Sometimes when life is very stressful, as in the case of combat stress, it is a temptation to try to alleviate angry, depressing, anxious or fearful feelings we can’t control by self-medicating. Self-medicating is engaging in dangerous behaviors (such as drinking or taking illegal drugs or misusing prescription drugs.) Self medicating is a negative, but common survival strategy that many people use to cope with anger, depression, anxiety or other painful emotional states. Self-medicating can make you feel better temporarily, but your problems resurface and may be worse than before.
Generally, self-medicating begins because we need a way to feel better. We don’t want to face the embarrassment of sharing our feelings with others, so we resort to other negative ways to hide what we don’t want others to see.
If you are using prescription drugs, or over the counter medications without professional medical advice to treat depression or combat stress, it is important to stop and seek professional treatment immediately. No matter who you are, treating yourself at home is never the right thing to do.
Asking for help does not show weakness. It takes strength, maturity and courage to admit you need help, but it will save your life, and keep the hearts of those who love you from breaking.
Getting help is the most positive and productive way to turn the corner and live a happy, peaceful life. There are very effective treatments available that your doctor, or counselor, can use to help you stop experiencing your intolerable symptoms. You don’t have to live that way, and you don’t have to dull yourself with drugs to feel normal again. If you are having problems with addiction, make sure your doctor knows. Inappropriate use of prescription drugs is dangerous and will not help you achieve the relief you desire.
Clinical Psychologist and author Dr. Tian Dayton says, “When I wrote Trauma and Addiction over a decade ago I was trying to help people to understand why they might be turning to drugs and alcohol when they should be seeking treatment. I was trying to open people's eyes to a disease that gets worse not better unless it is intervened on as aggressively as you would intervene on any spreading cancer.“
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast ...”
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