A new study has found that 45 per cent of Britishers self-medicate in order to tackle their mental health issues.
In the research conducted by life insurance broker, LifeSearch, 60 per cent of people said they had used self-medication to deal with their mental health problems at some point of their lives, while 45 per cent said they were currently doing so.
The study, which included more than 2,000 British adult participants, found that 80 per cent of people used sex, food, and gambling to cope with depression and anxiety.
As many as 20 per cent of Brits used alcohol and drugs, both legal and illegal, to help deal with their problems. While around 30 per cent of women said that they resorted to under or over eating so as to deal with the issues.
Around 38 per cent of participants said they tried to achieve mental peace by exercising, but 10 per cent admitted doing so in excess to run away from their problems.
When researchers asked the participants why they self-medicated, almost one-third of people said they wanted to get control over their mental health problems.
When asked if they shared their problems with people around them, 12 per cent said they found it uncomfortable to talk about their mental health.
As many as 42 per cent said they disclosed their mental health issues to their partners.
Surprisingly, almost half of the participants who indulged in self-medication said they didn’t consider it to be wrong.
While self-medicating mechanisms may provide temporary relief to people, they can’t fix the problems ultimately, Emma Walker, from LifeSearch, said.
“While awareness of mental health is higher than it’s ever been, we’re seeing a gap between understanding and action,” Emma said.
“Many people don’t realize that their relationship with things like alcohol, drugs and exercise can be tightly related to their mental wellness and, alarmingly, when they do they can be too afraid to talk about it.
“Often, using a coping mechanism like alcohol or drugs seems like the easy way out, however it doesn’t solve the issue at hand.”
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