Self-medication is relatively common in the United States, but that does not mean it is a safe practice. Stress and the incidence of mental health conditions are at an all-time high, leaving many people struggling to cope with their day-to-day responsibilities without using drugs or alcohol. However, conditions like depression and drug use are never a good combination. Finding professional dual diagnosis treatment is the key to improving your mental well-being.
If you notice signs of depression, reach out to Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston to help you manage this debilitating condition without self-medication. Our caring staff understands what you are going through, and they are here to support you on your journey to feeling better. Call us today at 866.516.8356 to learn how we can help you find freedom from self-medication and depression.
What Is Self-Medicating?
Self-medication does not always involve medication, as the name may suggest. Self-medication is a term used to describe using prescription drugs, alcohol, illicit drugs, or other substances to deal with discomfort from:
- Physical pain
- Emotional struggles
- Mental health conditions
Taking an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication prescribed by your doctor is not like self-medication. A person who self-medicates is doing so on their own and not under the guidance of a doctor or other healthcare professional.
How to Know If You Are Self-Medicating
Some self-medicating behaviors come across as a normal way of dealing with problems. Many people go to their local happy hour to let off some steam after work or use marijuana to help them relax or fall asleep. You may see little harm in these coping mechanisms, but self-medication can start to impact your life negatively over the long term.
How do you know if you are self-medicating? Here are a few signs that your usual method of pain or stress relief may be self-medication:
- You believe you cannot manage your discomfort without the use of substances. For example, you must drink before attending social activities to numb your anxiety.
- You do not use safe, healthy methods to cope with your struggles. Instead of exercising or spending time outdoors, you use stimulant drugs to lift you from depression.
- You have not spoken with a doctor or other healthcare practitioner about your concerns. Rather than get professional help, you obtain benzodiazepines from a friend or family member to deal with insomnia.
You may find it difficult or unappealing to stop self-medicating because you do not have the healthy coping skills to manage your discomfort otherwise. It is important to understand that self-medication only handicaps you, leaving you dependent on the substance to get through the discomfort. It can temporarily numb or stimulate you, but it will never fully address your condition.
Recognizing the Signs of Depression
Self-medication and depression are common. Many people struggle with depression but do not know where to turn. In some cases, people do not even realize that the uncomfortable symptoms they are experiencing are part of depression. They know that they do not like how they feel, and they can depend on certain substances to temporarily alleviate the feeling.
The following are some common signs of depression to be aware of — you may be managing or covering them up with drugs or alcohol:
- A nagging feeling of sadness, sometimes without reason
- Feeling lonely even when you are around other people
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Sleep disturbances
- Getting angry or irritable over seemingly insignificant things
Depression and drug use can lead to addiction, so you should consider getting professional help before the downward spiral goes further.
Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston: Helping You Heal from Self-Medication and Depression
At Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston, we understand that when you are in the depths of depression, it can seem near impossible to feel any better without the help of drugs or alcohol. But we know from experience that healing from depression is possible, and we have the tools and resources to help you through it. Call us today at 866.516.8356 to learn how we can help you overcome depression and drug use.