Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about.

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

my actual writing, if you're curious

Psychiatric medications are treated as frivolous and pointless. They’re one of the few classes of medications that are regarded as unnecessary1; no one questions why organ transplant patients take anti-rejection drugs, for example, understanding and accepting that such medications are needed to survive. It’s generally understood that when you have a severe bacterial infection, you should take antibiotics to kill the causative organism, prevent the spread of infection, and protect your body from potential complications like damage to your organs. And so on.

Yet, psychiatric medications aren’t treated as critically necessary drugs that may help people stay alive, and definitely relieve the symptoms of their conditions, exactly as intended. Like other medications for people with chronic health issues, they must be taken for life, and may require periodic adjustment to compensate for changes in the patient’s condition and response to the medication, but that doesn’t make them less valid. Needing to go to therapy for an indeterminate period of time isn’t evidence that therapy doesn’t work or that counselors are ripping off their patients.

Everyone needs to manage their own health in the way that works most effectively and appropriately for them. That includes mentally ill people, some of whom find medications and/or therapy helpful. It’s odd that in a society where outward signs of mental illness are so feared and hated, the very tools people can use to manage those symptoms are so disdained. Oh, wait, it’s not odd at all: it’s a consequence of ableism.

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