Last updated:

December 11, 2023


 min read

Overcoming Fear Of Taking Medication For Mental Health

Have you been prescribed medications for your mental health but are unsure about the potentially harmful effects? Let us ease your worries! Click here to read more!

Reviewed by
Reyana D’Souza
Written by
Paridhi Gupta

What Is The Use Of Psychiatric Medications?

Psychiatric medications are often prescribed for moderate to severe, clinical cases of psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, OCD, etc. Like any medication for physical illnesses and diseases, psychiatric medication also works by reducing the severity of symptoms. These medications primarily reduce or increase the functioning of the relevant neurotransmitters in the brain. Some psychiatric medications work by making the individual feel calmer, more relaxed, or more focused.

Why Is There So Much Stigma Surrounding Psychiatric Medications?

Though psychiatric medications have a number of benefits if taken after consulting a professional (just like any other medication), they are far more stigmatized than any other type of medication. Why is that?

Lack Of Awareness And Stigma Around Mental Health 

Mental health in itself is pretty stigmatized. Add to that the lack of awareness surrounding various mental health disorders and the working of psychiatric medications, it’s easy to see why people might be so apprehensive when it comes to taking pills for their mental health. When it comes to physical illnesses, it’s easier to talk about them, there is greater acceptance, and taking medications is not only justified but also deemed necessary. When it comes to mental illnesses, however, they are often attributed to personal failures and weaknesses. Psychiatric medication is thus stigmatized as being a crutch or dependency, which the person would not have needed if they were only “stronger” or “better adjusted”.

Fear Of Side Effects

There is probably no other medication that is as feared for its side effects as psychiatric medications. But this fear of medication is often not based on reality. Most of these fears about side effects are unfounded. As most professionals would tell you, side effects like weight gain and fatigue are usually not very common, and if they do occur, they typically lessen over time. All in all, the side effects of psychiatric medications are no more than those caused by other medications.

Fear Of Losing Self

When it comes to psychiatric medications, many people fear that the medications will distort their personalities. We all have a defined sense of self, and the fear of losing it or not being able to control one’s own actions can be scary. It’s normal to feel this way because you may feel a little unsteady or disoriented when you first begin your medications. However, as you get used to the medicines, your mind and body adjust to them. Over time, it becomes easier to adapt to its effects. If the subdued emotional state continues for too long, it would be a good idea to consult your psychiatrist for some alternative medicines.

Fear Of Physical Effects

For many people, the long-term effects of psychiatric medication on the body are the biggest cause of concern. There is a big fear that the mental stability and psychological well-being provided by these medicines might come at the cost of physical health and well-being. However, rest assured that your medications do not compromise your quality of life as long as you’re following a healthy lifestyle - regular exercise, adequate sleep, adequate water intake and nutritious meals.

How Can You Overcome The Fear Of Taking Medication For Mental Health?

Starting psychiatric medications can be very daunting at first. But there are a number of strategies for managing medication anxiety. It can be very helpful to have a professional cater to all your doubts and queries. It’s important to remember that there are individual reactions to medications, and just because someone else had a side effect does not mean that you will experience the same. Another technique is to start slow. After discussing with your psychiatrist, you can start with a small dosage and gradually increase the amount as you get used to it. While the fear of losing your personality is very normal, most people find themselves feeling more focused and happier after starting medications that stabilize their moods. 

Need Help?

We hope these tips help you manage your fear surrounding psychiatric medication! If you’re looking for a professional consultation to ease your mind, Rocket Health has your back! Get in touch with experienced and qualified professionals through our website today!