Mental Health and Stigma

healing ourselves Aug 07, 2022

VERY Unpopular opinion: If you have a lot of problems overcoming your anger and irritation with your kids- speak to your doctor about taking anti-anxiety medication.

When you’re raised with suppressed emotions, it’s a form of emotional neglect (officially classified as an ACE-Adverse Childhood Experience). ACEs cause inflammation to your brain (link of the neuroscience below) and medication can REALLY help with that.

It’s like if you had inflammation in your kidneys.. you wouldn’t think twice about taking medication. Why discriminate against your most important organ? Your brain deserves as much care as your other organs.. yes?

It’s just medication. Don’t take it personally.

It’s a stigma, yes. Help others overcome it. Be the voice of reason.

“But then it can become a life long habit..”

You mean like how diabetics take life long medicine to regulate their insulin production?

Or how heart patients take regular medication?

Did you know that NOT treating your anxiety and depression will 99% LEAD you to the above ailments and/or other health issues one day? (Link below)

“But, Maryam.. I want to treat my anxiety naturally.”

Sure! If you’re generally anti-allopathy and naturally treat all or many of your health issues then go ahead, but learn from people who are experts. Don’t reinvent the wheel 🙃 (Natural ways include: psychotherapy, meditation, mindfulness, exercise and clean eating among other things).

However, if you have no problems popping medication when you have a flu, headache or other issues but for mental health, you think it’s some kind of “failure” if you have to take medication then I urge you, think again. Ask yourself why you have the beliefs you do about taking medication for mental health concerns.

I’ve heard people say, “I don’t wanna be like so and so who takes anti-depressants since forever... *insert shudder*” (Implication: So and so is SUCH a loser... there’s no way I’m anything like HER/HIM)

Yaani ab dawaye aana ka masla bun gaye. (Medication just became an ego problem).

Again- question your statement. Why? Why don’t you want to be like so-and-so? Is so-and-so failing as human because their trauma is so intense that they’re having to take medication? Do you similarly judge someone who takes medication to manage their heart condition?

How come your heart failing you doesn’t reflect on your character but your brain failing you does?

If anything- you COULD have a role in your heart disease (we know that one reason of heart failure is poor eating habits) but there’s ZERO responsibility on you that you were treated so poorly in your childhood that your brain’s physiology changed and optimal brain development didn’t happen.. for which you now are taking active steps to heal yourself.

Of course, if you’ve been in this group long enough you know that I’m not saying taking medication is ALL you do. In fact, this is the first time I’ve brought up medication at all. The whole #healingourselves offers ‘natural’ healing tips.

All I’m saying is, examine your biases against treating serious illnesses like depression and anxiety. I’ve spoken to SO MANY smart intelligent and educated people who will be all open-minded about depression until I bring up medication and then it’s a sudden “hell no”! I’m sorry but until we normalize medication for depression- we’re EXPLICITLY stigmatizing against it as a legitimate illness.

So let me be the first one to say...

My name is Maryam and I take medication for anxiety and I’m not ashamed of it.

Edited to add: I got the medication prescribed when I started getting anxiety attacks. It’s not like I went to my doctor and said, “Hey I’m having trouble staying calm with my kids.. hand me those meds.”

Not that, that should be your threshold. My doctor was not happy that I waited that long to see her about my anxiety. Your doctor is the best person to evaluate whether you need medication or not.

Disclaimers:

1- Do NOT go and buy any medication yourself. Please speak to a qualified doctor even if it’s your GP or family practitioner. (Doesn’t have to be a psychiatrist).

2- Medications do have some side effects. I personally only have to take a small dose that has no side effects and immense benefits alhamdulilah.

3- Medication PLUS at least one more thing from therapy/meditation is the best treatment.

Inflammation of the brain related to stress: https://www.rn.com/featured-stories/stress-inflammation-immunity/

Depression and anxiety cause serious illnesses: https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/stress/illnesses-caused-stress/

 

Link for image: http://bipolarnews.org/?p=3804