Each user experiences their own unique feelings when using steroids and coming off the drug. When someone chooses to stop using they can experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms linked to addiction. Symptoms can include mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive, the desire to take more steroids, and depression. Evidence for steroid addiction is certainly not as strong as it is for other drugs like cocaine or heroin. Though it is clear that people develop a tolerance and dependence on them and willingly experience negative consequences when using steroids - both of which are signs for drug dependence.
I have a rare auto-immune disease that requires high (160mg 2x day) dose prednisone to stop a severe blistering of mucosal tissue ., 2-3 degree burns of mouth, throat, sinus, eyes and even my heart. The possibility of this disease killing me without prednisone is real and my doctor explained that prior to prednisone a great majority of people with Erythema Multiforme – Major died.
So what’s the problem? Over many years and a dozen high dose treatments with prednisone I have been 302 committed and upon release my doctors where cautioned about this therapy.
During my most recent treatment, I went into a manic state or worse. I was PFA’d and removed from my home by police after scaring my wife and kids. I had to finish treatments at the hospital and I requested a psychological evaluation because I hadn’t slept in 5 days, almost lost my job, and was was manic or worse. After a discussion with a psychiatrist he added several different mood stabilizers and anti psychotic meds. I have come off the prednisone and the pshyc meds are taking effect. I cant wait until prednisone is out of my system.
My doctor now realizes after this last event a new protocol is being thought out with future treatments.
This I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that Prednisone is a miracle and a curse all rolled up into one medicine. If you are experiencing mental issues with prednisone tell your doctor immediately, insist on getting psychiatric support and PRAY.
Michael A. Ball, DVM, completed an internship in medicine and surgery and an internship in anesthesia at the University of Georgia in 1994, a residency in internal medicine, and graduate work in pharmacology at Cornell University in 1997, and was on staff at Cornell before starting Early Winter Equine Medicine & Surgery located in Ithaca, . He is also an FEI veterinarian and works internationally with the United States Equestrian Team. Ball authored Understanding The Equine Eye , Understanding Basic Horse Care , and Understanding Equine First Aid , published by Eclipse Press and available at or by calling 800/582-5604.