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Medication Shame Has A High Cost

Shame is a powerful demotivator with many negative outcomes.  While there’s possibly a temporary, positive effect of shame in some areas of life. I think about my diet and food shaming myself – it can help somewhat with losing weight. Nevertheless, this type of shame is short-lived and inconsistent. We may soon go back to our old diet because the negative guilt is not sustainable.

If the hurtles and mountains we had to overcome just to get mental health help in the first place due to shame (fear)…  Then we start our recovery and choose to take medication – since at this point we will DO ANYTHING to find a smidgen of respite, easing even dulling of the emotional pain…Medication is not a cure!

Mental Health Humor cartoons by Chato Stewart

I believe anyone taking meds for any length of time recognizes the challenges medications have and what they lack. The choice to take medication is a very personal one and can be, at times, a fragile choice. It takes enormous strength and challenge maintaining adherence (compliance)  with our medication routine. On top of this, it can be complicated with any side effects (all medication have some type of side-effect).

There are so many changes with meds all the while we may be uncertain if the meds are working for us personally– EVERYTHING seems to stack against us. We may quit at any moment for very logical self-reasoning. Even if medications are working, we still may have to deal with friends and family questioning us why we take them. Some even share how they cured their depression–without meds–while questioning us if our meds actually work? Makes one feel that taking meds is wrong or implies medication is for the weak and/or any…other shaming efforts/methods are discouraging. OMG STOP IT!!!!!

If I choose to medicate – I don’t need or want your thoughts on my meds! Medication shaming shows how weak you are – weak NOT to care enough for your friend or loved one that they want to improve their life.  You’re endangering their life shaming them.

MEDICATIONS ARE NOT PERFECT – we know!  Some are harmful but if the choice is to try to find ‘some’ relief for the anguish or suffer night and day…who wouldn’t choose relief?

Avoid Medication Shaming

Shame has a negative universal control and can have fatal consequences. We want to avoid shaming our loved one even if we don’t mean to be medication shaming– it still has a negative impact on the person.

What are some Constructive Criticisms that can help replace med shaming?

First, offer support and encouragement and something positive about your friend or loved working hard to improve their mental health.  Have an open and non-judgmental conversation about meds.

Many times, you hear how (myself included) some of us hate taking meds, but we are desperate. Or, at times, we are loving our meds and believe they are a blessing and a cure-all. Whatever the case be supportive! If you have concerns, don’t just tell us what you heard or believe is wrong with meditation. YES when knowing the dangers, we know big PHARMA sucks, we know already – rather offering valid, well-researched and well-reasoned opinions hold more value.

Whether we choose medication or choose to stand on our head all day, don’t let shamers (haters) have THE POWER.

What are some of you Peers feeling about medication shaming?

Medication Shaming‎                                                  A High Cost

Chato Stewart

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Originally Posted at Chato Stewart’s Mental Health Humor at Psych Central:

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Mental Health Humor and psychological disorder humor and cartoons by Chato Stewart
We’ve talked about taking medication the last few blog posts.  Whether you are for medication or for something stronger and all natural like COFFEE, I feel it’s a personal choice.

Stewart, Chato. (2018). Psych Central. Retrieved on Jan 14, 2019, from 




Medication Shame Has A High Cost

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2019). Medication Shame Has A High Cost. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 10, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Jan 2019
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