Self-Medication for Depression and Drug Abuse

When people are depressed, they often use certain drugs to boost their mood and alleviate the symptoms of depression. According to “Drug Abuse: Self-Medication of Depression” research women’s residential drug rehab, most patients turned to drugs for relief from depressive disorders.

Roger D. Weissa, Margaret L. Griffinb, Steven M. Mirinb undertook the study to examine drug effects on 494 inpatient drug users. The researchers thought that men abuse more drugs than women to find instant relief.

The Self-Medication Theory of Substance Addiction Disorders (A Reconsideration with Recent Applications) stated: “Individuals learn that certain actions and effects of different drug classes relieve pain or can change it.”

This study’s abstract states: “Self –medication factors appear in the context of vulnerabilities in self regulation – in particular, difficulties in managing affects and relationships. Individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders have extreme feelings. Either they are overwhelmed by their painful emotions, or appear to not feel them at all. Substance abuse allows these people to escape painful emotions and to have or regulate their feelings when they seem to be absent. Diagnostic studies offer evidence to either support or reject the hypothesis that addictions are caused by self-medication.

“The cause and consequence controversy concerning psychopathology is discussed and criticized. Comparatively, studies and observations that are based on the subjective experience of pain or distress suggest that this is a more important factor in addiction. This study examines how suffering, distressing feelings and self-medicating motives are related to substance use disorders such as nicotine dependency and mental illnesses like schizophrenia and posttraumatic anxiety disorder.

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