Psychiatrist Blog

Why do we self-medicate?

It appears to be more often that my patients come in telling they self-medicate.  Now what does that exactly mean?

To self-medicate means to take a substance or medication to help relieve a symptom without the approval of a medical professional. I truly, do not get upset with these patients. I understand why we do it. We do it because we want to feel better and we want to feel better NOW. Most of the time, we self-medicate because we’re trying to help ourselves and we should know what’s best for us.  Now do we always? Not necessarily. There are times patients take someone else’s medications because they work for that person, so in turn, they feel it will work for them. This could go 2 ways, the first being it actually does help and the other being it does not.

People tend to abuse drugs thinking it will numb them and make them feel better without necessarily thinking about any long term withdrawal or effects. This leads to a lifelong dilemma of trying to get off abused medications or drugs. I feel more think it’s easier to take the short cut and try something quicker with the hope that it will help. From my experience, it is better to take the time and do it the “right” way. Often times medications can interact with supplements we’re already on or have side effects we might be unaware of. Self-medicating is putting it up to chance to feel better, where actually taking the time to see a professional, you are increasing the odds of actually having a medication work better for you with the least amount of side effects possible.

If you have question or would like to receive psychiatric help, please feel free to give us a call. We are here to help!

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