene forbruket av Ecstasy som har gjort Sarah så syk. Hun forsøker å fortelle Sarah om hvor farlig rusmidler er, og at slike stoffer kan gjøre hjernen sårbar for psykose. Etter tre kvarter avsluttes timen. Sarah ber om nye antidepressiva, men får beskjed om at det på det nåværende tidspunkt ikke vil forskrives ut noen nye medikamenter. Nina forklarer videre at de ikke ønsker å gi henne nye legemidler, før en ny utredning av hva hun lider av, er foretatt. I journalen påpekes viktigheten av å kunne observere Sarah over en medikamentfri periode, før en eventuell diagnose kan settes.
Tredje gang Sarah er hos Nina framstår hun som blekk, trist og urolig i kroppen. Hun forteller om marerittene om natten. Det er tydelig at Sarah i stor grad plages av posttraumatisk stress fra tidlig barndom. Nina forsøker å si at de vonde følelsene vil gå over og at hun vil få det bedre.
Det blir mange møter mellom Sarah og Nina i løpet av juni måned. Hun tar Sarah alltid godt imot, framstår som rolig og lytter tålmodig til det hun har å si. Sarah opplever henne som engasjert og en hun kan stole på. Nina klarer å tilføre Sarah noe som hun aldri fikk av egen mor.
Til tross for støtten fra Nina forverres Sarahs sitt sykdomsbilde drastisk. Hyppige skiftende sinnsstemninger opptrer oftere. Hun svinger mellom å være i himmelen eller i helvete. Hun ser tidvis ansikter i trær og opplever at kroppen og omgivelsene forandrer seg. Nina journalfører at hun sliter med hallusinatoriske, disossiative og paranoide opplevelser.
I begynnelsen av juli måned når hennes tilstand et nytt klimaks. En helg våkner hun plutselig opp om natten etter en intens drøm om den gode og onde engelen. Det er som om hun blir dratt mellom to verdener, eller mer presist blir sugd inn i eller ut av noe. Verden virker kald, mørk og tåkelagt. Det er som om hun splittes opp og går i oppløsning. Sarah opplever å være utenfor sin egen kropp og se ned på den. Hun er fryktelig redd og vet ikke hva hun skal gjøre. Svært mørke tanker skyller på nytt innover henne med et intenst ønske om å avslutte livet.
Mandags morgen møter Sarah til avtalt time hos Nina. Hun forteller om den grusomme helgen. Hvordan hun i løpet av søndagen vekslet mellom å sveve i en lykkerus for deretter å synke ned i et mørkt kaotisk helvete. Nina ser svært bekymret ut og lover henne å snakke med legen. Hun journalfører at Sarahs symptombildet er svært alvorlig med stor ustabilitet, og at det må drøftes med lege om hun burde innlegges på sykehus for observasjon.
Sarahs situasjon blir drøftet på dagens morgenmøte ved poliklinikken. Konklusjonen derfra er at hun framstår som grensepsykotisk og behøver en innleggelse for observasjon og ivaretagelse. På grunn av sin ustabilitet blir det vurdert som nødvendig at innleggelsen skjer i henhold til lov om psykisk helsevern § 3. Sarah tvangsinnlegges med andre ord og paragrafen åpner opp for at det er mulig å holde henne bak lås og slå i inntil 3 uker. Tirsdag morgen møter Sarah opp som avtalt til timen med Nina og aner fred og ingen fare. Nina forteller henne at det har blitt bestemt at hun skal innlegges og at dette ikke er frivillig.
Les fortsettelsen – Det kvelende rommet – Del 5 kommer snart.
This is a story of how the pursuit of self-control ended in eating disorders and misuse of anabolic steroids. I encountered a health service that knew very little about steroids. My hope is that telling my story will enable others like me to be treated with greater understanding.
As a teenager, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, after growing up in a dysfunctional home, where my body was a constant topic of discussion. There was a lot of self-hatred and self-torture, and I yo-yoed between binge eating, vomiting and starving myself. At the same time, I exercised frequently and excessively. The only thing that made me feel calm was driving my body to the limits of exhaustion.
«The year on steroids was a decadent, dissipated and boundless life».
«No longer knowing what a pretty body is».
This blog aims to shed light on taboo topics such as doping and eating disorders. The theme left in this blog is «The suffocating room.
Eating and body disturbances can just be compared to a choking room that narrows, detracts and ultimately takes life. The road from a body image disorder to doping can be short. We are all brainwashed every day by gorgeous retouched images that abound on the internet. Many resort to shortcuts in search of the perfect body. These shortcuts have cost many expensive.They all say afterwards after the end of doping, that it was not worth it, considering the serious side effects they experienced.
The blog series «The suffocating room» tells the story of Sarah who began experimenting with anabolic steroids, after struggling with eating disorders for many years. Sarah’s body was literally her own laboratory. Her quest for control even came out of control. It had fatal consequences and the solution eventually became the problem itself. The blog series is basically about the long way back. The broken psyche she was left with made this journey almost impossible. She sank deeper and deeper, and eventually no longer didn`t know what a pretty body was.
