How Self-Medicating Could Lead to Addiction
Imagine you had a bad day and all your hard work was left unnoticed. Talking about it did not do any good. However, a bottle of beer instantly compensated for the feeling of grief and distress that you experienced.
If you have experience anything like this scenario it may be wise to take a step back and consider your actions. What you experienced is a form of self-medicating. Many individuals use self-medicating to cope with the daily (and not-so-daily) stresses of everyday life. Many of these individuals are unaware of the underlying pitfalls that self-medicating can lead to.
Experiencing trauma, emotional breakdowns, anxiety issues, heartbreaks etc., are listed as some of the most common issues that lead to alcohol and drug consumption. When people experience feelings such as these, they feel the natural urge to use drugs and alcohol to counteract their emotional imbalance. While doing so does provide them with a small burst of temporary relief, once the sedative effect wears off, the individual is left standing at square one, when that occurs the individual just wants to feel that relief again. These emotions can be easily be continually hijacked by these external stimuli, resulting in a cyclical habit, and eventually lead to addiction.
What Is Self-Medication?
Self-medicating is a form of resistance created by the addict to prevent himself from experiencing emotional trauma. Self-medicating happens when an individual injects his system with potent sedatives such as drugs, alcohol etc., to create space from underlying issues that he otherwise has to deal with. Self-medicating is, essentially, an escape from reality.
How Does Self-Medicating Result in Addiction?
1) Using Alcohol and Drugs to Curb Stress:
Binging on alcohol or bar hopping every weekend after a long week is not at all uncommon. However, having it take control of your life calls for some concern. Issues regarding drug and alcohol abuse are on the rise these days and a lot of it has to do with self-medicating to relieve stress.
Whenever individuals are faced with a crisis, the shortest way to the solution is always prioritized. When the solution is drug or alcohol use for every traumatic situation, turning into an addict is an inevitable consequence. Therefore, curbing your mental illness with substance abuse often leads to addiction.
2) Consistent Episodes of Mood Swings from Intoxication:
Intoxication from consuming alcohol and drugs can offer a form of relief from stress and mental agony. However, this kind of relief is only a temporary fix. Therefore, to have the same experience again, abusers have to continue the dosage in timely intervals.
When a certain momentum is achieved, it becomes an everyday thing. When the dosage is not supplied, withdrawal symptoms start to surface. This can create several forms of health issues such as reduced sleep, lost appetite, etc. Consistent episodes of mood swings continually result from substance abuse; therefore, it must be regulated before creating an ‘addict.’
3) Fret About Trivial Issues:
Alcohol and drugs cause an individual to lose his basic cognitive skills. In other words, the abuser becomes incapable of handling even trivial jobs. Addicts often experience several episodes of anger and fury. This kind of behavior can stem from the act of self-medicating problems.
Several instances of personal and public harm are a result of rogue individuals under the influence of potent drugs. Self-medicating can push the abuser to take several doses of drugs to experience freedom from the emotional drama. This, however, backfires when the threshold is broken, and the abuser displays acts of vexation and rage.
Self-medicating may seem like a solution at first, but over time it becomes more and more dangerous. Individuals can go into a state of relapse if they lean to self-medicating to solve their issues. Alcohol, drugs, pills etc., are only to be seen as enhancers and not permanent solutions to human issues. Having your loved ones go through the stage of deteriorating mental health can be a painful sight to watch. If you wish to bring some change into their life, you can reach out to a health professional or an inpatient rehab facility for guidance.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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