Self-medication has become a prevalent habit in today’s world. From taking as little as two tablets of paracetamol to self-diagnosing of certain illnesses because of some known symptoms and moving to getting and taking drugs without a medical practitioner’s advice. All these and more are all that characterises the self-medication process.
It is quite obvious that a lot of dangers are associated with self-medication but surprisingly people still engage in this risky practice either as a result of ignorance or indifference.
Self-medication is the act of taking drugs, herbs or home remedies on one’s own initiative, or on the advice of another person, without consulting a doctor or medical practitioner.
Self-medication might seem right at first, but one needs to consider the potential side effects of such uninformed actions.
Self-medication can lead to drug addiction, allergy, habituation, worsening of ailment, incorrect diagnosis and dosage, or even disability and premature death. And this is the reason why people must avoid self-medication at all costs.
To save you from the dangers involved in self-medicating, here are reasons you should not self-medicate.
1. Incorrect self-diagnosis
The first reason you should not self-medicate is that you are the risk of wrongly diagnosing yourself.
There are certain symptoms that are often associated with some illnesses. For instance, malaria is often associated with symptoms such as headache, loss of appetite, general weakness of the body, loss of taste and many more.
In spite of these well-known symptoms, it is important that you go for a medical test before you come to a conclusion on what is wrong with your body system. It is quite possible that you have typhoid and you are showing signs of malaria.
So, you shouldn’t self-medicate because you are at the risk of wrongly diagnosing yourself.
2. It leads to delay in seeking appropriate medical advice and proper treatment
Self-medication prolongs your chances of seeking appropriate medical advice and proper treatment.
Going to a medical practitioner helps you know exactly what is wrong with you and helps you proffer solutions as soon as possible. When you self-medicate, you don’t know what is wrong with you and you might end up worsening your health condition as a result of this act.
There are some illnesses such as cancer that requires immediate attention upon detection because they are life-threatening. When you decide to self-medicate instead of seeing a medical practitioner, how then do you intend on seeking appropriate medical advice and treatment?
Do not joke with your health because we only live once!
3. Potential adverse effects
If the truth is told, you have more to lose than gain when you self-medicate.
Drugs are not substances you just take into your body because you feel like it or because you think you have an illness without the doctor’s prescription. As helpful as these drugs are when taken according to a medical practitioner’s advice, they also pose a great danger when you misuse them.
Do not lead yourself to an early grave through self-medication. Take the pain to seek a medical practitioner’s advice now, so you don’t do it later when it might be too late.
4. Worsening the condition the individual is trying to self-treat
When you self-medicate, you are at risk of worsening the health condition you are trying to treat.
Take for instance, as a lady you notice that you have serious abdominal pain while on your menstrual flow and in your innocent mind you concluded that it is just menstrual pain. You decided to take paracetamol or aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve the pain.
Although this is not bad in itself but should in case you are wrong with your diagnosis, you are at the risk of worsening your condition. So, it is best you seek medical help instead of self-medicating.
5. Risk of dependence and abuse
It is important that we know that self-medication can be equated to drug or substance abuse. And oftentimes than not when you start self-medicating it becomes an addictive habit that becomes difficult to stop.
This is the reason you see some individuals who can’t do without taking a drug on a daily basis. There are times when you just need to rest and your body will be back to its optimal state.
In order not to become addicted to drugs and eventually abuse drugs, you should stop self-medication.
Regardless of the fact that self-medication has become prevalent in this time, it is important you desist from this act because you have more to lose than to gain in this risky practice.
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