Epilepsy Talk

Why would a psychiatrist be embarrassed? | July 23, 2021

Pills. Medication. They’re a sign of mental illness.

Even if you take them for depression, stability, anxiety.

There must be something inherently wrong with you.

What does it mean if you do need medication?

Are you crazy? Mentally ill? Unstable? Unreliable?

And what if you ARE a psychiatrist AND take medication?

Read the account of how one psychiatrist deals with the stigma of her own mental health.

It may well calm your fears…

Click on: https://www.instyle.com/beauty/health-fitness/psychiatrist-medication-stigma?utm_medium=10today.media.thur.20210722.436.1&utm_source=email&utm_content=article&utm_campaign=10-for-today—4.0-styling


  1. Reblogged this on Disablities & Mental Health Issues.


    Comment by Kenneth — July 23, 2021 @ 12:20 PM

  2. Thanks, Phylis for taking us into those almost-forbidden areas of discussion. I would put an asterisk next to some of what I am about to write. And that would be that I am NOT a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a therapist or any other career person who needs to have a degree or doctorate next to their qualifications.
    I really am just a guy who takes two controlled substances – I have to sign for them at the pharmacy and show my driver’s license. Those two prescriptions are clonazepam and gabapentin, along with lamotrigine. People also know gabapentin as “gabbies” on the street. There. I wrote it. And you know that when I am in my support groups for epilepsy and when I mention what I take to control my seizures, it gains me more credibility. It is almost as if some people are thinking, “if he takes those then I can at least talk to my neurologist about it.” My supposed weakness about medication is my strength. Perhaps others will find it helpful that these medications used for mental health are nothing to be embarrassed of.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by George Choyce — July 23, 2021 @ 1:10 PM

  3. Well, I am a trained therapist and actually, I would have less confidence in someone who fears revealing their medication use. Why? Because to me that indicates the person has not fully accepted their own mental health issues and therefore, can’t be fully there for their patients. Just my opinion…..

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by skolly9 — July 23, 2021 @ 8:54 PM

  4. Can it be that those who fail or refuse to reveal taking neurological &/or psychiatric medications are afraid of being stigmatized, undermined & rejected by larger society for taking neurological or psychiatric medications?
    Why is it difficult for society to tolerate & accept neurological & psychiatric hardships & medications while society seem to put up with physical medical ailments & pandemics?
    Obviously, the unjustified social condemnation will only force people to avoid revealing their neurological & psychiatric disorders, just like I tried very hard to deny & cover up my epileptic seizures, until I kept getting knocked out in front of the very people I’ve been trying to cover up my seizures from.
    Eventually, I’ve learned to reject the social misconceptions & learn to live with my seizures than having to try to convince society to tolerate my neurological disorder.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Gerrie — July 26, 2021 @ 12:42 PM

  5. It took a long time for me to “come out of the closet”.

    I was able to successfully hide my condition because of the very obvious auras I would have. (Metallic taste in my mouth and increased saliva.)

    It really wasn’t until I grew into my own skin and became older that I was not only embarrassed about epilepsy, I actually did a 360 degree flip and became an advocate.

    Who would have thought?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 26, 2021 @ 1:25 PM

  6. The only way I have learned to live with my epilepsy is to finally get to the Grief Stage of Acceptance. So “why would a psychiatrist be embarrassed?” They have a medical condition. Why would someone with epilepsy be embarrassed? We too have a medical condition.

    We have numerous options to try to control our seizures: surgery, prescriptions, natural remedies, diet, prayer, exercise, etc. I tried them all, even the 7 hour surgeries – tried it twice. Didn’t work. The only thing that has worked is the two controlled substances that I sign for plus lamotrigine. Three meds. Why should I be embarrassed if it works?

    When I am a part of one of my support groups, it is literally like we compare our maintenance and emergency meds. It is helpful to me to hear other stories from other people with epilepsy and the medication(s) they take. I also note the nonverbal cues of those who sit near us at the coffee shop. Some people shift uncomfortably in their seats and quickly leave. Are they nervous that a bunch of people with epilepsy are just feet away and could literally have a seizure or seizures on the spot? (Am I reading too much into their reactions?) Maybe but maybe not.

    I do literally pray that people read and reread your opening article and the comments section. Why would we be embarrassed of our medical condition? Society in general is not comfortable with us, but the more we get comfortable with ourselves, society just might follow our lead.

    “Growing into our own skin” is a good expression to remember when epilepsy becomes overwhelming. However, something good can come out of this and those who are on the front lines can be such a catalyst for that happening. There is nothing to be embarrassed of.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by George Choyce — July 27, 2021 @ 12:15 PM

    • George,,, Learning to live with neurological disorders you have no control over is not picnic.
      Getting knocked out in public places for the whole world to watch your epileptic seizures is tormenting ordeal.
      And socially stigmatized for the neurological & psychiatric conditions you have no remedy for makes it double jeopardy.
      Far more than the neurological & psychiatric disorders one has to cope with, losing the prestigious social status, professional class, employment opportunities, intimate relationships & cordial friendships you have cultivated for decades to social misconceptions of the neurological or psychiatric disorders makes life a very heavy cross to carry on.
      In the end “growing in your own skin” becomes the only way to survive & carry on with our lives, refusing to let the heavy price of the neurological/psychiatric disorders & social misconceptions to leak under our skin.
      Yes, you’re right. To those of us who have learned to accept our neurological hardships & social disintegration the hard way, there’s nothing embarrassing to talk about our struggle to survive with our neurological disorders, even when society seems indifferent to the hardships we had to overcome.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Gerrie — July 27, 2021 @ 2:42 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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