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19 Comebacks for 'Pill-Shamers'

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When someone starts struggling with their mental health, there are many roads they can go down.

Unfortunately, some people do nothing… at least for a little while. They suffer in silence, trying to function through whatever feels “not right” in their brain, hoping that what they’re feeling or thinking will just go away. Some people pass through these hard times just fine.

Other people find they need more help. 

Whatever that “help” looks like is different for everyone. For some, this means therapy. For others, this means dedicating themselves to yoga, exercise or a diet change. Sometimes, this means medication. More likely, it’s a combination of a bunch of things.

But sometimes, the option to take medication can be filled with so much shame.

Part of this can be blamed by self-stigma, the judgments we make about ourselves for “needing” medication. But whatever shame we might put on ourselves is only made worse by the peanut gallery of “pill-shamers” who have strong opinions about the medications we’re using to manage our mental health. 

You know who we’re talking about. The Facebook “friends” who share memes bashing antidepressants. Your well-meaning aunt who’s suspicious of “Big Pharma” and wants to know why you don’t just exercise instead. The wellness gurus who claim their diet will cure your mental health challenges, implying medication is an easy or “unnatural” solution.

Everyone is on their own journey — and no one should assume they know what’s best for your mental health. That’s why we wanted to collect some honest and even funny comebacks people have for the “pill-shamers” in their life. If medication is part of your mental health journey, embrace your decision shame-free. Don’t let others’ ignorance tell you otherwise.

Here are some comebacks members of our community have for pill-shamers:

1.Omg I can’t believe I’ve wasted so much money on doctor’s appointments when all I had to do was ask you for your opinion!” — Amber R.

2. “‘Well, you know what they say. If you can’t make your own neurotransmitters, store-bought is fine.’ *wink and finger guns*” — Brittany G.

3. “Shamer: ‘I don’t believe in taking medication. You should consider going off of it.’ Me: ‘Maybe I should also stop wearing my glasses!’ Shamer: ‘Well, you need those.’ Me: ‘Right, but being mentally stable and happy… I don’t need those things?’” — Danielle S. 

4. “Picture you’re in the kitchen. You look up to the second shelf and reach up, tip toes and all… but still can’t reach. You struggle and struggle. Finally, you give up and go to the other room to grab a step stool. You step up, reach the item and continue what you were doing. Knowing full well you’ll need it again, you leave it there, regardless of its inconvenient position in the kitchen. That step stool is medicine. Sometimes, we just need a step up to continue on and do what we’re doing. Would it be nice to be a touch taller? Sure! However, that isn’t the case… so I need that step up.” — Jess A. 

5. “I take medication for depression and anxiety. Too bad there’s not a medication to fix your closed-mindedness.” — Rita T.

Need a non-judgmental place to talk about medication? Download our app and connect with others who understand your journey.

6. “When you stop being dependent on food to live, I will stop taking my meds. It’s vital to my survival.” — Samantha S.

7. “I would rather be on meds and make myself feel better, rather than getting off them and pleasing you while suffering constantly.” — Alyshah A.

8.Do you like me as a person? Am I meaningful to you or the world? Well, I probably wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t take medicine.” — Erika K.

9. “Are you in my head? Do you know what I’m going through? No? Well hush. I can’t help how my brain is. It is all in my head… literally. They aren’t happy pills or chill pills.”

10. “‘Yeah, you should see me without it.’ I’ve been hearing that sort of thing for so long that I’ve given up being educational. If people are rude enough to comment on it, one conversation won’t change their minds. I shut them down.” — Ashley T.

11. “‘I wouldn’t be here talking to you if I didn’t have them.’ That usually shuts the conversation down after. They really don’t want to talk about the way I use medicine as a tool. The same people who make a comment are also the ones who think, ‘If I just think positive then I’d never be depressed.’” — Rebecca B.

12. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were fully licensed to make decisions about my mental health and how I treat it.” — Aylah H.

13.Shamer: ‘Have you ever thought of using essential oils instead? So many pills are probably bad for you. Why would you want to take so many?’ Me: I don’t want to, I have to. It’s what it takes and I’m alive and stable because of them. I’m not willing to find out what will happen without taking them just to test your oils ‘theory.’ I’m interested in where you got your PhD? I’m not willing to fight an all-out war to stay alive. I already fight battles daily.” — Leann H.

14. “If it was online, I would just link to Hannah Gadsby’s clip form ‘Nanette’ about Van Gogh and the sunflowers.” — Clara S.

15. “It’s either take a pill or do nothing but lie in bed for hours on end mindlessly watching the same four shows on Netflix. My choice.” — Viki W.

16. “Something with expletives, then something along the lines of how they’ve literally saved my life. I’m not good with words, but I have a well-trained potty mouth.” — Amy P.

17.Oh, if you thing I’m hard to deal with on them, you should see what I’m like off them!” — Amy N.

18. “Last time I wasn’t on them I ended up in a psych ward, I don’t really feel like going back mkay?” — Lauren V.

19. “Thanks for complaining, I’m cured now!!!” — Makenha C.

How do you respond to pill-shamers? Tell us in the comments below.

Originally published: January 10, 2019
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