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Stop the Mental Health Stigma

If you had diabetes would you take insulin? Maybe you are a diabetic and you do take insulin. Similarly, if you suffered from severe anxiety and depression would you take medication? Just because this illness is unseen does not make it any less real. Mental health illnesses are just as real as physical illnesses. Your mental and physical health are interconnected and therefore what is happening in your brain impacts the rest of your body. Therefore, let’s stop the mental health stigma, especially the stigma surrounding medication.

Stop the Mental Health Stigma

According to Bradley University, studies have linked mental health such as schizophrenia or depression with a shorter life. Depression has been linked to a 50 percent increase in death from cancer and a 67 percent increase in death from heart disease.

In his article for Menlo Psychiatric Health and Sleep Medicine, Dr. Alex Dimitriu discusses how to overcome the stigma of psychiatric medication. He states that millions of people do not get the help they need because of the stigma surrounding mental health medicines. The best way to treat mental illness is through a combination of therapy and medication. Medication gives patients the clarity and stability they need to benefit from the therapy. It treats the physical aspects of mental illness and balances chemicals in the brain.

Dr. Dimitrui says, “Taking medication for mental health is no different than taking it for physical health. With chemical imbalances in the brain under control, the patient is free to work on improving behavior and emotional imbalances.”

He compares taking medicine for mental health to taking it for high blood pressure. You wouldn’t tell someone with high blood pressure to simply ‘relax’. Similarly, you wouldn’t tell someone dealing with anxiety and panic attacks to ‘get it together.’ Essentially there is no difference.

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