Recognizing Forms of Self-Medication

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Millions of Canadians will suffer from some form of depression in their lifetimes. It is a destructive mental disorder that has both psychological and physical symptoms. While some people think depression is just a bad case of the ‘blues’, people fighting the disorder are not only glum and moody, they feel desperately hopeless and practically everything around them including work and social lives become affected.

Many people suffering from depression don’t quite come to grips with what’s wrong, and this can become troublesome when they ignore symptoms and begin self medicating. While there is some debate as to whether depression leads to drug use or the other way around, some depressed people turn to alcohol and drugs.

Alcohol has been proven to temporarily treat a depressed person, but can lead to alcoholism which will only exacerbate the problem. Drugs like cocaine can also offer some relief until it becomes habit forming, in which case you’ve made the depression worse as the cocaine over-stimulates the dopamine in your brain. Even smoking and coffee can offer some relief, but both are addictive and harmful.

Via HealthLine:

Instead of seeking treatment, some depression sufferers are taking matters into their own hands. Unfortunately, these attempts at self-medication are dangerous and can cause far greater problems than simply getting treatment from trained medical personnel.

Depression can seem to some sufferers as an embarrassment. Admitting the problem for some is a very difficult first step, and many avoid seeking professional help and begin using drugs and alcohol as a means to feel happy again.

Whether it’s alcohol or cocaine, smoking cigarettes or marijuana, these substances do not offer real relief. If you know someone who is depressed or are depressed yourself, seeking medical advice is extremely important. It is helpful to know the signs of depression, because recognizing the symptoms could lead to understanding the disorder better and making better choices on treatment:

Via Canadian Mental Health Association:

  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Ongoing feelings of sadness, anxiety, worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt
  • Changes in appetite, or an unexplained fluctuation in weight
  • Lack of energy, complaints of fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia or excessive sleeping)
  • Loss of focus, decreased concentration, forgetfulness
  • Complaints of physical ill health with no identifiable cause
  • Thoughts of suicide
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Sobriety Foundation

Recognizing Forms of Self-Medication

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