There are many reasons you may be drawn to chemical substance abuse but this article will focus on one particular cause not often reported: an undiagnosed mental condition. Recognizing it and dealing with it can mean a profound difference in your life.
Mental Conditions and Self-medicating
Some people have mental conditions that present such debilitating emotional, mental or physical symptoms that they turn to drugs to cope. Often they have never been seen by any psychiatric professionals to be diagnosed and they need properly managed medical and psychological treatment for symptoms.
Some mental conditions (and there are more which are not listed in this article) that people self-medicate for are:
Mild (Dysthymia) or Major Depression
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Mood and Anxiety Disorders
People with a mood disorder such as Bipolar Disorder or Depression have imbalances in brain chemicals that cause them some distress and discomfort. They may turn to drugs that give them a lift like uppers (amphetamines), or downers (barbiturates) to be able to sleep. People with bipolar disorder have been known to use cocaine to prolong a pleasurable manic state.
A person can be depressed and anxiety-ridden, or have other two or more disorders at the same time. An untreated anxiety disorder can lead one to become dependent on marijuana or tranquilizers that include valium, alprazolam, or clonazepam.
Schizophrenia can become apparent when a person becomes an adolescent and up to the age of thirty. They actually have a genetic tendency towards dopamine imbalance in their brains. People experiencing the symptoms can become dependent on alcohol or many other illegal drugs to cope.
Symptoms of schizophrenia can include:
Having hallucinations, which can be auditory (hearing voices) or visual (seeing things that aren't there)
Feeling little or no connection to other people
Being obsessed with things or people
Most schizophrenics are non-violent and often suffer ridicule for their peculiar behaviors and life-style.
Sometimes people can suffer from it and hide their symptoms for quite some time before something triggers a full break from reality. Without proper medication, this illness can become extremely disabling.
Research on personality disorders has shown that there are neurochemical imbalances and brain structure differences present in most people diagnosed with antisocial and borderline disorders. The part of the brain that regulates emotion can be smaller in the brains of people with these disorders so they have a harder struggle than most people to manage their feelings and behavior.
Environmental influences such as abuse in childhood can make a genetic tendency grow into a full-blown personality disorder. People with these particular disorders have difficulty reacting to the normal events of life normally. They may turn to drugs to manage emotions or to engage in thrill-seeking behaviors. When a person's life becomes increasingly unmanageable, he or she might become more open to accepting that he/she has a personality disorder and accept help.
If any of this seems like troubles you've had, reach out for professional help. You may need medications and/or therapy and often it is a combination of the two that will help you manage your symptoms. Don't worry about "labels" and use proper treatment to learn how to live a safe, healthy, and productive life. To learn more, contact a company like Focus Treatment Centers for help.Share