Speaking Out Against Stigma

For a few weeks now, I’ve been on a health kick and have been reading up on anything and everything health-related. Earlier this week, I was reading an article online about “clean eating” and the harmful effects of GMOs. I noticed that there were suggested “more information” articles on the bottom of the page; one was titled, “Fish oil supplements prevent mental illness; safe and effective alternative to antipsychotic drugs.” When I clicked on the link to read it, I was directed to a website called “Natural News.” Natural News? Sounds good to me.

The article started off talking about a study in which individuals with bipolar disorder took fish oil and did just as well as those who were on prescribed medication. I’m no medical expert, so I can’t attest to the benefits of taking fish oil, but I will say that I have always thought about taking it in addition to my current medication. But taking it alone to treat my bipolar disorder? Yeah, right—I know better.

I continued reading the article, and my jaw suddenly dropped at the ignorant assumptions the author was making about individuals who take medication for mental illnesses. I looked to see who wrote this article and noticed it was written in 2010. OK, so I’ll give the writer—Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger,” editor of NaturalNews.com—a bit of a break since it was four years ago. Anyway, here are a few tidbits from the article (keep in mind, Mr. Adams is not a physician or even in the medical field from what I understand):

  • “Some psychiatric drugs have also been linked to school shootings and violent outbursts (suicides, murders, etc.). They’re also expensive and they pose an environmental hazard, since many of the chemicals used in those drugs pass right through the body and end up in waters downstream.”
  • “Fish oils have none of these negative side effects. In fact, they have positive effects throughout the body. That’s why fish oils are such a remarkable solution to replace antipsychotic drugs: They’re safer, cheaper and they work better!”
  • “Because, let’s face it: For (virtually) every popular pharmaceutical on the market, there’s a nutritional supplement that works better (and that’s also safer and more affordable). Antipsychotic drugs can be replaced with fish oils.”

The reason I chose to write about this article wasn’t to start a debate on whether bipolar disorder—or any mental illness, for that matter—can or should be treated naturally as opposed to taking medication. I chose to write about this article to show how far we have come. My hope is that, during the last four years, individuals such as Mr. Adams have become more educated and more compassionate to those suffering from mental illnesses instead of shaming us by claiming we’re more likely to be involved in school shootings and murders. And that we are polluting the water thus harming the environment by taking prescribed medication. Shame on us? No, shame on you, Mike Adams.

Love and light,