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The issue of pill shaming needs to be treated

November 8, 2018

One thing that young ‘hippie’ moms and old grumpy white men have in common: the practice of pill shaming.

Don’t be like Jennifer and Ronald. Please quit shaming those who take medication via their doctor for a mental illness. When you do this what you are really doing, whether intentionally or not, is discouraging people from getting help.

These actions can range from saying that parents have failed because their child takes ADHD medication, unsolicited mentions of ‘alternative’ methods and telling people with depression to ‘take a walk’ so they don’t have to take anti-depressants. Yes, small self care actions help, but they aren’t a cure. The fact of the matter is that it’s usually not that simple, in the same way medication isn’t normally the only type of treatment needed, not to mention the best option for every single individual (but that’s between them and their doctor to decide:).

If someone has the courage to open up to you about their treatment, understand that it takes an immense amount of bravery in our society due to the stigma. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the stark contrast in how mental health is treated versus physical health. And due to the stigma perpetuated by the very people who make these remarks, there are significant obstacles one must face while seeking treatment.

Needless to say, there are countless studies and stories and evidence that supports medication being used to treat a variety of mental illnesses. Medication isn’t always the best solution, but that is between a doctor and patient to figure out.

However, I feel like the real issue lies in why people are so obsessed in somebody’s else’s medical decisions. Most of us on this planet truthfully are trying our best and these comments usually stem from a place of ignorance. Even if prescriptions were as demonic as people make them out to be, these offhand remarks are in no way productive, necessary or accurate.

For the record, I understand that this is not the only action needed to be taken. With that being said, though it may seem like a large pill to swallow, stopping this med shaming phenomenon is just one tiny, but crucial palliative in the medicine cabinet to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness.

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