Many people who suffer from an addiction of some sort also suffer from some underlying condition that they may not be aware of. They may be suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or some other undiagnosed medical condition and because of this, their addiction may be exacerbated. They may be wholly unaware that they are self medicating with their usage of drugs and alcohol, and the only thing that they are aware of is that when they use or drink, they feel better.
This is not an uncommon story and many people who wind up addicted to drugs and alcohol when looking back at their addiction, will find that they initially started using in order to self medicate. They may notice that the first time they smoked pot they no longer felt as depressed or anxious and because of this, they began to use the drug more often in order to feel better. The thing is that at the time they were unaware that the way they were experiencing life was shaded by their underlying condition and because of this the drugs and alcohol were only masking the problem and not truly dealing with it.
People who start using drugs and alcohol in this manner will, in time, find that the drug no longer works. If they started self medicating with pot, they may find after a year or two that it just isn’t cutting it and so they will graduate to harder drugs. Some will begin to use cocaine in order to alleviate their symptoms, while others will gravitate towards opiates and when this happens, they are now well within the clutches of addiction and getting free can prove to be difficult.
As their addiction progresses, they may find that their underlying symptoms begin to get worse, as they are now being amplified by the change in brain chemistry that occurs with drug usage and the feelings of isolation and depression that are often associated with drug usage. They may find that their chosen drug is not having the same effect any longer and so they increase the amount they are taking in order to try to get the desired effect. This may work for a period of time, but as their addiction gets worse, the drugs eventually stop working and no matter how much they use, they cannot find a reprieve. It is at this point that many people seek help for their addiction and in turn finally get the much-needed support they need for the underlying condition driving this whole scenario.
If what I just described above sounds familiar then you may be self medicating through the usage of drugs and alcohol. You may need to seek professional help not only for your addiction but also for any and all underlying conditions you may have. While it can be a frightening and disheartening realization to come to that you may be suffering from a mental health condition, it is nothing to feel ashamed about. Millions and millions of people around the world have stood in your shoes and it does not mean that you lack anything. It just simply means that the chemicals in your brain are either not working properly at this current moment, and may return to normal levels at some point, or that you need a little extra support in order to get you through these hard times.
So if what you just read seems applicable to your life and you are currently using drugs or alcohol, then take a look at the list below of common signs for self medicating. If you are currently engaged in this behavior, then give yourself a break and seek help because contrary to what your mind might be telling you, there is help out there and you are worth it.
Common Signs of Self Medicating Through Substance Abuse
Whenever you feel depressed or any other negative emotion you drink or use drugs to try to feel differently.
This is usually one of the telltale signs that a person is using drugs or alcohol in order to self medicate. While many ‘normal’ drinking and using people will use in order to feel differently, people who suffer from addiction do so differently. There will be a preoccupation with getting high or drunk and whenever a feeling arises that they do not like, they will rush to drink or use drugs.
Your mental health condition gets worse with drug or alcohol usage.
This is usually not seen until later on in the addiction, but the very thing that was initially aiding in the alleviation of symptoms, in time, actually makes them worse. A person who is suffering from depression at the beginning of their addiction will find that their depression has gotten worse throughout the course of their substance abuse. Whenever they are high or drunk they will be more depressed than usual.
Drugs and alcohol are causing problems in your life.
For people who do not suffer from substance abuse issues, drinking or using drugs usually do not bring about many problems. They may have a run in with the law or suffer some embarrassment but it is very different from the sort of relational, legal, and financial issues faced by the addict. Many times, addicts will find that all aspects of their lives are negatively affected by their drug or alcohol usage, even when they try to manage well.
If these things sound familiar to you then you may need to seek help for your addiction and any underlying conditions you may have. Stop fighting this losing battle and ask for help because we are fortunate today to have a plethora of treatment options for people who have issues with addiction.
Finding the Right Treatment Center For You
If you believe you have a problem with drugs or alcohol and want to seek help, then call the professionals at Evolutions Treatment Center today at 1-800-795-8527. We can help you find the right treatment you need in order to finally overcome your addiction and get you on the path to recovery. Our trained staff knows exactly what you are going through and can give you the tools you need in order to finally overcome your addiction. So don’t delay, call us today.