I came across this post on the all knowing Facebook yesterday and thought “I know what my next topic is.”
Ignorant? uneducated? I’ll let you decide.
I want to make something very clear here: if you have a chemical imbalance, no amount of “lifestyle change”, drinking more water, eating kale, or “being one with nature” is going to fix that.
There is already stigma attached to taking medication for mental illnesses. We do not need to be contributing to the unnecessary shame people feel for taking medication.
A common challenge people face is continuing to take their medication regularly and in the way it is prescribed. It is difficult to grasp that you still need to take your medicine even if you feel better and don’t think you need it. That’s the medication working! and it’s a great thing. It is a concept some people struggle with forever.
People already struggle to accept that they need medication for their mental illness. What helps? telling them to take a walk outside? are you kidding? If your friend had strep throat would you tell them to go for a run or take them to a doctor? would you wait for the infection to spread to their brain and heart before you considered treatment? even though there are known measures you can take before the infection progresses to that point? it is the exact same thing with mental illness and medication. Why wait to treat something until it gets to the point a life is on the line? The progression of treatment is a good (and lifesaving) concept.
Aside from how damaging it is to the positive steps society is taking to improve their attitudes about mental health, it just isn’t true.
On what planet does staring at a landscape, hiking, sitting outdoors, whatever this photo is trying to portray come remotely close to the effects medication has on the body? Show me the science, and I’ll entertain the idea.
Medication isolates the chemicals that need to be altered specifically and in the appropriate and reliable ways. There is simply no comparison. I don’t need to state anymore than that.
Brain chemistry is a delicate balance. Can you take a supplement or exercise to pump up those endorphins? of course! is it reliable and the same “dosage” every time? of course not. To create a balance you need…balance. You need the same amount of whatever it is consistently.