There are certain topics where the general public feels entitled to share their opinion on, especially online. The decision to take medication for your mental health is one of those topics.
I have seen time and time again people posting comments on articles about all the alternatives a person “should” try before stooping so low as to take medication.
Not only are many of these comments problematic because they are based on ignorance, but they can be hurtful to those who struggle with their mental health.
They can strike unnecessary fear into the heart of a person who is contemplating reaching out for help.
But here’s a little secret: No one needs to hear your opinion on this because it’s not your business.
I don’t need your permission to take medication; nor does anyone else. I don’t need your approval.
I am a grown woman who is more than capable of making decisions for my own body.
The fact is that most people with mental illness take the decision of whether or not to take medication very seriously. It is not something done lightly.
Most people I know, including myself, did not want to take medication.
But after significant suffering and realizing that nothing else worked, we took the step to ask a doctor for help.
That should not be shamed; that should be celebrated.
I’ll never understand some people’s insistence that they know something I don’t about medication or mental health when they are not a medical professional.
I’ve been with living this for ten years, bruh. You don’t need to educate me.
I am able to read. I’m able to research and draw my own conclusions. The assumption that I haven’t already done so is condescending and asinine.
I’ve heard it all before.
How medication should only be a “last resort” (it usually is). How I am “taking the easy way out” (I’m not). How medication will make me “drugged up” (it doesn’t). How [insert suggestion] should take care of the problem (already tried that).
The bottom line is that if you feel the need to say something negative about a person’s decision to take medication, just don’t do it.
If you feel the need to recite a long list of requirements a person should meet before they “should” try medication, take a minute to consider if you actually know what you are talking about. Because you probably don’t.
You don’t know what each individual person’s experience is like.
Everyone’s symptoms and situation are different, and we are all trying our best to navigate them in the best possible way.
Please don’t attempt to undermine my decision about medication.
You don’t have to live with the consequences if you are wrong, but I do. And so I will trust myself and keep taking my medication.
It’s not your place. It’s not your body. It’s not your mind. It’s not your life. So I don’t need your permission.