Hope your Thanksgiving was great. We went on a trip to Louisiana to see family the day after Thanks giving. It was filled with family, and the best food on the planet.
It was also filled with an uncomfortable conversation.
While hanging out with some family members drinking some Jameson and having a good time.When it was just me and one particular family member, I was asked if I was working. Of course I said no and that I was still going for my disability. When pressed, I explained my anxiety, and bipolar disorder and how they affect me. Then I was pressed further for more of an explanation. I was asked how I could be around people at family gatherings and such, but have anxiety. Then more family came over to talk and the conversation changed.
It puzzles me that people treat mental health issues with such doubt. If I had cancer; then no one would say “But, you had that one good day” and then doubt that I had cancer. Why people do this with mental illness is beyond me.
As the conversation went on it was directed back to the subject of work and how people should pull themselves up and not ask for help. The same family member piped in with a bunch of “If this; Then that” statements on how people should get themselves back to on their feet. Some were valid; however one of these statements was “If it’s mental health; then go get your pills”. This just proved to me that this particular person was ignorant on the subject of mental health issues.
Pills do not cure mental health issues. They can help manage the symptoms. Pills alone do not help with mental illness. It’s pills and therapy that are the course of action to make mental illness manageable. Just like some treatments usually don’t work well by themselves, there are tandem treatments that go along with them (Like radiation & chemotherapy).
“Go get your pills” is not a solution for mental health issues.
Especially when you take in the fact that there is a severe lack of mental health services in this country. In my state alone, there is such a shortage of psychiatrists that there is only 1 Shrink to every 10,000 patients. Yes, this number is offset by the use of Physician’s Assistants; however that is still a large deficit between people who need help and the people that provide help. Then you have to be qualified to receive any form of county, state, or federal assistance. The other option is to have insurance, which most people cannot afford through the Health.gov site, and if they work part-time they are generally disqualified from any form of assistance. So, you would have to work full-time at a job that supplies insurance. Which if everyone could do that; then this entire conversation would be a moot point.
In short, sometimes you simply cannot “go get your pills” to begin with.
I am not even going to go into the fact that sometimes it takes Y E A R S to find a medicinal regiment that will actually work for your symptoms. Sometimes it takes awhile to find out what pills to go get.
I guess the point is this: If you have little or no understanding on a subject; then don’t speak on that subject. It’s really that simple. You are doing nothing but spreading ignorance and perpetuating a stigma.