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Why Drinking To Self-Medicate Depression Will Never Work

Posted on May 1, 2019

Why Drinking To Self-Medicate Depression Will Never Work

Self-medicating depression or any other kind of mood disorder with a substance like alcohol will always be a failed practice. First, let’s look at the basics of the idea of “self-medication.” We take on the responsibility of doctors in deciding what our mental health does and does not look like, as well as what a course of treatment should be for coping with the symptoms of our mental health situations, like depression. Of course, unless we are a doctor ourselves who specializes in psychology or psychiatry and has legal permission to write a prescription of any kind- we have no business making such decisions for ourselves. Unfortunately, our pride, ego, fear, and other character defects get in the way of seeking productive, positive and helpful forms of therapy and/or medication for a serious mental health issue.

Second, using a mind-altering substance is not necessarily unheard of for treating depression- even anti-depressants are technically mind-altering substances. However, there is a difference between a pharmaceutical prescription and alcohol. Abusing alcohol to mitigate symptoms of depression through numbing, escaping, euphoria, blacking out, and more is not “medication.” Such behavior absolutely is abuse. Rather than help our mental health condition, we worsen our symptoms and the overall quality of our lives by choosing a negative, unhealthy, sabotaging route rather than a positive, healthy, contributive route for getting ourselves better.

Drinking to self-medicate depression or any other kind of mental health disorder will never work because abusing alcohol is not medication. We don’t treat ourselves healthily when we treat ourselves with unhealthy behaviors. Doctors take an oath to do their patients as little to no harm as possible. If we were doctors, we’d be breaking that oath to ourselves when we choose harmful behaviors over helpful ones.


Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance abuse, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today:  561-841-1296.