Breaking the Stigma: Using Prescribed Medication For Mental Health

Female nurse touching a patients shoulder

The stigma associated with mental illness has dissipated over the last decade. However, many people remain untreated due to ignorance and wrong attitudes about psychiatric medications. In recent years, the use of these drugs has grown significantly. Studies show the following:

13% of adults in America had taken a prescribed antidepressant, anti-anxiety, or anti-psychotic medication this past month.

16% filled a psychiatric medication this past year.

The growing usage of psychiatric drugs has led to the spreading of incorrect and false information. At the same time, many people see using such medications as a weakness or failure. Thus,  it is important to dispel misconceptions about mental illness and show how to treat it appropriately.

The Validity of Medication

An exhaustive list of research and clinical experience has confirmed that the comprehensive approach offers the best outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses. Such an approach combines medication and psychotherapy to alleviate severe symptoms. Medication manages the chemical imbalances in the brain to focus better on their behavioral and emotional irregularities. As such, patients gain the necessary clarity and stability to profit from psychotherapy. With such a balance, the odds of recovery increase significantly.

Destigmatizing Medication Use

The stigma of mental illness has been proven to be detrimental and even dangerous, as it can lead to a lack of treatment or decreased quality of care. In addition, one of the most common and persistent psychiatric medications is harmful to people. For this reason, it is important to destigmatize the use of drugs and find ways to help those who are struggling with mental health issues without shaming or blaming them for their condition. We can collectively destigmatize it by:

  • Helping individuals understand that they can be as good as anyone else despite having a mental illness.
  • Promoting acceptance through education and understanding.
  • Encouraging dialogue between the public and healthcare providers.
  • Offer the space for people to share their struggles without shame about mental illness.
  • Create room for people to ask questions and discuss mental health and its treatment to normalize such conversations.
  • Increase public awareness and education on what causes depression, anxiety disorders, etc.
  • Fighting stigma by sharing one’s experience, primarily through platforms like social media.
  • Use empathy instead of judgment as a tool when talking about someone’s struggle with mental illness.
  • Spread the information on how we can support our friends and family members diagnosed.
  • Provide information about what a person should expect from pharmaceuticals, like the risks and effects.

Besides these tactics, we recommend tackling the misconceptions about using medications for mental health.

Tackle Common Misconceptions

Psychiatric drugs are often criticized for being harmful and having no benefits for people with mental illness. In reality, these medications have been scientifically tested to help treat a wide variety of psychiatric conditions. We trust that medication’s effectiveness and life-saving ability on mental health disorders. Our forthcoming list will challenge the other misconceptions.

Medication masks the problem:  Mental health providers use medication as part of a comprehensive approach to healing said individuals, such as therapy or psychiatric care. Psychiatric medication aims to help patients minimize the negative consequences of having a mental illness to improve their well-being. Essentially, medications do not cure any condition. Yet, they often help manage symptoms so that people with depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia can complete their treatment—like psychotherapy—and live whole lives. For example, studies have shown that people who take medications for depression are more likely to recover than those who do not accept them. Without the medication, most can’t even tap the surface of their problems. They offer people a fighting chance.

Medication will dull an individual’s personality: In actuality, mental illness is an insidious scenario that can destroy a person’s sense of self, motivation, and concentration. However, a person’s true personality can shine with prescribed psychiatric medications. The medicine helps individuals manage their moods, focus, or increase their energy so they don’t interfere with their goals and daily activities. For instance, antidepressants help individuals experiencing symptoms of depression like hopelessness and worthlessness that they cannot seem to shake on their own.

Medication is a crutch for the weak: A psychotropic medication is no more an indication of weakness than taking a pill for high blood pressure. Like any other medication, psychotropics is another tool that can help manage the symptoms associated with that condition if used appropriately and responsibly. It may feel like using medication to relax is wrong and harmful. In reality, it takes strength and conviction to recognize one’s condition and seek all avenues of treatment, including medication.

The stigma surrounding psychiatric medication will only continue if we keep it in the shadows. For this reason, we recommend bringing psychotropic medications to the forefront. Such a bold approach will help overcome this outdated mindset about said treatment options, encourage more diagnostic possibilities, give people better access to psychiatric treatment, and ask our medical professionals for help. Medication certainly isn’t the answer to all of your mood disorders and mental illnesses; it doesn’t automatically solve your emotional disturbances either. But, it can get the ball rolling in a remarkable way.  At Restoration Recovery Center, we encourage compassionate care and evidence-based practices for mental health and SUD treatment. Our team of qualified clinicians wholly supports the practice of psychotherapy and psychotropic medication. Our approach incorporates the findings of modern science, spirituality, and counseling. We believe in the possibility of healing from within-your recovery depends on this! Contact us at  (888) 290-0925 today to learn more about our treatment program. 

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