With health services still struggling to balance both general cases as well as cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a worry that people suffering from specific ailments have been unable to get the treatment they require. As no one should live in pain, self-medication could be something that many people turn to, but is this the right thing to do?
What Is Self Medication?
Self-medication is a practice in which people suffering from physical or mental pain take matters into their own hands. Rather than rely on trained medical professionals to administer necessary treatment.
Typically, this self-medication relates to over-the-counter medicine, which you can purchase at any pharmacy or supermarket. However, it can also include dietary supplements, such as using multivitamins to help make up for a lack of specific vitamins in their diet, whether due to allergies or simple fussy eating.
How Can Self Medication Benefit Patients?
On the surface, self-medication sounds negative, and this is because it comes with a stigma associated with the wrong type of self-medication. However, there is a range of benefits that can come from being permitted to self-medicate.
Self-medication allows patients to get treatment for their ailments immediately rather than wait to be prescribed medicine by a trained professional. In most cases, such as suffering headaches or similar, everyday ailments, this helps patients overcome their pain quickly. If they needed to wait for a doctor, then they could be in pain for longer.
It gives them a chance to take their health into their own hands, enabling feelings of agency and being in control of their own health. Patients may also have adverse reactions to certain medicines, and this is where alternative options come in.
Patients who are unable to fulfill their prescriptions often follow alternative medicines to overcome a range of issues, including chronic pain to stress. In specific locations, an online headshop is a convenient way to help administer such medication, while diffusing essential oils in the home can also provide healing benefits.
Dangers to Consider
While self-medicating can provide assistance and deliver relief from a range of ailments, it is not suitable for every problem. A headache is acceptable to consider self-medication, but there is always the danger of incorrect diagnosis, mismanaging dosages, and also taking the wrong type of medication to overcome your issues.
With this in mind, you must remember that, although you can find information online, this is never as reliable as a qualified medical professional. You can minimize the risk of exacerbating an injury, such as a foot injury following a workout, or ignoring mental health issues, while also treating problems with substances that could make it worse.
Self-medication is a useful way for patients to get some of the treatment they require, especially for smaller ailments that may not demand immediate attention. However, as with anything, too much of anything could be harmful, so it’s crucial to consider whether your ailments are right for self-medication or if you should seek professional help.