Pill Popping: The Stigma Against Medication

“If people had a better understanding of how mental illnesses work, they could better understand how medications work…”

I lament that the world continues to stigmatize the use of medications for the treatment of mental disorders. I constantly hear people boast about treating their mental illnesses without medication. In fact, not only do they pontificate endlessly about not needing medication, other people praise them for it too.

How sad we live in such a world. Mental illness is a serious condition just like diabetes and heart disease, yet it is only the former that professional treatment is stigmatized.

I hear it all the time: you just need to eat right, you just need to exercise more, and you just need to pray harder. It’s like the human mind is incapable of understanding the complexity of someone else’s condition.

Yes, all of these actions can be beneficiary, but that does not mean they are some kind of panacea for mental illness. It’s a really hard concept for people to grasp, but mental illnesses come in different severities. For people with mild forms of a disorder, mild treatments like diet and exercise work just fine. Yet more severe forms need more severe treatments: therapy, medication, polypsychopharmacology, hospitalization, and even electroconvulsive therapy. Having a more severe form of a disorder doesn’t make someone a bad person, nor should using a more severe form of treatment.

I feel if people had a better understanding of how mental illnesses work, they could better understand how medications work. If they could see the biological components to mental illnesses, they could see how medications counteract these biological mechanisms failing. Yet, people can’t see that; they won’t see that.

If you take medication for your disorder, there is no shame in that. You should be proud of yourself taking the initiative to better yourself and your mental health above the stigma others put down upon you.

By Bryce R. Hostetler

An author and college graduate, Bryce didn't let his bipolar disorder keep him down. He enjoys lifting weights and running to stay active. He tries to read every day and at least a book a month. He's writing out of the United States in a small state called Arkansas.

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