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Viral Mental Health ‘Advice’ Tweet Backfires, Proving Treatment Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

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If you live with a mental illness, then you probably know what it’s like to have “advice” thrown at you. People are quick to share what they think will help someone while also shooting down the valid use of medications for mental illnesses. Chance the Rapper’s manager, Pat Corcoran, shared his “advice” for people to try before taking mental health medications, and people took the chance to share their thoughts on it.

Corcoran explained he “turned to xanax” before trying self-care and ended up addicted. He suggested people work out, eat more fruits and veggies, get more sun, among other things before considering “mental illness” drugs.

There are different types of medications used for mental illness, many of which do not have addictive qualities. Anti-anxiety medications, like benzodiazepines, and drugs used to treat ADHD have a higher potential for addiction.

While some of Corcoran’s suggestions are considered helpful for symptoms of depression and anxiety, everyone is different. Some may benefit from self-care and coping mechanisms like those that Corcoran listed. Others will need medications in addition to other forms of self-care.

Many people on Twitter took issue with Corcoran’s tweet. Some said it furthered a dangerous narrative that mental illness can be controlled by the person struggling, and a lack of control might mean they aren’t trying hard enough. Others pointed out that medication was what helped them be able to do things on Corcoran’s list.

After receiving backlash to his original tweet, Corcoran tweeted that he felt depressed because of the hate he was receiving. He said he just wanted to help people, and the list was what had helped him. He encouraged others to seek a professional opinion for help.

What works for one person is not guaranteed to work for someone else. If you’re struggling with your mental health, a medical or mental health professional can help you navigate what’s best for your situation. It may mean changing a few behaviors and trying therapy. It may mean medication. Many times it’s a combination of all three. Living with a mental illness is hard work. There’s no shame in doing what helps you, whether that includes medication or not. There’s also no shame in sharing what helped you, as Corcoran did. Just remember: Mental health treatment isn’t one-size-fits-all.

Photo via Twitter

Originally published: December 18, 2018
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