Self-Medicating Your Depression: Find a Better Way

Anyone who has struggled with clinical depression can tell you that it is much more than just tough to get through. That is why thousands of Americans end up self-medicating depression. Self-medicating is a term used to describe the various actions a person may take to counteract an issue such as depression. Self-medicating is not done under medical advice or supervision and usually involves substance abuse or repeated action to forget unpleasant thoughts or emotions. Self-medication isn’t a cure, and it can quickly get out of hand. The following are potential ways to self-medicate:

  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Compulsive or repetitive actions, such as self-injury, hair pulling or driving dangerously
  • Risky behaviors such as shoplifting, committing crimes or gambling
  • Unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, over exercising or consuming large amounts of caffeine or stimulants

Why Self-Medicating Does Not Work

The problem with self-medicating depression is that it does not work in the long run. Self-medicating is a temporary fix, and it leads to shame, regret, guilt and even more depression. Self-medicating is a slippery slope into addiction. The following scenario illustrates how self-medication leads to addiction:

A woman drinks because she feels depressed. Her drinking causes her to say things she regrets, plus she has a nasty hangover. The woman drinks more to forget her regrets, only this time she needs more alcohol to become drunk because her body is building a tolerance. The woman later regrets her drinking and feels even more depressed.

Each year thousands of Americans enter treatment for substance abuse and emotional problems. However, there is only one type of rehab that works to treat both depression and substance abuse issues at the same time. Dual Diagnosis treatment works to combat mental illness and substance abuse. By effectively treating both problems, the cycle of addiction can end, and former users can begin a life free from substance abuse and depression.

Help for Depression and Substance Abuse

You don’t have to suffer with depression on your own. When you call our toll-free helpline, you will speak directly with a caring counselor who can help you through this difficult time. Your counselor will take the time to learn about your unique situation and answer your questions about depression, addiction, treatment and more. We are available 24 hours a day, and all you have to do is call our number.