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Why Self Medication Is A Bad Idea and Ways You Can Help

self medication

A life filled with pain, anxiety, and depression.A life where that pain is constantly felt and never relieved. A life where triggers are always looming, stress comes and goes, and depression can strike at any moment. 

If a person with a mental illness feels like they have no one to turn to or talk to because they don’t want their family or friends to know how they feel, they may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol because it feels better than anything else.

Self Medication: What You Need to Know

In a nutshell, self medication is when an individual decides to take drugs or alcohol in a way that impedes their everyday life and can negatively affect the person’s health.

This is a hazardous habit, especially if you are taking medicine or drugs that were not prescribed to you by your doctor. Be aware of how much medication you are taking, whether prescribed by your doctor or not, and follow the instructions that come with it.

On the other hand, self medication allows the individual to forget about what they are experiencing and reduces the symptoms of their illness. This is not a good idea, because this will only make you feel worse.

Many people who have mental illnesses or have been depressed or anxious all their lives feel that they need to take something to make all the pain disappear. This is not true and will only make things worse in the long run.

Self medication: Why Do It?

There are many underlying motives behind why people use self medication. Some of these motives are listed below:

1. Convenience

self medication

Many people feel they need to take their discomfort into their own hands instead of waiting for a therapist or counselor to give them a prescription. 

This is especially true for people who have difficulties talking about their issues with other people, especially those who are shy or do not trust others well. It is easier for people to use these substances daily without explaining their usage and feeling better about themselves.

2. Insecurity

The fact that many self medication options are available at home or in a store close to them can contribute to the problem of not being able to discuss an issue with a professional. 

This is especially true for people who do not know much about their illnesses and may be afraid of discussing them with a therapist or other medical professional.

3. Cost

Cost is another reason why people may use self medication. Many of the items used for self-medication are not expensive, and one-time usage can be a cost-effective way for people to treat their symptoms without spending a lot of money. In some cases, self medication is simply a matter of necessity and a cost-effective way to get through the day. Self medication often comes at a cost for the user.

4. Gaining Control

gaining control

Giving oneself control over one’s life is a significant factor in why people use self medication. This may be especially true for people who feel that they are not in control of their lives, and feelings may lead them to abuse various substances to gain control of their emotions.

5. Secrecy

Many people are afraid to discuss a problem with a professional and may feel that they will be judged negatively for the way they are feeling. Some people may also not have the social skills to talk to others about their struggles and may be ashamed of their situation, so they prefer to take matters into their own hands.

6. Lack of Educated Options

Self medication options can be intimidating or confusing for people who do not know much about them. Many of these substances have different side effects and can be hazardous to the body if something goes wrong. They may also not be familiar with other treatment options such as therapy or community support groups that can help them deal with stress more healthily.

7. Lack of Support

self medication

Many people rely on themselves for support rather than reaching out to others when dealing with stressful life events. For instance, there are low rates of suicide among people who have access to a close friend or family member for help. There is also a lack of research in this area, and there are no guidelines that explain how to educate people about self medication best and help them on their journey towards better mental health.

Self Medication Risks: What are they?

1. Drug Interactions

Drug interactions occur when a person uses more than one substance together. This can be especially true for people who use certain drugs prescribed for other purposes.

For instance, many people take prescription sedatives and sleep aids in addition to alcohol or street drugs to help them sleep. A person with excessive drowsiness cannot safely operate a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery, be involved in an accident, fall asleep while driving, and fall asleep while eating, resulting in choking on their food.

2. Side Effects

side effects of medication

Self medication can lead people to take the wrong drug dosage and cause severe side effects. For instance, some people take excessive anti-depressants and may develop symptoms similar to an overdose. This can cause nausea, anxiety, dizziness, and even a heart attack in extreme cases.

3. Underlying Issues

Using alcohol or drugs can also mask underlying problems like anxiety or depression and make it harder for people to deal with new issues as they occur. 

4. Addiction

Some people become addicted to certain substances that they use on a daily basis. This can lead to a dependence on the matter and eventually make it harder for them to stop using them due to their cravings for the drugs or their fear of withdrawal symptoms.

5. Legal issues

The use of illegal substances is illegal, and the penalties are much more severe. Anyone caught with illegal substances can face jail time as well as financial penalties.

6. Allergic Reactions 

allergic reactions 

Some people have an allergic reaction to a drug they are using and may experience itching, swelling, shortness of breath, or even anaphylaxis which is an extreme allergic reaction. This can lead to death if not treated immediately.

This harmful practice of self medication has significant consequences that are often overlooked or even dismissed and can lead to:

  • Loss of productivity
  • Poor social life
  • Poor physical health
  • Legal consequences
  • Increased risk of mental illness relapse
  • Addiction
  • Death

Self Medication: Ways To Prevent It

Addiction is a real problem in today’s society. It affects everyone, even if they don’t realize it. Many people aren’t aware of the devastating effect addiction can have on their lives and the damage it can cause until it’s too late. Here’s a list of the things you can do to avoid becoming addicted to self medication.

1. Avoiding Self Medication

It’s essential not to use drugs for your personal use if you have an addiction. It’s also important not to use drugs to help yourself or someone else. There are cases where self medication is the only option when dealing with a mental health issue that has become too difficult to deal with on your own, and there may be times when you don’t have access to other resources. 

If this is the case, it’s important to understand that better options for self medication are more effective and more likely to help you find a permanent solution.

2. Reach Out

reach out for help

It’s important to reach out to someone when dealing with stress and mental health issues so you can be properly supported. Either a close family member or friend can help you with this. It’s important not to isolate yourself from others or rely on your strength when dealing with these issues.

3. Get Proper Treatment

If you choose to self-medicate, it’s important to make sure you’re working with a professional that can help guide you towards proper treatment. Make sure the professional is knowledgeable about self medication and drug abuse and has experience dealing with people using drugs for purposes other than relieving mental disorders.

4. Set Limits

It’s important not to use drugs to solve any problem or challenging life event or situation. Understand that the cravings will diminish over time if you don’t use drugs and give yourself a chance to overcome those difficult feelings.

5. Be Aware

self medication

It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with self medication. That way, you can avoid any serious complications from using drugs. 

6. Don’t Buy from the Streets

It’s important not to buy drugs from informal sources or purchase them from someone buying or selling them for a profit. Instead, purchase medications from licensed pharmacies that have been inspected and authorized by the government. These locations have been carefully monitored, which is one of the ways to ensure you’re safe when using drugs for self-medication.

Final Thoughts

We at Wellness Home Care have one goal: to get your life back. Through the use of our experienced, compassionate, and caring staff, who work in the comfort of your home with you and your family, we have helped many individuals combat their addiction.

We believe that treatment can and should be effective and efficient, with the most measurable impact on your life in the shortest amount of time possible. The addiction you are battling has to stop here and now before it is too late! Learn how Wellness Home Care can help you get your life back today!