Does Depression Turn Self-Medication into Addiction?
The term self-medicating simply means using a substance or engaging in a behavior to satisfy a physical or psychological need.
Quite often, though, self-medicating means relying heavily on legal or illicit substances, like alcohol or drugs. As a manifestation of addiction, such self-medication is especially problematic for patients with depression.
Those who battle depression, and especially those who are predisposed to addiction, may try self-medicating before or instead of seeking professional help, which can make their underlying problems even worse.
But like depression, the need to self-medicate is often triggered. If we can spot these triggers (especially the less obvious ones), we can more successfully battle depression, addiction, and the need to self-medicate that often overshadows both diseases.