Though there is medical evidence available for the prescription medication people receive, there are some who do not believe the research.
But the ridicule could make someone sick, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor m48_apocalypse found themselves arguing with their boyfriend’s mother to defend his health.
When his mother continued to push back, the Original Poster (OP) wondered what to do next.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for asking for my boyfriend’s mom’s sources after she tried cutting off her meds?”
The OP was informed on their boyfriend’s medical history.
“I got into a disagreement with boyfriend’s mom, let’s call her Alice (my boyfriend and I are 18, and Alice is 43).”
“My bf was recently prescribed new meds after SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) didn’t work, and Alice wants to withhold his meds because she thinks she knows better than doctors.”
“(The doc avoided giving my bf new SSRIs this time and told him to gradually reduce the amount of his old one before using the new meds.)”
The boyfriend’s mother wanted to try other methods.
“She’s convinced that crystal therapy/reiki, essential oils/teas, and vitamin supplements will cure his mental health.”
“She’s also convinced he doesn’t have mental disorders and yelled at him when he said he felt depressed (for instance).”
“My bf said he’d rather listen to his doctor since he doesn’t believe in alternative meds. But his mom’s paying for his college tuition and threatens to cut it off if he disagrees with her.”
The OP tried to talk to their boyfriend’s mother about it.
“I asked her for her sources after hearing this, since I was curious to see her perspective.”
“I don’t think I did it rudely, I just said something along the lines of ‘Can I ask what your sources are?’
“She shouted at me, saying that I was ‘disrespectful to her and she’s my elder’ and that I’m a kid so ‘I don’t know s**t.’ (I’m 18, a health science major, and I work in pharmacy.)”
“I did my research using science journals from NIH (national institute of health) and NCBI (national centre for biotech info) on the meds, and I trust his doc’s decision.”
“Alice usually gets info from alternative medicine websites and Facebook.”
The OP was upset about the whole situation.
“I feel like the whole situation’s unfair; Alice pays almost no attention to my bf’s mental health and I’m the one monitoring my bf for negative side effects from the meds.”
“However, I feel as though maybe I disrespected her, because I questioned her actions and was taught to not question my elders as a kid.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP was right to support the doctors.
“NTA. It’s funny how people like this mom think they know more than doctors. I can’t stand new age quackery.”
“Unfortunately, your BF is in a bad situation, but it probably is worth risking the tuition than sacrificing his prescribed medication/mental health. He needs to get away from the controlling and toxic behavior of his mom.” – DrMindbendersMonocle
“NTA. You only asked for her references, I would have been more insulting and asked what medical school she graduated from and where she did her residency.”
“Some ‘elders’ are not wise they are just older than you. Good on you for watching out for your boyfriend. Good luck.” – myglasswasbigger
“I am a witch, and even I say LISTEN TO THE DOCTOR. If your boyfriend’s brain isn’t producing or reacting to its own chemicals properly, all the amethyst on the d**n planet is not going to help.”
“As someone who takes a fairly heavy dose of daily SSRIs, suddenly stopping them can be absolutely devastating AND extremely dangerous.”
“Keep your BF’s mom away from his meds and away from him if possible. She is dangerous.”
“ALWAYS question your elders when something seems wrong. Asking questions & searching for answers is how we grow as a species.” – Maelstrom_Witch
Others agreed and emphasized how terrible this situation could be for the OP’s boyfriend.
“NTA – as someone who has gone cold turkey off of her antidepressants before (not by choice, the pharmacy screwed up) this is EXTREMELY dangerous!”
“If he wanted to wean himself off of them with a psychiatrist supervising for this new treatment (snake oil or not), that would be one thing but the way your description is it sounds like that’s not happening.”
“If he does that and it doesn’t make him physically sick then he’s going to be at a much higher risk of hurting himself or someone else.” – The_silver_sparrow
“NTA. Will she still have the same opinion if God forbid something happens due to restricting/withholding meds?”
“Surely this classes as some sort of physical, emotional, and financial abuse (financial due to the threats to cut him off) where you guys live and can be reported?”
“And is 18 not old enough where you are for her not to be able to get his meds for him or anything without his permission so he can take them himself? What a shame I hope everything works out for you all and your bf gets what he needs and wants.” – fairyunicorn19
“Oh god! Depression and medication are No Joke. You are fully aware that you CANNOT quit SSRIs cold turkey – I hope that you can help her understand that!”
“Your boyfriend is lucky you are watching out for him. Not understanding facts doesn’t make her mentally ill, but I do feel it has to be asked whether or not she (thinking genetics) displays any sort of mental health issues.”
“As you know, A Lot of mentally not-well people think they can cure their own ‘problems’ with essential oils, crystals etc. (my SIL told us an immersive yoga workshop was gonna ‘cure’ her).”
“NTA, good luck & I hope your bf stays well.” – FrootLoop47
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“He has a book safe that we’ll most likely put to use.”
“He’s also planning on telling his doctor that he wants to switch his med pickups to the pharmacy I work at (it’s a retail pharmacy), so we can more easily get him his meds without his mom’s knowledge (I’m allowed to sell prescriptions to family/people I know, under legal restrictions of course).”
The OP thought they might have been wrong to argue with their boyfriend’s mother, but the subReddit begged to differ. Messing around with prescription medication, especially when it’s associated with mental health, is dangerous, and the boyfriend needed an advocate while he was building the confidence to stand up for himself.