Eating disorders can be seen as a form of acting out . However, when dopants are ingested, the acting out continues, only at the other end of the scale.
For outsiders, the lifestyle that accompanies the eating disorder may appear to be a poor life.
Or maybe we should regard the disorder as an expression of the soul’s minimalism.
Feel free to contact me at my email address if you have any questions about women and drug use.
Hodet ute av kontroll etter langvarig bruk av anabole steroider
Den lange veien tilbake Del 3
Etter å ha misbrukt anabole steroider i nærmere et
år sluttet Sarah brått. En dag da hun stakk innom gymet føltes treningen
fremmed og økten virket meningsløs. Den muskeloppbyggende effekten av
steroidene begynte å flate ut. Hun opplevde stagnasjon og gikk lei
kroppsbygging og livsstilen. Sarah hadde kommet på bedre tanker. Hun ville
bli et eller annet og gjøre noe med livet sitt. Gradvis skiftet hun fokus og
begynte å ta opp allmennfag for å få studiekompetanse. Drømmen var en
høyskoleutdanning innen helsefag.
Det gikk bra i starten. Da misbruket gikk mot
slutten injiserte hun langtidsvirkende depotformuleringer med testosteron. Den
første tiden etter avsluttet misbruk, var stoffene fremdeles lagret i
fettvevet i kroppen. Først da kjemikaliene var ute av systemet, ble
virkeligheten snudd opp ned. Hun trodde at hun skulle gå tilbake til en psykisk
normaltilstand. Det skjedde ikke. Sarah sank ned i et dypt mørke og hadde
tanker om å avslutte livet. Alt svartnet og ingenting gav mening. Det var skremmende
for hun hadde aldri vært deprimert før.
Sarah byttet fastlege i slutten av november og fikk
diagnosen tvangsnevrose. Legen påviste klitoris-hypertrofi og la merke til den
mørke stemmen. Sarah forteller at hun den siste tiden har slitt med
tvangshandlinger og selvskading.
De neste ukene lever den psykiske helsa sitt eget
liv. Hun veksler mellom å være rolig og balansert og dypt deprimert. Det skulle
Ved juletider er det som om en rullegardin går ned.
Selvmordstankene viser igjen sitt sanne jeg og døden kaller. Bare rene
tilfeldigheter gjør at hun ikke tar sitt eget liv.
Rett over jul får Sarah ny time hos fastlegen. Hun
forteller om selvmordstankene. Legen journalfører at hun den siste tiden har
opplevd syns og hørsels-hallusinasjoner. Alle symptomene rables ned, men
ingen tiltak iverksettes.
De neste månedene forsetter den psykiske helsa å
svinge som en huskestue. Hun er enten høyt oppe eller svært langt nede. Noen
dager er hodet på plass og hun jobber hardt og intensivt med skolefagene. Andre
dager er det som om hun ikke er tilstede i egen kropp. Verden oppleves
skiftende, uklar og truende.
En kald februar morgen tar hun sin aller siste
pille med steroidet Dianabol, i håp om å forskyve de alvorlige
bivirkningene som nå ligger foran henne. Det hjelper litt, og gir henne nye
krefter og mot enn så lenge.
I begynnelsen av mai oppsøker hun fastlegen
på nytt. Han opplever henne som kontaktsøkende. Hun forteller om all uroen hun
opplevde som barn. Ved flere anledninger var hun tilstede når far lå døddrukken
hjemme på stuegulvet. Gjenklangen av skrikene hun var vitne til som
fireåring plager henne ennå.
Avstanden til det som ligger bak er borte.
Hun forteller legen om episodene som om alt skulle ha skjedd i går. Alle
varsellamper lyser rødt og det er åpenbart at Sarah begynner å bli alvorlig
syk. Legen tar grep og er sitt ansvar bevisst. Han sender avgårde en
hastehenvisning til en psykiatrisk poliklinikk. Han tenker at Sarah trenger
antidepressiva og skriver ut en resept på Cipramil. Sarah tar legemidlet, som
foreskrevet og mister bakkekontakten. Hodet eksploderer. Omgivelsene forandrer
seg. Hun vet ikke lenger hvem hun er. Hun våkner opp om morgenen, det er som om
hun er en annen person. Hennes tanker og følelser kjentes fremmed. Alt er bare
kaos og rot.
Grenser viskes ut når hun begynner å kontakte
fastlegen privat. Hun er forvirret og mangler impulskontroll. Legen blir
frustrert og uttrykker sinne over at hun har kontaktet ham utenom kontortid.
Han mener hun har sendt ham slibrige tekstmeldinger med seksuelle tilnærminger.
I et nytt purrebrev til poliklinikken beskriver han Sarah som
personlighetsforstyrret og gjør det klart at han ikke lenger ønsker å ha henne