Welcome to the first Medication Monday of November. Medication Monday, for anyone new to this series, is a weekly look at some of the mental health medications that are currently available, as well as some discussions of issues common to mental health medication. This week is a discussion of the later, specifically the stigma surrounding the use of mental health medication. More specifically, it is a discussion of how even if you have been taking medication for a while, you can still struggle with the stigma surrounding mental health medication, especially if you have to change your medication regimen.
I say this as someone who recently added Buspar to the Lexipro that I take. I added it because I was still having some troublesome issues with my anxiety, and wanted a little side dish if you will to help combat the remaining anxiety. And when I started the new medication, I heard some people wondering if I needed medication at all, much less more medication. Why not continue with therapy, or journaling, or church, or whatever instead they asked. Why do you think it will be different with a different medication?
And the truth is I don’t know that it will be better. Indeed, some of the biggest doubts came from within as my mental illnesses lied as it does and tried to convince me I was weak for needing one medication much less two medications. And indeed the stigma surrounding mental health medication is such a powerful weapon for our mental illnesses to wield when whispering their lies.
Which is just ridiculous. I mean absolutely ridiculous. Almost no one says that about any other medication for any other illness. Yet people continue to think that mental illnesses don’t need the same treatment as physical ones.
So even if you have been on medication for a while, chance are if you have to change or add to your medication, you might be confronted with a familiar foe. Because whether the medication is new or old, the stigma sadly remains the same.
But hopefully that won’t always be the case. And you are doing your part by reading and keeping an open mind, so thank you.