We’ve all been in the situation before: we are presented with something that can help us get through a really difficult situation. But, for some reason, we refuse to take this option. And we are not the only ones who will either. For whatever reason, our society is ingrained with this belief that we have to persevere through adversity with nothing but our bodies and minds to help us. We will allow ourselves to suffer and hurt far worse than we need to, all in the name of showing that we are strong. No handouts, no help, nothing. We don’t know why or how we got to this point; there are probably some logical factors that play into it when you look at the way these “handouts” can form addictions and whatnot. If you haven’t guessed yet, we are specifically talking about medication right now.
We have touched on the subject before but there is a certain prejudice that exists towards medication and people that take it. It is viewed as a weakness to allow yourself that help when you are in a dark, dark place. We don’t want to sit here and tell you about how you shouldn’t feel ashamed for taking any sort of medication; we have done that already. But we do want to talk about why this is the case. Why do we feel like we shouldn’t allow ourselves this help when we are struggling.
At the heart of it, for us taking the medication, we think there is a fear of being judged. We think that a lot of us, deep down, know that it is okay to take medication. We do know that there is nothing wrong with having to take a pill or two each day to help us get through it. But we are so afraid of letting other people down or appearing flawed to them, that we restrain ourselves from getting the help that we need when we need it most. As we all know, everyone is terrified of being judged by their peers. We don’t care who you are or where you come from, that is something that we believe exists in everyone to some degree. So if we can avoid that judgment by refusing medication, we take that option because it helps us keep our image. It makes us look strong.
What Drives Us, and Others, to Associate Shame with Medication
Without getting too political, there is no denying that there are people in the world who are determined to hold on to how the world used to be. People are afraid of the change that is happening in our society and lives, and they are lashing out against it. For them, these new medication options represent that change that scares them so much. They are scared of not only the medication but also the illness that the medication is meant to help with. They don’t want to believe that these challenges are possible or real. They would rather live in ignorance than accept it as a reality. Just as it is with us who take medication, it all comes from fear. Which is the driving factor in so many things in life? Often, when someone is doing something “wrong”, it is because they are afraid. At the heart of so many emotions and actions is fear. We don’t say this to say we need to judge or condemn these people; as we always say, it gives us an understanding and, hopefully, a little patience with them. We have been terrified just as they have, and we have fought change in numerous ways in our lives. Our propensity to fear can be one of our greatest connections.
People do weird things for weird reasons and it’s hard to understand sometimes. We see an issue, we see the people on the other side of that issue from us, and we just can’t wrap our heads around why they are on that side. It is so confusing to try to grasp that when our side seems like the most obvious and easiest answer. But these other sides do exist and they have a reason for believing what they believe. In terms of medication and the shame that comes with it, it’s fear. For both those who oppose it and us who take it, we are afraid of what taking medication means. There are so many factors that can influence us on both sides. In the end, we can take solace in truly knowing that there is no shame in medication, that there is nothing wrong with wanting to get some extra help to get through your mental struggles. Those who disagree will soon realize that they can’t hold us down forever. We will be heard and we will rid ourselves of that shame. We are too strong not to.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us today at (866) 399-6528.