What is 'roid rage'?

Mostly a myth; testosterone (including injections) can increase impulsivity in some but this does not appear to be reliable (does not affect every person tested), impulsivity might lead to aggression but this is drawing at straws now with the connections

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For the most part, a myth. There is not enough evidence to suggest a relationship between exogenous testosterone usage and anger, and a fair bit of evidence to say that no relationship exists.

Effects of testosterone injections on male cognition


Injections of 200mg/week testosterone note a positive trend towards increased sexual behaviour, although non-significant.[1] Another study with the same dosages of testosterone (as enanthate) found increases in sexual desire, but not necessarily sexual action; there was no increase in self-reported aggression either.[2][3] Men who are hypogonadic before testosterone administration appear to be more susceptible to the increase in sexuality.


One study on healthy men and those with reduced testosterone levels subject to testosterone enanthate (200mg weekly, twice that for hypogonadism) do not report increased aggression. However, when controlled for measures of impulsivity a relationship is seen.[4] A study conducted with 600mg weekly and surveys given to both active/sedentary men and their spouses reported no relation between testosterone and anger.[5]

Other studies note (via self-report) slight increases in agitation and aggression at 200mg weekly.[6]

Differences in results may be due to the given survey's word structure.


Hypogonadic men (men with reduced testosterone levels) show an increase in subjective well-being and mood when having their testosterone levels replenished whereas eugonadic men (normal test levels) show no treatment effect.[3] Other studies note slight increases in subject well-being across the board.


200mg testosterone enanthate weekly in healthy men (or biweekly in hypogonadism) seem to increase verbal fluency while decreasing spatial abilities[7] and in hypogonadic men[8], these effects are somewhat contested though, as evidence by a study in elderly men showing seemingly opposite effects.[9]


  1. ^ Bagatell CJ, et al. Metabolic and behavioral effects of high-dose, exogenous testosterone in healthy men . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (1994)
  2. ^ Anderson RA, Bancroft J, Wu FC. The effects of exogenous testosterone on sexuality and mood of normal men . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (1992)
  3. ^ a b Alexander GM, et al. Androgen-behavior correlations in hypogonadal men and eugonadal men. I. Mood and response to auditory sexual stimuli . Horm Behav. (1997)
  4. ^ O'Connor DB, et al. Exogenous testosterone, aggression, and mood in eugonadal and hypogonadal men . Physiol Behav. (2002)
  5. ^ Tricker R, et al. The effects of supraphysiological doses of testosterone on angry behavior in healthy eugonadal men--a clinical research center study . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (1996)
  6. ^ Giorgi A, Weatherby RP, Murphy PW. Muscular strength, body composition and health responses to the use of testosterone enanthate: a double blind study . J Sci Med Sport. (1999)
  7. ^ O'Connor DB, et al. Activational effects of testosterone on cognitive function in men . Neuropsychologia. (2001)
  8. ^ Alexander GM, et al. Androgen-behavior correlations in hypogonadal men and eugonadal men. II. Cognitive abilities . Horm Behav. (1998)
  9. ^ Wolf OT, et al. Testosterone and cognition in elderly men: a single testosterone injection blocks the practice effect in verbal fluency, but has no effect on spatial or verbal memory . Biol Psychiatry. (2000)