Consider the following scenario.
You’ve had a long day at work. You come home very stressed and tense – you have been struggling with depression and anxiety for several months now and when you get home, you feel so upset you can barely have a conversation with your significant other. You sit down while watching TV, and decide to drink some alcohol. “After all,” you think to yourself. “I feel exhausted and hopeless, and this will take the edge off.” You didn’t use to drink that much, but now it’s become a nightly routine. You haven’t become too concerned, however, because it seems to mask your feelings of inadequacy at your job, the anxiety from the type of work you do, and helps you relax.
The above scenario is quite common in households all around the United States – USA Today states that the average American has 1.35 drinks per day, 9.5 drinks per week, and 494 drinks per year. Drinking to mask or suppress feelings is a sign of self-medication, which is defined as when a person uses drugs or alcohol to deal with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. Most of the time, self-medication begins by a person feeling relief from symptoms after trying a substance – they enjoy the feelings (or lack of feelings) they experience, and want to experience that again. The problem is that using substances to “treat” a mental illness is very dangerous – previous research has shown that some substances can exacerbate symptoms or may even cause a new condition altogether.
America’s “work hard play hard” culture typically allows people to feel rewarded for drinking or using substances – while drinking on occasion may be fine, excessive drinking on a nightly basis could be a warning sign for a substance use disorder (SUD). If you have been struggling with depression, anxiety, or symptoms of another mental illness, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to obtain the help you need. What your experiencing should not be treated with substances, but rather with a support team and therapy to provide you with the tools you need to succeed.
Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).