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What drugs would potentially be used to self-medicate for a mental health disorder?What...

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itsnotlate | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted October 13, 2012 at 9:59 AM via web

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What drugs would potentially be used to self-medicate for a mental health disorder?

What drugs would potentially be used to self-medicate for a mental health disorder?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM (Answer #2)

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No one suffering from mental illness should be self-medicating with anything.  The best approach to mental illness is a combination of psychiatric help with proper medication.  Diet and exercise can also be used to control your symptoms, because “food intake affects mood, behavior, and brain function (mainline).  However, each person is different.  The problem is that you should never self-medicate with drugs.  Use a trusted professional to help you reach your goals. 

It is common sense to realize that the same foods that affect your body will affect your brain. If you keep a healthy body, you will keep a healthy brain.

In the past, people with mental illness avoided medication. Modern pharmaceuticals have fewer side effects.  We also have made advances in different behavioral and talk therapy.  Unfortunately, mental illness cannot be cured.  Once you have one, you have it for life.  You have to find safe ways to balance your life.

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted October 13, 2012 at 2:24 PM (Answer #3)

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Self-medication is one of the tragedies of mental illness because it so often results in addiction, and it does not treat the illness at all.  Litteacher8 is absolutely correct in what he states on this topic.  However, assuming that this question is an academic one, not an inquiry in order to get a list of drugs to take, the most commonly used drugs to self-medicate are probably alcohol and illegal substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, the class of drugs that includes Valium (the generic name of which I cannot recall), and illegally obtained pain medications such as Vicodin and Oxycontin.  Nicotine could probably be added to this list, too, since it is a drug and so many people with mental illness use it. 

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:18 PM (Answer #4)

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I would suggest that a person with a mental illness might use any drug to self-medicate.  The most common is probably alcohol simply because it is so readily accessible.  Sometimes the drug of choice depends on the particular mental illness.  For example, a person prone to depression might seek drugs that boost them up such as nicotine or speed rather than a depressant like alcohol.  Many people with mental illnesses do self-medicate or at least experience a period of self-medicating before seeking professional help.  I had a friend who used to say "happy people don't do drugs."  This  usually holds true.  A person who is happy and healthy probably has little draw to use drugs.  Why would they want to alter their already happy state?  A person experiencing a difficult time, a mental illness, or other tumultuous time in their life might wish to alter their state of mind with drugs. 

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itsnotlate | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 1, 2012 at 7:04 AM (Answer #5)

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No one suffering from mental illness should be self-medicating with anything.  The best approach to mental illness is a combination of psychiatric help with proper medication.  Diet and exercise can also be used to control your symptoms, because “food intake affects mood, behavior, and brain function (mainline).  However, each person is different.  The problem is that you should never self-medicate with drugs.  Use a trusted professional to help you reach your goals. 

It is common sense to realize that the same foods that affect your body will affect your brain. If you keep a healthy body, you will keep a healthy brain.

In the past, people with mental illness avoided medication. Modern pharmaceuticals have fewer side effects.  We also have made advances in different behavioral and talk therapy.  Unfortunately, mental illness cannot be cured.  Once you have one, you have it for life.  You have to find safe ways to balance your life.

This question is an academic one and one that I personally know the answer to. I just wanted input as far as self-medication of social anxiety disorder. Thank you for your response. Very useful information. 

 

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itsnotlate | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 1, 2012 at 7:09 AM (Answer #6)

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Self-medication is one of the tragedies of mental illness because it so often results in addiction, and it does not treat the illness at all.  Litteacher8 is absolutely correct in what he states on this topic.  However, assuming that this question is an academic one, not an inquiry in order to get a list of drugs to take, the most commonly used drugs to self-medicate are probably alcohol and illegal substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, the class of drugs that includes Valium (the generic name of which I cannot recall), and illegally obtained pain medications such as Vicodin and Oxycontin.  Nicotine could probably be added to this list, too, since it is a drug and so many people with mental illness use it. 

Indeed. Now, my next question is why does the self-medication lead to addiction? If you are medicating I would think it would be to make you feel better. Why would you make yourself inebriated from alcohol, unable to see from hallucinegins, unable to understand reality? Why do people cross the line from self-medication to addiction? Are there really any self-medicating properties of these drugs and aren't there long term consequences for all of them? Are there long term consequences of antidepressants/mood stabilizers? Aren't they drugs too? Why aren't people with mental health disorders diagnosed and treated. Society should notice.

 

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