Zantac Lawsuit

Researching drug company and regulatory malfeasance for over 16 years
Humanist, humorist

Monday, September 04, 2017

The Pill Shaming Myth

There seems to be a new Goebbels-type saying doing the rounds, it's picking up momentum and it's often used as a line of defence when one speaks out about the dangers of SSRIs, or any psychiatric drug for that matter. I don't know who coined the term but it's not only being used by patients, it's also being used by healthcare professionals and The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Pill Shaming

I had to go to the Urban Dictionary to find out more about this term.

The action or practice of making mocking or critical comments about people who take medication.
Pill shaming is most-often directed at people who take/endorse taking psychotropic medicactions as part of a mental health relapse-prevention/recovery plan. As with fat shaming, pill shaming achieves little other than frustrate and humiliate individuals who may already be feeling self-conscious and vulnerable..
Those who indulge in pill shaming are often ideologically driven (eg: scientologists), but sometimes they're just ignorant fools. Since 2013 the act of pill shaming is sometimes called-out on Twitter with the hashtag #pillshaming.

In my 11 years of research, I have not met one single person who has ever mocked or been critical of another person who has decided that medication is their best course of action. Not one.

One would have thought with the line of work that I do that I would have met many.

Maybe the mothers I've spoken to over the years who have lost children to SSRI-induced suicide, or maybe those who have lost loving partners or even surviving siblings of those who have lost a loved one to SSRI induced suicide.

The answer is still no. Not one of the above mentioned has ever, to my knowledge, "pill-shamed."

So, if I've never met anyone then where are these so called 'pill shamers'?

It was a question I put to Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, Annie Hickox on Twitter after she had tweeted the following:
Her tweet was in response to an article President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Wendy Burn, had earlier tweeted:

With this in mind, I asked Hickox if she could give me an instance of this "shaming". She tweeted back to me the following:

I understand that people have to work. I was, however, surprised to learn that for the next two hours Hickox continued to tweet and retweet on her page. Maybe she found the question I put to her too difficult to answer, or maybe, she just didn't have any examples of instances where pill shaming had occurred?

The term pill shaming has often been used against me for speaking out regarding the dangerous side of antidepressants, normally followed by "they save lives" or "you're a conspiracy theorist."

I talk about this in a recent podcast I did with James Moore via the Mad In America website. You can listen to it here.

I do hope Wendy Burn and her colleagues at the Royal College of Psychiatrists tune into it too.

And Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, Annie Hickox. They might learn a thing or two and may just start listening to patients rather than throwing labels around.

Coming later this week is a blog post about the Guardian article both Burn and Hickox were promoting on Twitter. The Guardian, it appears, were stifling voices in the comment section of the article. More on this later in the week. In the meantime, here's the article.

Bob Fiddaman

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