Self-meditating vs. Self-medicating

The similarity in spelling of these two forms of self-help just occurred to me today, and based on limited Googling, it appears that the pairing them is relatively rare.  But in thinking about each one of them, I believe that the goal of each of them is fairly similar.  The difference between them, however, is the risk differential and the value in harm reduction.

The risks involved with self-medicating are well documented, and include addiction and potential harm to self and others.  A person with an addictive personality or tendency can self-medicate to address their PTSD, anxiety, grief, etc.  The problem often lies in that after the substance has blunted the trauma, more substance is needed the next time, and after several cycles of more, there’s a new and perhaps worse effect from the substance than there was from the trauma.

Enter meditation.  The benefits are well documented, but rarely directly compared and contrasted with medication.  So I’m making the connection here.

Self-meditating can be a replacement for self-medicating.  It can be just as addictive, which fits with the profile of the self-medicator, but the risk differential is huge, and harm reduction is absolute.

I haven’t seen a program that uses meditation to directly supplant medication, but would like to hear about it if there is.  There are books and programs that espouse meditation coupled with 12-step programs, etc. but none that I’ve come across that simplify it to directly replacing medication with meditation that I know of.

Otherwise, good luck to you in your self-meditation.  Namaste.

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One Response to Self-meditating vs. Self-medicating

  1. A Table in the Sun says:

    I don’t know of a program such as you suggest, but I do have my own experience to share. I spent a lot of years chasing nutritional supplements to deal with some very tricky “genetic variances” identified by lab tests after suffering various unidentifiable and untreatable health conditions. Since dropping my endless search for new Internet research, and refusing to try any new nutritional supplements….while adding meditation and present moment awareness, I feel better than I have for years. I choose self-meditation.

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