Apparently We Are All Psychopaths (And It’s OK)

Patrick Bateman pointing at the heading

Psychopaths are everywhere. It’s hard to say which came first, the abundance of charming anti-social heroes in TV series, or the scientific interest in dark personality traits. 

Anyway, today we see more Patrick Bateman, Dexter and Hannibal Lecter type of personalities way more often than we did in the 1990s. And the same can be said about the mentions of the so-called Dark Tetrad of personality traits in scientific journals. 

Does Dianabol Make You a Psychopath? And Why Do We Even Care?

What it has to do with AAS and why the hell would a steroid store even care? Well, because the trend lately has moved into our plains.

In this recent study on steroid use, authors say that «AAS use was associated with higher odds of psychopathic traits». Headlines like this one — “Anabolic Steroid Use Linked To Psychopathy In Bodybuilders”, or this — “Bodybuilders with a history of steroid use are more likely to exhibit psychopathic traits” started to appear. 

Anabolic steroids or APEDs? There IS a difference.

Do we need to explain how quickly the general public can spin all the «linked to» and «likely» into «only psychopaths take steroids» and «today you take Dianabol, tomorrow you start killing people»? Not really. 

Let’s see why it might be yet another example of BS in the anabolic steroids world. 

The Basics of Psychopathy (and Why It’s Linked To Steroids)

First, you need to understand some core parts of the issue. Namely: 

  • What on Earth is «the Dark Tetrad»?
  • What is even «psychopathy» in the real world?
  • And what do they mean by «anabolic steroids»? 

Now, one by one.

The Dark Tetrad

In 2002, the Dark Triad became a popular way to address the three «bad» psychological traits. People that have all three are: 

  • Narcissistic — self-absorbed, egoistic;
  • Tend to display Machiavellianism — or just be calculating and manipulative;
  • Psychopaths — ruthless, cold-hearted, lacking empathy. 

Doesn’t sound like someone you’d love to hang out with, right? Then the Triad became the Tetrad, with one more trait added:

  • Sadism — pleasure from someone’s suffering, physical or any other. 

You may notice that «a person with all Dark Tetrad psychological traits» is a scientifically polite way of saying «sick fuck».

The dark tetrad and the dark triad — explained.

In case you want to learn more on the topic — here’s a great Science Today article explaining how the whole thing unraveled. 

What Exactly is Psychopathy? 

Symptoms of psychopathy in popular culture include killing prostitutes for fun, being extra-smart, cynical and witty, or eating people in a fancy tuxedo. 

In real world though, psychopathy is pretty simple: 

  • Less emotions than people usually experience;
  • No remorse or second thoughts;
  • Putting yourself and your needs first;
  • Impulsive anger bursts;
  • Tendency to use deceit and manipulations to fulfill desires «no matter what». 
Apparently cardio can be linked to psychopathy as well?

Real-life psychopaths are not all Dexters and corporate maniacs. These traits can be mild, can be just partially manifested, can be suppressed, and so on.

Still, the majority — even though since Netflix explored this goldmine of characters we’re not so sure — would say that psychopaths are less socially desirable, and some studies link psychopathy to outright criminal behavior. Like, literally killing people. 

Not something you’d want people to think of when you say you’re taking Deca. Yet, the number of studies directly associating your love to injectable anabolics and your possible psychopathy is growing.

What Do They Mean by «Anabolic Steroids»? 

This is where things start to crumble for the publications. Here’s the full list of «steroids» in the study:

Ok, MOST are really anabolic steroids. We know because we happen to sell the majority of these in our steroid shop with delivery all across Canada.

But what the hell is Synthol doing on the list? It’s a triglyceride oil, not a steroid. 

Why the hell is HGH there? Somatropin is a natural substance and Human Growth Hormone is 1:1 the same thing your body produces by itself. 

Why is Clen on the list as well? It’s not a steroid, not a hormonal compound at all, just a fat burner. 

This is not bodybuilding. This is a joke. And it has NOTHING to do with steroids.

No, we’re not doing «well, ACKHUALLY» with this study. The study is OK on this point: they call the list APEDs, APPEARANCE and performance enhancing drugs. 

Did this detail make it to the publications? Nope. They simply call it all anabolic steroids, ignoring a crucial difference. 

APEDs and Steroids Difference

APEDs in the study are listed simply because they all, with different mechanisms of action, improve performance or appearance. Anabolic steroids all act THE SAME way, affecting your hormonal levels, improving nitrogen synthesis, and so on.

So when you say «APEDs use is linked to psychopathy» — you talk about PEOPLE who take some drugs to improve something.

