Wait! Do not reach out for your glasses yet. You read it right, and we are saying we will give you a tip for self-medication! It is preposterous that anyone can even think of self-medication tips for seniors, knowing it is dangerous. Indeed, we all know that self-medication is a big mistake. Yet we indulge in it in many ways. And we are not talking about home remedies here. The home remedies are at least the tried and tested ones we have grown up with. For example, the ajwain/jeera kaada for indigestion or the haldi doodh for cough and cold, etc., is okay unless the doctor has advised you not to take these ingredients for any reason.
So, then, what self-medication are we talking about? Here are a few examples.
Scenario 1: You are having severe back ache. You suddenly remembered that your cousin was having a similar problem last month. You call up and request the name of the medicine, purchase the same as over-the-counter, and consume it. The presumption here is that what worked for that other person will work for you too.
Scenario 2: You have dizziness, and Google search to figure out that you have vertigo. You send someone to a chemist to purchase vertigo medicine. Self-diagnosis is a bigger problem than self-medication!
Scenario 3: Two people in your house take medicines for diabetes or hypertension. Suddenly, you realise that your hypertension tablets are over. You borrow one from that other person for a day, so you get time to buy it later.
Scenario 4: You had a health problem and visited a doctor. The doctor prescribes you a five-day course of medicines. You start the course, feel better in two days, and stop the medication on the third day!
These are just a few common self-medication scenarios we have listed here, and there could be more. Each of these is dangerous and can cause unwanted complications.
Our bodies are different, and the underlying reasons for a problem vary too. Therefore, when we take medicines prescribed for others, it can cause unwanted complications. Even when we diagnose our symptoms and opt for over-the-counter medications, we never know if they can cause adverse interactions with our other regular medicines. A variance of self-medication is stopping the prescribed medicine course because we feel better! We must respect the doctors and their diagnoses. We must understand there is a reason why doctors prescribe a medicine course for a specific period and must adhere to the advice. If in doubt, we must consult the doctor to stop the medicine. We must never do it independently. Also, as a rule, we must stop suggesting medications to others when they share health problems! For seniors, it is always best to visit a qualified doctor and take prescribed medicines only.
What’s the one self-medication you can rely upon?
We did say we will give you one tip to start self-medication! And here it is. Laugh away your problems! Indeed, laughter is the best therapy. On 10th May, the world celebrates Laughter Day. Did you know this day started in Mumbai, India, by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement? Perhaps, you are more familiar with Dr. Asthana from the movie Munnabahi M.B.B.S, who used to laugh away his worries!
Today, laughter day is a global movement. And not without reason. Laughter brings about a holistic improvement in our well-being and is contagious. In her best-selling book, The Secret, author Rhonda Byrne mentions how a person diagnosed with breast cancer cured herself by watching funny movies in three months. It seems the story of another person who did the same inspired her to do so. She also used the healing affirmation daily by saying I am healing and laughed her way to health. Therefore, the power of laughter is incredible that many of us have not yet explored. The example quoted is not to say that we should not seek treatment for our problems and should only try to laugh them away. The point is that laughter is a great healing enabler and can indeed work wonders.
So, if you want to self-medicate, we would say, do so with the best and the easiest medicine, laughter! Laugh and make others laugh, spread cheer, and stay healthy.