Why Do We Self-Medicate?


When people think of medication, they might think of drugs prescribed by a doctor. But sometimes, people take medicating into their own hands.

There are a number of reasons a person might self-medicate. Some of them might be tied to relieve mental health conditions, while others might be to increase stamina to get through a tough workload or to party.

However, the problem with self-medication without the guidance of a health professional is that it can lead to addiction and other potential health problems down the road.

Read on to learn more about why people choose to self-medicate and ways that they do it.

Mental Illness Reasons

Mental illnesses can be very tough for an individual to cope with, and there is still some stigma around seeking help for psychological problems. For that reason, a person might not be diagnosed and given the proper treatment.

A person with anxiety might turn to alcohol as a means of sedation, and to feel more comfortable in social situations. While alcohol is actually a depressant, it can temporarily relieve feelings of depression by releasing “feel-good” chemicals.

The problem with alcohol is that it’s also potentially addictive. Research has suggested that differences in people’s brain reward centers may be responsible for alcohol abuse. Those who drink more have reported feeling more intoxicated than others who consume the same amount of alcohol.

In any case, alcohol dependence can be destructive, and those affected might need to seek information on alcohol treatment as a solution.

Meanwhile, people may turn to drugs and alcohol for social phobias that are triggered when they have to make a presentation or attend a social event. Even a job interview can have people self-medicating beforehand.

Other Reasons People Self-Medicate

There are other potential reasons that a person might take to administering drugs or alcohol. For example, a person might choose to take cocaine if they want to last through a long workday. Unfortunately, cocaine is also addictive and can cause problems ranging from a loss of smell to increased stroke risk.

MDMA is a popular party drug (often referred to as Ecstacy) that is used to prolong a person’s stamina. This is a reason why people use this type of drug when going out dancing, for example.

While MDMA is not commonly linked to addiction, it can be fatal. This is because those who buy MDMA don’t know what’s actually in the pill they’re swallowing. It could contain substances that are highly potent or even toxic that can trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Getting Proper Help is Key

Those who self-medicate may not have been properly diagnosed by a physician, who can administer specific drug treatments and monitor medication use.

By turning to certain substances, people can end up with dependency issues and can also die from unknown ingredients in illicit drugs. Identifying the reasons for self-administered medication such as mental illness is an important step to get the right help.

Did you find this article useful? If so, be sure to come back soon for more information on related topics.


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