I'm Not Ashamed to Take Mental Health Medications

October 16, 2017 Hannah Blum

I need mental health medications even though people have tried to convince me otherwise. My bipolar 2 and ADHD medications are life savers. Read more on HealthyPlace.

I'm not ashamed to take mental health medications even though people have tried to convince me to do otherwise.

It 's hard to count the number of times people have confronted me with their opinion about medication to treat mental health conditions. Several individuals have tried to convince me to replace psychiatric medication with meditation. I've been called a "product of big pharmaceutical companies!" or told "You don't need pills to make you happy!" I am treated for both bipolar 2 disorder and ADHD. Regardless of people's opinion on the subject, I am not ashamed to admit that I take medication for my mental health and in this blog post I share the reasons why.

Without Bipolar 2 and ADHD Medication, I Couldn't Live

Forget about thriving, I have tried living a healthy life without mental health medications and guess what? It didn't work. It was not until my bipolar breakdown in college and involuntarily placement at a mental hospital that medicine became the best option for treatment. Dealing with depression and the ups and downs of bipolar disorder unmedicated did not prevent me from hitting rock bottom.

When people tell me that exercise and nutrition could have saved me, I inform that I have been a serious athlete a majority of my life. I am not ashamed to admit that I could not live without medication to treat my bipolar 2 disorder.

A couple years after my diagnosis of bipolar 2, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It was evident to my doctors that this was a major problem that prevented me from thriving in school, work and socially. Again, people shared their negative opinion with me about this condition as well, but the proof is in the pudding. Before treatment for ADHD, I struggled academically, barely graduating from high school and dropping out of college twice. Shortly after I started taking ADHD medication, I received my B.A. from North Carolina State University and began working on a career in advocacy and writing. I am not sharing this for bragging rights, but simply to show the evidence to say medications for mental health work. I could not thrive without medication to treat my ADHD, and I could not survive without medication to treat my bipolar depression.

Mental Health Medications are a Blessing, Not a Curse

It is rare that you hear people's negative perspective on insulin for diabetics or a debate over diuretics for high blood pressure. However, when it comes to medication for mental health people do not hesitate to question it. Medication for mental health conditions is a blessing, not a curse brought upon by society and pharmaceutical companies.

It is unfair to judge people for taking mental health medication and prevents individuals struggling with their mental health from receiving the proper treatment they are in need of. Honestly, it does not make sense to me. Why would I get off of the medication that has helped me attain a life where I can thrive as an individual separate of my condition? What? Just to be able to say, "Hey look at me, I don't take medication!"

If you have been able to exclaim this and have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, there are one of two things going on: You are in a manic episode, or you are misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder. I am not a scientist or doctor. I barely passed chemistry and biology in college. However, I am an expert in living with bipolar 2 disorder, and I can tell you that if it were not for by bipolar 2 medication, I would not be here today.

Exercise, self-help books, meditation and nutritional eating all benefit my life in many respects. However, they are used to help manage my bipolar disorder and ADHD, not to treat it. If I am happy, I am healthy. To each its own, but I would refrain from judging my route to happiness without walking part of it in my shoes.

APA Reference
Blum, H. (2017, October 16). I'm Not Ashamed to Take Mental Health Medications, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/living-with-bipolar-blog/i-am-not-ashamed-to-take-mental-health-medication

Author: Hannah Blum

Hannah Blum is the HealthyPlace YouTube bipolar disorder vlogger. Check out her I'm Hannah. I Have Bipolar 2 playlist and subscribe to the HealthyPlace YouTube channel. You can also find Hannah on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

C.Z. Rider
March, 1 2023 at 10:24 pm

I do feel there's a smugness amongst those who take and advocate for medication. I say this because pharmaceutical companies do produce medications for profit and have doctors as facilitators. Lost your dog? You need medication. Scraped your knee? You need anxiety pills. Nervous about public speaking? You need medication. Pharmaceutical companies do take advantage of people going through stressful or trivial situations that could be solved through therapy and coping skills. I think in a sense that's what outsiders are looking at too.
Even though diabetes and heart problems are more widely understood, those who take medication for psychiatric disorders don't foster the same type of education and perspective of how their mind and body work. You can't decrease stigmas if you aren't willing to have a healthy discourse about it. I see and watch way too many videos of how those with mental health conditions say things like, "You wouldn't question me if I had diabetes. I need my meds. You don't understand." That perpetuates so much ignorance, because it's an opportunity to explain how medication works, what kind of is, and how it's used to treat the problem.
There's also a deeply insidious history of psychiatry that could be a blog post of itself, especially women being over or diagnosed, being prescribed medications that serve no purpose, and even in communities of color where medicine has been oppressive. You have to look at the other side of your argument in order to foster the discourse want to see. Posts like this almost sanitize such and boil it down to, "Well, it's not for everyone and works for me, which is all that matters." That's great it does, and you have stability and good treatment options, because it can be a nightmare finding the right balance, doctor, and dosage. However, there are perspectives to consider, just in general and not just ones that align with your thinking and experience.

January, 12 2019 at 10:49 am

Thanks for the reassuring article about psychiatric meds for mental illnesses. They are a godsend for giving you your life back

Dr Musli Ferati
January, 11 2019 at 12:28 am

At least an useful and hopeful article on mindful treatment and management of mental illnesses ! Indeed, medication of any mental disorder presents primary psychiatric treatment of mental disorders. In other words, psychopharmacologic approaching to mental pathology radically improving the definitive prognosis and repercussions of psychiatric entities, which one was been very bad and with many dangerous outcomes for global wellbeing of mentally ill people and their close relatives. So, proper medication of any mental illness indicates crucial step to positive course to respective mental disorder. Even many side effect of psychiatric medications, appropriate and up to date psychopharmacotherapy substantially regain mental health of person with any mental illness. Without medication, the course and prognosis of mental disorders would be malignant with many residual consequences, against undertakings of many healing psychosocial lifestyles procedures. In the end mental disorders are the disease of the brain and only psychotropic medication correct the bio-chemistric dissociation of the brain to any mentally ill persons.

Emili Naber
October, 1 2018 at 1:52 am

Wow thank you so much. I have struggled with this constantly. I have extreme anxiety and medication controls it, but the comments from family has made me quit meds and suffer mutliple times. Hearing this has given me confidence to stand up.

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