I feel very confident and happy to say that our society and mainstream media has been taking a closer look at mental health and the benefits that speaking about uncomfortable feelings or subjects has for people who are suffering in silence.
A universal acceptance that depression and anxiety are common is the first step in making a close-minded society more aware of each other and have more compassion for each of us as an individual navigating ourselves throughout this world.
As I’ve gotten older, I realized past behaviors of mine showed signs of depression and anxiety, I just didn’t know it. I’ve always been extremely sensitive, but unaware that often my reactions and feelings provoked somewhat unsettling and dangerous beliefs about myself and the world around me. I didn’t allow many perspectives into my situations and that often took a toll on my self-esteem and my wellbeing.
When I first decided to consult professionals about my mental health, it was a weird and confusing time. I highly believe in the importance of therapists or counselors, and support anyone’s decision in taking that path. For some of us though, medication can be the answer when it comes to having a healthy mind. The most important thing to understand about mental health is that it’s not one thing that will help you, but a combination of things like therapy, healthy diet, exercise, and medication.
Pill shaming is the act of making a person feel embarrassed, guilty, uncomfortable or shameful for taking medication for their mental health. It’s extremely dangerous but incredibly common in our world and our relationships. Many people are confused about mental health and therefore make comments or judgments towards taking medication.
The danger of pill shaming is real and evident. When people feel weak or not in control of their mental health due to other’s judgments, it furthers the overall stigma towards mental health in general. Taking medication is not a cop-out, and when we treat it like one as a society, we leave strong and capable people sick, untreated and held back.
Sometimes pill shaming isn’t always as blunt as people making judgments about medication. It can be done in other ways, such as a friend telling you that you don’t need medication – that all you need is to eat healthily, get outside or any other suggestion that denies your choice of how you help yourself. Now, medication is part of a puzzle that can seriously advance someone’s healing process. It is not the last resort for some people, it is the answer to the imbalance that lives inside of their body without their fault or wrongdoing.
Many people suggest medication is prescribed too willy-nilly. But the reality is many people who need help suffer in silence for a long time before seeking a doctor or psychiatrist. This idea that medication is not the healthy route damages society in detrimental ways.
Everyone takes control of their mental health in different ways, and for lots of people, medication is part of their journey. Let’s be more open-minded towards each other and listen with understanding, instead of commenting with judgment. Never be afraid to ask questions about how a friend helps themselves, and keep in mind that all any of us are trying to do is navigate through high seas.