What Is Pill Shaming?
Pill shaming happens when a person makes negative statements or expresses disgust toward someone using medication to treat a health issue. In other words, it is shaming someone for taking medication for their condition, assuming that it represents a weakness of character or an inability to work through difficult times.
Friends, family, co-workers, pharmacists and even some doctors can be guilty of pill shaming someone by not considering the factors why someone chose to use a particular medication.
Taking Meds Is Not Laziness
“You should try changing your lifestyle.”
“It’s lazy just to pop a pill.”
“Have you tried therapy/meditation/exercise?”
“Do you really need these pills?”
These are just some of the usual comments to people taking prescription medication. It is often seen as “the easy way” and as a lazy person’s response to health conditions. It is frequently viewed as unnecessary, unnatural, or weak.
Except the opposite is true. Many people have to take medication for all kinds of health conditions. They do not necessarily want to take medication to manage their symptoms but do so after exploring many other options. They probably have already weighed the pros and cons of the medication and may even be willing to live with possible side effects in order to manage a disabling condition.
Pill Shaming and Mental Health Medication
In modern society, it is acceptable to use medication to manage conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. But society tends to look down on mental health medication, even though there are effective treatment options for many conditions like anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.
It’s mostly easier to understand how medication might help a physical condition. Unfortunately, the mind is more complicated, and we still don’t fully understand how it works. Maybe that’s why many still see mental illness as a personal issue instead of a biochemical disorder.
In fact, mental and physical illnesses are very similar, especially in terms of their treatment. Although exercise and relaxation may help treat many mental or physical conditions, there’s no doubt that medication is often essential to getting better, and there should certainly be no shame in taking something you need to stay healthy.
Some people even have a negative attitude towards their own prescriptions. They see their mental health issues as a part of their personality. Medication can seem like a temporary or unnatural solution to them, and they feel guilty for choosing it as a treatment option.
The Effect Of Pill Shaming
For people suffering from conditions like depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, pill shaming can cause them to stop taking their mental health medication which could, in turn, be harmful or life-threatening. By being more open to mental health treatment, we can debunk the myths about the topic and help to break down the stigma around mental health issues. It’s up to us to change this stigma.
Finding Mental Health Treatment
There are many effective treatments for mental health conditions, which may include medication, therapy or lifestyle changes. Knowing more about your options will help you decide what will work best for your particular situation and needs.