The Stigmatization Of Mental Health Treatment
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

The Stigmatization Of Mental Health Treatment

I seek ongoing treatment to improve my mental health, and sharing that with others helps me connect.

The Stigmatization Of Mental Health Treatment
Lisa Renye

To be honest, I've never seen the reason for a stigma around medication and treatment, especially for mental illness. If you truly care about someone, why wouldn't you want them to get help that makes them feel better and more functional? I think that something legal, viable, and helpful would be a positive in any healthcare scenario. Despite my own beliefs on the subject, there has become a somewhat universal stigmatization of medication and treatment of mental illness. Although there were many barriers along the way, I have been able to be open and honest about my diagnoses, my medication, and my overall health.

So why am I so open? Why do I believe my medical information should not be so privatized or hidden? Well, I want to be an open book. Not just about my health, but about my experiences, my feelings, and my life. This has, over the years, proven to be a great stepping stone to helping others. When you are open about yourself, others will be open with you, and the help they've needed for so long but have been too ashamed to ask for is within reach, finally. I cannot tell you how many people I've been able to speak to about their quality of life, their struggles and secrets, and the answers they've been seeking all along--just by being open and honest about my own life.

When someone sees me taking my daily medications, they are often curious, or sometimes straight up nosy. It's a given, of course, that I open myself up to this by taking my medications in places like my classroom before class starts, on my break at work, or when I grab a bite to eat with a friend. Sometimes they ask, "Are you sick?" Well, the answer isn't that simple. I have diagnoses of depression and anxiety, along with allergies and trouble sleeping. I try to answer in the most understandable way possible, letting them know that I take medications for my mental health to make me 100% functional, to help me be my true and whole self, and to sometimes just to get through the day. People are often taken aback by my unabashed and sincere honesty, but it's who I am, and I'm not ashamed of it. No, it doesn't make me feel like a zombie. i did in fact, try a medication that made me feel worse, suicidal even, so I did have to change medications a few times to make sure I didn't feel "off" or uncomfortable. I definitely see why you ask, and I hope that anyone you knew who has been through that tried other medications before giving up. Most importantly, no, I don't use them to feel better than normal. I need these medications just to feel the way most people feel on a regular basis, it doesn't make me high or elevated in mood. Just stable and comfortable.

I also tell people about my experiences with counseling, therapy, and a singular but terrifying instance when a bad reaction to steroids led to a short stint in an inpatient mental health facility. The more I talk about the things I've experienced, the more I find that there are others like me that interact with me on a daily basis who have been through some of the same things. As many with mental health diagnoses know, having a support system and a network of people to share and grow with is essential. I hope that those who have opened up to me have felt the same boost in confidence and security that I feel knowing there are others out there like me, moving through their day, facing the same invisible demons I do, and still succeeding.

Many people with think this article is oversharing, and many people think the same when I tweet about my daily struggles with anxiety or mention a therapy appointment casually. But you know what? If you can talk about the flu shot you got today or seeing your doctor to be treated for a cold, I can talk about my mental health treatment. These things keep us healthy, happy, and protected, and should be seen as such. Mental health is correlated with and just as important as physical health, and once people can come to terms with that and just be supportive of their friends and family getting help, the world will be a better place.

If you feel that you could be helped by mental health testing, diagnosis, or treatment, please seek help from a healthcare professional. Keep in mind that your health is the most important thing, regardless of stigma. Visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website to learn more about mental health, seeking treatment, and even supporting friends and family who are struggling with mental health diagnoses.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Sunset Girl

The sun rose and peeked through the sheer curtains. Rose’s alarm shrieked. The loud bells caused her phone to jump on the side table. It was time for her to get ready for church. Blindly reaching for her phone, she shut the alarm off and pulled at the covers providing her a cocoon of warmth and tossed them to the side. She swept her bare feet across the bed to touch the cool wooden floor.

Rose softly tiptoed to the corner of the bedroom to grab her clothes dangling on the arm of the bedroom chair. Scooping all of the items of her chosen outfit, she headed to the bathroom hoping that she wouldn’t drop anything.

Round, piercing blue eyes stared back at her in the bathroom mirror. Rose fingered the wrinkles forming around her eyes. So many of them bore signs of laughter and smiling. Slowly dropping her hands, she couldn’t remember the last time she laughed in her home with Tom. Shaking her head as if to erase the negative thoughts, she reached for her makeup bag and went through her regular routine.

Applying her favorite deep rose lipstick, Rose headed downstairs to make her coffee and bagel to take with her to church. The smell of dark-roast coffee swirled in the air as Rose sliced her cinnamon raisin bagel. Hearing the Keurig sputter with the fresh brew, Rose found the interruption of the stillness comforting. The toaster signaled that her bagel was done with a soft pop. It had a delicious golden brown color. Placing the bagel on the counter, she generously spread honey nut flavored cream cheese across both halves. Gathering her bible, notebook, and pens from the side table on the porch she stuffed them into her purse. Purse hanging on her right shoulder she juggled her coffee and bagel in both of her hands as she headed to the garage.

Keep Reading... Show less

This Holiday Season, Choose To Be Eco-friendly And Reduce Pollution

Many of us have old magazines lying around, fully read and not of much use anymore. However, we can use their bright colors and prints as a stylish and trendy wrapping paper!


It can be overwhelming to see the detrimental effects of climate change and pollution on the news, from animals dying and forest fires spreading, but there are smaller changes that we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint, and it begins with our gifting season.

On average, Americans throw 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years, which translates to 25 million tons of garbage. That's 1 million extra tons per week.

Keep Reading... Show less
Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

After all, isn't it the season of drinking...?

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

Thanksgiving has officially ended which means we are in preparation for the final holidays of the year. December is a busy month, filled with shopping and sales, wrapping gifts, planning family gathering and parties, cooking and baking, holiday movies, and of course, lots of drinking. I know that I will be spending a lot of December watching the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas,

Keep Reading... Show less

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments