End the Stigma: Medication for Mental Illness

What is a mental illness? It often involves changes in someone’s thinking, emotional or behavioral. One in five U.S adults experience some form of mental illness and one in twenty-four has a serious mental illness. When I did research on what a mental illness is and what it entails, one sentence stuck out to me that really spoke volumes:

“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.”

Despite this sentiment, people are quick to judge when they hear all of the statistics. There are numerous stigmas surrounding mental illnesses, and especially the ways in which people with mental illnesses might choose to turn to medication. In reality, there are so many things people do not understand about mental illness and medication. Medication is often the last resort for treatments. Many mental health professionals will choose to have therapy and medication work in tandem with one another or will wait to see how the therapy sessions work for the patient before prescribing anything.

Medication is not the “easy way out.” Many types of medications involve serious side effects. However, the positive effects might just outweigh the negatives. Some people believe that, if someone is on medication, they can’t function properly. What would be more helpful is if people chose to support those who are suffering from illnesses as they try and seek help. Self-help and support can be very important to an individual’s coping, recovery, and wellbeing. Another myth is that, if you are taking medication, you automatically are cured. There is no excuse to have anxiety or to be in bad mood. Nobody is perfect and we all have bad days.

The stigmas surrounding medication can deter people from getting the help they need. Medication does not change who you are, rather, it helps people live their life.