The Mighty Logo

A Frustrating Question You Might Recognize If You Take Mental Health Meds

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

While it can pop up in arguments and heated exchanges of all kinds, it’s a dreaded question you may, unfortunately, be familiar with: Have you taken your medication?

Not asked in a loving way, not asked as a genuine reminder, this kind of question is asked to minimize your reaction to something — implying you must only be acting a certain way if you forgot to take your mental health medication. Yuck.

During an episode of Destiny Child’s singer Michelle Williams’ new reality show, “Chad Loves Michelle,” we got to see how hurtful this question can be. In a clip from the second episode of the series, which aired on Saturday, Williams and her fiance Chad Johnson tell their therapist about an argument they had the night before.

The argument was about race, and in a heated moment, Johnson asked Williams if she had taken her medication. The singer sought help for her mental health this summer and has been open about her struggle with depression.

Johnson apologized for the comment. “I would never go there and I apologized for it,” he told their therapist.

“You shouldn’t go there regardless,” Williams responded.

Taking medication for your mental health is a personal choice, and although it’s nice when a loved one cares whether or not you’ve remembered to take it, it’s unfair to use medication against someone in a heated exchange. In the piece “25 ‘Harmless’ Comments That Actually Hurt People With Mental Illness,” two Mighty community members shared their experience:

“‘Did you take your medications?’ Yes I did! Just because I’m anxious right now doesn’t mean I didn’t take my medications. It makes me feel like I’m not allowed to have these feelings, as if what I’m experiencing is all fake because I took my medications. People don’t understand that meds don’t erase the problem, they just dull it down for a little bit.” — Shae N.

“When I was a teen, I was on medications for depression and anxiety. Anytime I got upset over anything, my mother would ask me if I’d taken my medications. As if any expression of emotion meant I hadn’t. It made me feel like I wasn’t allowed to experience and express normal human emotions because I have a mental illness.” — Holly P.

Just because someone’s reaction is extreme — or just because you don’t like it — doesn’t mean they haven’t taken their medication. Unless you’re someone who has agreed to help a loved one remember to take their medication, it’s not your “job” to make sure they’ve taken it.

Has this happened to you? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Screenshot via OWN

Originally published: November 16, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home