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The Dangers of Self-Medication

young woman sits on the floor of her darkened bedroom unaware of the dangers of self-medication

Self-medication is a slippery slope. Using any drug without the supervision of a medical professional can lead you down an unhealthy path that quickly leads to substance abuse. Unfortunately, it happens quite often when dealing with an undiagnosed mental health condition. Many times, people will try to fix what they don’t understand with drugs or alcohol, especially when they are experiencing negative emotions like depression or anxiety. The reality is that they are doing more harm than good.

If you think that you or a loved one may have co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder, then reach out to The Arbor to learn more about a dual diagnosis treatment program.

Dangers of Self-Medication

Many mental health conditions can cause people to self-medicate, thinking it will help manage their disorder. Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol has many risks, such as:

  • Unmanaged, overuse can become an addiction
  • Not seeking professional help because you think you are managing it
  • Dangerous health consequences when mixing substances or taking them for a use they are not intended fo
  • Blackouts or memory loss

Once an addiction sets in, the user may experience:

  • Dramatic changes in weight
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Reclusiveness
  • Insomnia

Any of these signs are a red flag, and professional help should be sought out immediately.

Treating Co-occurring Disorders

Addiction and mental health concerns tend to go hand in hand. When undiagnosed, many struggling will use sedatives and stimulants to deal with the symptoms of a co-occurring mental health disorder. The benefits of dual diagnosis treatment and treating conditions concurrently have only been widely recognized in the last 30 years or so. Before that, you would have had to seek treatment separately for each disorder.

Self-medication comes out of desperation. Many people do not want to admit they have a problem and need help. But treatment is possible, available, and effective. Many treatment centers nationwide offer dual diagnosis treatment, including The Arbor.

When dealing with a dual diagnosis, there are a number of individual concerns to manage, including:

  • People are in denial about having a problem in the first place
  • The fact that the presence of multiple disorders increases the risk of suicide
  • Treatment time can be longer when treating multiple disorders
  • Understanding that finding the root cause of one or multiple conditions can be hard work
  • The possibility of a misdiagnosis of one disorder as another
  • Triggers can be brought on by several factors, many of them being environmental
  • Additional medical conditions can arise as a result of self-medicating or the mental health disorder itself
  • Stress and anxiety can be multiplied because of multiple disorders
  • The awareness that there is always a risk of relapse to be managed
  • Cravings to self-medicate may continue to exist

Ask The Arbor About the Dangers of Self-Medication and How to Get Help

When desperation leads to feeling that you must self-medicate, then it’s time to seek professional help. Substance abuse very often goes hand in hand with mental health disorders, so having the ability to treat co-occurring conditions with a dual diagnosis treatment program is highly beneficial.

Treating clients with a combination of compassion and professionalism is an approach that The Arbor prides itself on.

The Arbor offers dual diagnosis treatment as part of residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, long-term care, and sober living programs. Our team will work to provide honest, compassionate, and professional care to help you overcome an addiction, a co-occurring mental health disorder, and the feeling that you need to self-medicate.

Call The Arbor today at 844.413.2690 or reach out online to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders.