There is a lot of focus on the physical and financial repercussions of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), often ignoring the incredible emotional toll on those who take the supplements and their families.
Those who regularly take PEDs are often male patients who are high-octane and have achieved great success by exceeding their competition though discipline, hard work, intelligence and street smarts. They demand exceptional performance from themselves and the people in their lives. These men see PEDs as part of the formula that keeps them at the top of their game. What they fail to see is how these drugs can impede their developmental process.
Often those taking the supplements are in the period of life known as middle adulthood, between 40 and 65. It’s a period that Erik Erickson referred to as Generativity v. Stagnation. In order to negotiate this phase successfully, people must focus on things outside of themselves by creating positive change that benefits other people.
By relying on PEDs to bolster their performance and keep them relevant, these men fail to embrace the natural progression that comes from life, and its attendant benefits. They also trap themselves in self-absorbed and narcissistic prisons. They fail to successfully negotiate this developmental stage and to find the peace of mind, gratitude, satiety, and renewed sense of purpose and direction in life that should be the fruit of their labors.