Just Say No to Med Shaming
Having a chronic illness is hard. Having a chronic illness not visible to the naked eye is even harder. How can you be so sick looking so well?
And besides, you feel fine now. Why continue taking medication you clearly don’t need anymore?
Stop. Think. Proceed with caution.
People ditching their psych meds cold turkey, especially after taking them for many years, scare the shit out of me. It’s particularly heinous when the impetus is from well-meaning friends and family encouraging you to take a “natural” approach to treat your illness.
Mental illness is often far more debilitating than any outwardly visible physical ailment. And yet, the mentally ill continue to be stigmatized and even demonized. It’s a deeply ingrained knee-jerk response for most people.
If your circle is disapproving of your treatment choices, you may want to ask your loved ones these three questions:
- If you are comfortable with people receiving chemotherapy for cancer treatment, why would you be averse to the mentally ill benefitting from their own life-saving medical treatments?
- Don’t you want me to get well?
- Who the fack asked for your opinion?
Much of the problem here stems from our socialized contempt for, and fear of, mental illness. There’s still a stigma attached to acknowledging the problem and talking openly and honestly about it. Most people will outwardly cheer your bravery, while internally their subconscious mind is saying, “stay away from the crazy person in case it’s contagious.”
Depression, or any other mental illness for that matter, is not indicative of laziness or a weak character. It’s a freaking medical condition. It doesn’t diminish your worth as a human being. It does diminish the humanity of anyone who would deliberately make you feel as if it does.
Don’t let anyone tell you that depression and other mental health disorders can be “cured” with Yoga, essential oils, and positive thinking. These practices are helpful coping mechanisms that relieve milder symptoms of mental illness. But for a lot of people, medication is literally a lifesaver.