Nick Hughes

Opinion Editor

I can tolerate many things. Always being open to other viewpoints is a trait I pride myself on. I am not without faults, but there is one thing that infuriates me when I see it happen. Pill shaming is the act of making someone feel bad for taking medications. This act of malice from various people is an issue that I cannot and will not stand for.

When I first went to an inpatient hospital; I was afraid of taking medicine. I brought into the argument that, “Pills are only for crazy people.”

One of the staff members told me this when I voiced my concern, “Nick, would you rather be so sad that suicide seems like a good option or do you want to accept the help that these meds can give you.” This sentence has been branded on my head in the sense that I will never forget that guy or his words. Those words helped me define who I am as a person and that person needs to take medicine.

I lose various pleasures from taking medications, which I do not mind at all considering the eventual outcome if I stopped taking my meds. Drinking alcohol is a clear-cut no for me. My meds explicitly state do not drink while on this medication. I would become horribly ill if I were to consume alcohol, so I make sure to stay away from any form. Another thing that I cannot have is grapefruit. I am not entirely sure why, but I have been told multiple times, “No grapefruit.” Apparently, grapefruit has serious chemical reactions to medications.

What I gain from taking meds is far more valuable than what I lose. I gain life, happiness, and peace of mind. Meds can enrich your life so that you can do things you enjoy. For example, I went to a concert one year with my brother. It was my first concert and it featured my favorite band at the time, In Flames. This was before I got my panic disorder under control due in part to my medications. I had a great time at the concert, but five panic attacks during said concert created a fear for me. Several years later, I tried again. Going to see Suffocation at the Chameleon Club in Downtown Lancaster. My panic disorder was properly controlled at that point and I remember that there was not a single panicky bone in my body.

I have witnessed many times that people who admit to taking medicine are applied a healthy dose of stigma against them. This is because of the notion that pills are for “crazy people.” My meds have saved me many times from committing suicide. I have no doubt that if I never got on the meds I needed I would not be here typing this article. I would be in a coffin in a graveyard and my gifts to the world would have been squandered.

If a doctor prescribes you medicine and there are no horrible side effects, take your meds. These medications keep you alive. I am pre-diabetic and I take medications to stop that from becoming full-blown diabetes. It is something I do not want to deal with. Therefore, I take my meds to stop myself from becoming diabetic. That is just one example of the meds I take. What people must realize is that if it was not for medicine, a lot fewer people would be on earth. What I find appalling is that there are groups of people that are so against medications that they refuse life-saving medical treatment.

Here is my final point, take your meds and do not be a jerk to people who take meds. They need the medications to stay alive. Whether this stems from physical or mental ailments, everyone who needs to take their medicine should take their medicine. Ridiculing them for wanting to be healthier and stay alive is ridiculous.