Hundreds of thousands of people are opening up on social media about how medicine helps them treat mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and more. The so-called #PostYourPill movement started November 27, when Welsh physician and television personality Alex George, who also serves as the United Kingdom’s Youth Mental Health Ambassador in the nation’s department of education, shared a now-viral post about his own medication on his Instagram and TikTok accounts.
Along with a photo of himself holding a little white pill, George shared a vulnerable caption about his own experience with taking medication for anxiety, along with the eye-opening results of a poll he had conducted among his 2 million Instagram followers. Three-quarters of people who responded shared they had experienced stigma about taking mental health medication, and George is on a mission to change that.
“I take medication, alongside therapy and self care, to help with my anxiety. I really needed this treatment but for years I didn’t access it, on reflection I was worried about what people would think,” George wrote. “I can tell you now, I am not ashamed. I AM PROUD to take control of my own health. This does not make me weak or less able, it makes me stronger.”
At the end of the post, George invites people to join him in sharing about their mental health meds using the hashtag #PostYourPill—and since, the trend has taken off in big ways across multiple social media platforms. Thousands of social media users have participated with their own versions of the trend, posting photos of their pills and sharing about their mental health and why they decided to treat it with medication. You can find the inspiring stories on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even on the professional networking site LinkedIn.
While mental health conditions are surprisingly common experiences, collectively affecting 1 out 5 Americans, it’s also far too common for people to face a stigma for treating them with medication—and George said, at first, he experienced the same thing. In a recent BBC interview, he shared that when he realized he couldn’t manage his anxiety symptoms with therapy and exercise alone, he had to talk himself out of feelings of shame after he called his doctor for a prescription. Once he started sertraline (Zoloft), he realized treating his mental health was a non-negotiable for his well-being. “If I sat here with medication for pneumonia or something else, I wouldn’t even think twice. I’d just swallow the pill and drink the water,” he said.
UK-based financial executive Emilie Salih shared a similar story on LinkedIn along with a photo of her pill, explaining how she sees her mental health medication as a way to help her brain and body with the chemical imbalance behind her mental condition. “My body doesn’t produce enough serotonin and this little pill helps my brain produce the chemicals I am deficient in,” she said. “If my body was deficient in other things, I would take something to help address it. Why treat my mental health any differently?”
We couldn’t agree more.
At Minded, we’re here to destigmatize mental health medication, one prescription at a time. We believe everyone should have access to the treatment they need for managing anxiety and depression symptoms. If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression symptoms and you want to check in with a professional about taking medication, we’re here to help—even if you’re not exactly sure where to start. Complete our online assessment to see if Minded is right for you.