Stigma within the Mental Health Community: Part II

I previously wrote an article about the ongoing stigma within the mental health community, and it pains me to have to do so once again, particularly as this time it is due to a very different matter. The first part of this unintended series detailed the ongoing stigma and negative behaviour between those who suffer from non-psychotic disorders, and those who do. Unfortunately, another issue I have stumbled across is that of the stigma and abuse occurring between those who take medication to treat their disorder and those who don’t.

Before I begin, it is important to take into consideration that similarly to my previous article on the matte of stigma within the mental health community, this is aimed at a select few people. The mental health community is a wonderful and supportive place filled with some of the best people that I have ever met, as written in a previous article of mine praising the mental health community. Yet there are still those who are letting our community down, promoting an incorrect and stigmatized perspective on mental illness.

I have personally witnessed those who take medication force the view that medication is your only effective option for treatment and that if you are mentally ill, you should be taking it. However, what truly angers me about this matter is that those who take medication are actually accusing others of not being mentally ill and completely dismissing their suffering due to the individuals choice to not take medication; I have personally experienced this. Those who take medication have avoided those who do not take medication, they are treated with great bias due to pure ignorance, and will be cast aside by those individuals.

I have found that the majority of those who choose not to take medication for whatever reason, will agree entirely with the use of medication for other individuals, and are more accepting of other individuals choice of treatment. Of course, there are some who are entirely against medication which I utterly disagree with, there are extremists within this community which solely believe and promote that mental illness can be treated or cured with homoeopathy, herbal remedies, or that their illness if in fact a spiritual awakening; whilst slating others for their choice of treatment. This is equally as absurd as those who take medication being abusive to those who don’t.

However, currently the more common occurrences of abuse do seem to be from the side of those who take medication, as they treat those who choose not to go down that route with disrespect, ignorance, abuse, and negligence; as if they do not matter or are not worthy of being in this community, which is completely untrue.

This needs to stop, we are given different treatment options for a reason, different treatments will work for different people. There are a multitude of reasons as to why people choose the treatment options that they do; medication resistance does exist, the side effects of the medication can at times be worse than the illness itself, some people cannot afford or have access to mental health services, let alone medication.

The whole point of this community is for it to be a place of support and safety, where we are not judged for our illnesses or life choices. This is the second article that I have had to write in order to address the ongoing stigma occurring within the mental health community and it is absolutely ridiculous. I am baffled as to what is going on within this community, it’s a place of support and care, not abuse and negligence; and if you are for the latter, you do not belong in this community, it is that simple.

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