Gina Florio
April 07, 2017 11:51 am

There’s a very strong possibility that everyone who lives with a mental illness has faced stigma or discrimination at one point in their lives. Sarah Fader has decided to do something about that, which is why she started the hashtag #ShoutOutYourMedChange on Twitter. As someone who lives with bipolar disorder, she has tried 10 different psychiatric medications. Instead of shying away from this reality, though, Fader is creating a space for everyone to speak openly alongside her about their experiences with mental illness treatments.

HelloGiggles chatted with Fader, the CEO and Founder of the nonprofit Stigma Fighters, who says her inspiration for starting this hashtag came from her recent switch from Lexapro to Lamictal, which “has been brutal.”

"I wanted to reach out to the mental health community for support and to see if people could relate," Fader tells HG.

#ShoutOutYourMedChange took off in record time.

People are really excited that they have the platform to talk about their mental illness in an honest, raw way.

Some couldn’t help but bring a little (welcome) humor into the equation.

Fader tells HG that “people are often shamed” for taking medications that have been prescribed for mental illness. Her goal is to shed light on the taboo and remind everyone that there’s nothing wrong with seeking medical attention when you need it.

If you had pneumonia, you would go to the doctor, right? The same goes for when you’re struggling with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), clinical depression, bipolar disorder, etc. You go to the doctor and sometimes they’ll prescribe you the respective meds.

"People are grateful for the chance to talk about their medication challenges and transitions," Fader says. "I am happy people can do this."

We’re happy, too, because the more we can break down mental illness taboo, the quicker we can help people get the help they truly deserve and need.

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