I'm a Psychiatrist and Even I Kept My Mental Health Meds a Secret - InStyle
Jul 21, 2021 2 mins, 15 secs
No matter how many times I've had conversations about why it isn't weak, a failure, or shameful to need medication for your mental health — and wholeheartedly believe every word I have said — it turns out it didn't protect me from internalizing the same negative beliefs about taking psychiatric medication myself. .

Here is the truth: I have been on a stable dose of Wellbutrin (Bupropion) for 13 years, and despite being quite a public advocate about self-disclosure and mental health, I have never once said that out loud.

I first noticed that I selectively left out my medication history early in the pandemic, when a bunch of healthcare workers, professions that traditionally do not talk about mental health at all, shared on social media about their mental health treatment — I participated on Twitter, but only shared about my therapy.

I questioned why it was so hard for me to disclose that I took medication while also being such an advocate for medication whose literal job was to prescribe medication.

I knew I didn't owe anyone my story — no one does — and I was still being an advocate for mental health treatment by talking about my therapy and being vulnerable at all publicly.

When celebrities talk about mental health it isn't typically about medications, but they still have an impact in normalizing the conversation and helping people.

The need for these conversations, and just how much more medications are stigmatized compared to therapy in our culture, makes me feel even more guilty for being someone who has felt unable to talk about it?

She attempts to calm another worry people have, and that patients bring up all the time before they start medications: the medication life sentence.

This stigma is so pervasive that even outspoken allies to mental health treatment have a hard time breaking free from it.

I would never tell any patient they were less than for being on medication — in fact, I spend most of my time helping people find the medication that will help them be more: more content, more confident, more themselves

Asking for help, including from medications, is a strength, not a weakness, and I believe in medication like antidepressants to help people get back to doing the things they want to be doing in their day to day lives, from socializing with friends and family, to truly enjoying their work

I believe in medication together with therapy as the holistic approach to mental health, the same way a doctor would recommend exercise and eating well for physical health

Medications can help people worry less and feel a range of emotions more

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