When you say «STEROID use is linked to psychopathy» — it sounds like anabolic steroids, by their mechanism of action, biologically, as a CLASS, trigger something in the body that causes psychopathy. And it’s not true.

A huge fucking difference. And it’s not the only problem with this whole thing. 

Wake me up when we’ll cycle Synthol for bulking and use Anti-estrogens on a cut

Read The Damned Full Text

Here are a few more details that need to be highlighted (though were ignored in some of the publications): 

  • We’re talking about an ONLINE study. To get the participants, they’ve posted the survey invitation on some bodybuilding forum back in 2015, and promised «one of twenty $50 Amazon gift cards, which were distributed via email» for taking a survey;
  • The study is based mostly on young newbies, not experienced athletes: the guys in this online survey had «median of 2 prior cycles»;
  • And finally — authors have no illusions about the meaning of the study. As a direct quote — «this cross-sectional study is entirely correlational and any attempts to speculate about causality should be made with extreme caution.»

So, you’re a young athlete, with just maybe a Test and Dbol or Deca and Test cycles behind your belt, and you’re offered a 50$ gift card to take an anonymous online test that goes like «Do Steroids Make You a Psychopath?».

Note that it happens when Dexter finished just 2 years ago, Hannibal is in its last season, and Sherlock’s witty and definitely psychopathic takes are all over your feed, glorified by the general public.

Will you mark your sentiment towards statements like «I enjoy manipulating other people’s feelings», «Love is overrated», or «I feel justified in doing anything I can get away with to succeed» honestly, or you’ll exaggerate the thing? 

These statements above are actual parts of the LSRP scale the study used, and you can go through it yourself. It will have just as much sense as the online survey in question.

So… Is It OK to Be a Psychopath in Sport?

The short answer is — hell yes. To some degree. In fact, a bit of Dark Tetrad traits would be even beneficial for some athletes. 

Here’s a good study that shows how people with The Dark Tetrad traits are more likely to engage in aggressive sports: «individuals scoring high on the Dark Tetrad traits were prone to participate in sports that involve aggressive action». 

And can really see it if you look for psychopaths in sport: 

  • Muhammad Ali;
  • Floyd Mayweather;
  • Mike Tyson;
  • Manny Pacquiao. 

It’s a speculative list, based on anecdotal stories, but they’ve turned to boxing as a way to express anger (one of the psychopathic traits).

Anti-social behaviour at its finest

Other, non-sporty guys, are supposedly: 

  • Neil Armstrong;
  • Alan Turing;
  • Theodore Roosevelt. 

Not every «charming, manipulative and calm» man is a serial killer. In fact, some psychopathic traits are linked to success in sport:

Here’s a study called “Why Negative or Positive, If It Makes Me Win?”. The authors say that a good damn portion of Spanish competitive athletes are psychopaths.

David James, a professional football player, a veteran of world famous British clubs, says that «having psychopathic tendencies doesn’t make you a great footballer in itself, but it is striking the parallels that can be drawn.»

In another example — HuffPost author’s research shows that «psychopathy is a set of dials, each one representing a different trait. If they are adjusted to just the right levels, certain characteristics being more prevalent than others, a highly, but not ‘purely’ psychopathic individual may thrive in any sport.»

And finally — a psychologist Kevin Dutton puts it simply: the famous Nike slogan «Just Do It» is psychopathic AF in its nature, and this exact mindset is what helps athletes dominate in sports, especially in the Olympics.

Being a psychopath does not come with a shelf of 1990s music and a reservation at Dorsey. It comes with a certain mindset. The one a good athlete may need.

The Conclusion

The studies that look for the links between some psychological stuff and anabolic steroids are a good thing, in general. Maybe, at some point, they’ll turn to the part where they’ll study something beneficial for the steroid community (apart from roid rage).

A reasonable, completely mentally healthy person with absolute zero psychological issues would never go crazy about that one last rep. They’d just drop it. ANd they wouldn’t grow.

So regardless of the shady studies and publications — please be a psychopath and use it to your advantage. Focus on the right traits of it at the right times:

  • Be cold-headed, calculating when it comes to dosing your Trenbolone for a bulk;
  • And be an absolute fucking maniac when it comes to working out on the brink of your limits at the gym.

Just don’t kill prostitutes and keep in mind that all the BS in those publications has nothing to do with actual anabolic steroid use in a biological sense.

In case anyone brings it up — you know you don’t have to take it personally. You can instead stare without blinking right into their eyes for a minute, enjoy seeing them freak out, and go on with your business. At least that’s what a real psychopath would do.


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