Individuals who undertake self medication for mental illnesses are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, and sober people should understand why they do it. Alcohol provides calm and internal tranquility to an extent, and they might enjoy it, for example, or they could think a shot of cocaine is the only thing that can help them successfully go through a day full of deadlines. These are some of the excuses drug users state as their reasons for drug use. In addition to drugs or alcohol, people suffering from mental illnesses may also decide to take the path of self-medication. This kind of self medication would be pretty tricky for outsiders to understand, but then it is an existing condition.
Depression is most commonly classified as a mood disorder. It is associated with emotions and feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. When someone suffers from depression, these symptoms can impact their quality of life. Depression is a critical factor in the mental health of people. This type of therapy usually includes counselling, therapy, medications, or all of the self medication-related activities mentioned above.
However, some persons try to cope with the symptoms of their depression on their own without seeking medical attention. One of the ways in which this occurs is mostly through self medication. This can be dangerous, and it can cause even more significant problems than simply merely choosing not to get treated by trained medical professionals.
Addiction may be a hurricane that brings with it destruction, and there are highs and lows, as well emotions run rampage. You may want to ask why people become substance abusers? I think we can learn from history and learn how mental health permeates every aspect of our lives. Self medication certainly has nothing to do with it, but mental health is the single most important aspect of people’s overall self-satisfaction. It could be reliant on family genetics, the environment, childhood trauma, and sometimes mental illness. It is becoming more common to hear/read that individuals struggling with substance abuse disorder in the past have achieved the highest levels of physical and mental health through self-medication. What exactly does self medication mean? Does everyone do it? To a great extent, people are triggered into using based on societal stereotypes, as we are consistently told that pain isn’t normal, and people go on to numb themselves. Let us clarify what self-diagnosis is and what mental illness is.
How Does Self Medication Work?
“A self medication” is described by Google as “a self-medical behavior that does not involve the recommendations of a medical professional or prescription. In other words, taking drugs that get you addicted can also be described as self medication since drugs found over the counter may be taken to alleviate minor ailments such as fever, headaches, and mental illness.
Typically, self medication has been viewed as a means of sustenance for people who abuse substances. Self-medication is viewed as unhealthy access to sustenance. We tend to abscond and avoid uncomfortable feelings and situations in our lives when we are confronted with difficult challenges and faced with painful situations or experiences. According to our panel of experts, the best way to deal with this problem is to use drugs and alcohol for self medication. People who have addiction problems, such as those using addictive drugs, are just trying to alter their daily routine in any way that they can.
It might be frustrating if your back hurts so bad you decide to down three beers every night as a means to cope with the pain. You may have lost a relative or partner and are suffering from grief in some instances. You may choose to self medicate, as in taking Percocet for mental health. Your boss has left you with a big exam or one of the more challenging projects at work, and he is counting on you for the project’s success. You, therefore, take Adderall to help you concentrate better on the project. You’re in the process of delving into yourself due to the loss of your relationship by seeking resolution and seeking freedom from your mental illnesses. Alcohol is promoted relentlessly on live television and by major media today, which is one reason individuals decide to do self medication. Mental health experts have long known that people can turn to a bottle to comfort them when their emotions are hurt.
Self medication is a self thought behavior, and it is also a very unhealthy way to handle stress or discomfort. Why then do people do it?
Why People Do It?
When an individual feels pain, he or she can choose self medication to relieve that pain. Thus, self-medicating becomes an ingrained behavior among thousands of individuals. However, self-medication does not eliminate the need to seek professional medical attention unless you work within the limits of your ability, and self-medicating does not replace a professional doctor. Taking self medication before a disability and fire does not stack up, as this sets the foundation for a disabling back injury. You will mostly find that the action does not drastically alter your original plan for dealing with a particular event. We must incorporate into our healing process new tools to cope with chronic stress and distress as part of mental health recovery. There must be an integration of new strategies into self medication and recovery strategies for mental illnesses. In the end, learning how to adapt to life’s circumstances ultimately means learning how to adjust to them, since in the end, adjusting to life’s terms is its ultimate objective.
Studies have shown that living in a society where everyone, everywhere, has the opportunity for pain or difficulty is a fantasy, a poor life choice for mental health and well-being. Not a single individual or organization in our society perpetuates the self medication of such a society, and therefore I do not assign the blame to them. It can be done to devise ways to be resilient to the stresses and upheavals of life, smart in determining ways to deal with pain and acquire good coping skills to deal with mental health issues.
The Self Medication Hypothesis
A well-known idea holds that substance abuse is a self medication practice, as previously stated in public discussion as the self medication hypothesis. The hypothesis was put forward before a large scale public discussion in 1985.
According to the hypothesis, substance abuse causes mental health struggles caused by the self medication by individuals as a result of their substance abuse. In addition, there is evidence that certain forms of substance abuse, such as alcohol and drug abuse, are often a result of certain mental health conditions. Depression is an example of one of those mental illnesses. Additionally, the article mentions that pharmaceutical companies are increasingly developing drugs meant to treat specific symptoms that people may suffer due to self medication.
Although there are disagreements regarding this matter, others hold that the use of chemicals in the treatment of mental health issues may contribute to additional psychological problems such as self medication, which should be considered a danger of alcohol or drug abuse. Individuals experiencing substance use, alcohol consumption, or a combination of these factors are more prone to develop anxiety disorders.
The mental health of that person may be adversely affected if he or she chooses to self-medicate, even though the underlying medical condition of mental illness requires treatment. To examine the relationship between self medication and mental health difficulties, including depression, it’s necessary to comprehend that self-medication is usually prescribed.
The Act of Concealing and Denying
The fact is that many people with mental health illnesses have never been diagnosed, resulting in the fact that they do not receive the attention and care they require to live better lives with or without self medication. They could be enduring great distress and pain and could be desperately searching for relief. People tend to believe that drugs will help them get through the day, ignoring the negative effects of mental illness. While they may not have a clear understanding of why they need help, they might feel like self medication is a proactive way to deal with their distress.
A study in the Health Services Research journal has suggested that the number of drugs a person consumes consistently can be roughly linked to the number of times they see a doctor. And studies of this nature have proven that self medication is often used by people who need medication but aren’t going to the right places.
Ways of Dealing with Specific Symptoms
While some persons claim to use drugs as a replacement for mental health care, others depend on drugs due to symptoms they’re pretty aware of and hope to heal from.
For Instance, People that Deal with Social Phobia May Experience All Manner of Terrible Symptoms when They’re Told To:
- Engage in Public speaking
- Attend a party
- Go for a job interview
- Or Participate in a conference
A study in ScienceDaily highlighted that people with these disorders often depend on drugs or alcohol; they self medicate the anxiety symptoms they feel and go through these events effortlessly. Sadly, this study has also suggested that people do self medication like this tend to develop yet more severe mental illnesses late on. They deal with minor symptoms of anxiety, in the beginning, the authors say, but long-lasting addiction makes these symptoms worse. In other words, self medication might seem helpful. But in reality, it can further complicate the difficulties a person might face.
It Is Vital to Seek Assistance
Since self medication can hinder people from healing and make some types of problems more acute, there is a need for people to get assistance for their mental health concerns as early as they can. During a Dual Diagnosis coordinated treatment program, medical experts explain how drugs do not help mental health struggles. They can also provide the forms of therapy that would allow sobriety to take hold and be effective, irrespective of the challenges that may come. Kindly call us 615-490-9376 to find out more about self medication and similar programs.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.