Overcoming the Stigma Around Medication With Actor Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs is an actor who has appeared on Broadway, in several TV shows, and in many movies. He’s best known for his roles in "Rent," the TV series "Private Practice," and the movies "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Brown Sugar," "The Best Man," and "Malibu’s Most Wanted."

Currently, he stars in "All American," a TV show that appears on The CW that has been renewed for its fifth season. He’ll also be hosting a new reality dating show called "Back in the Groove."

He’s written several children’s books that address tough issues like teasing, racial injustice, and separated families.

Why Taye Diggs Is Mentally Strong

Taye didn’t have to tell anyone that he struggled with insomnia or that he started medication. But he decided to make his story public.

He wants to encourage other people to ask for help if they need it and to get help sooner than he did.

He waited 13 years to see a doctor for his insomnia, and he wants other people to open up to their doctor sooner if they’re experiencing any physical or mental health issue.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • When Taye’s difficulties with sleep began
  • The incident that helped him see how serious his problem had become
  • The steps he had tried to take to help himself sleep better
  • Why he resisted talking to his doctor
  • The link between Taye’s anxiety and his insomnia
  • How he tried to convince himself that he didn’t have a problem
  • How his life changed when he started treatment
  • How he addressed the discomfort he felt about asking for help
  • Why Taye decided to start taking medication
  • What he thinks about the stigma associated with taking medication
  • How to get over the discomfort or embarrassment associated with talking to your doctor about an issue

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

Sometimes we think we should be able to power through any type of problem we face. Or, we convince ourselves that the symptoms we’re experiencing are normal—and that we shouldn’t address them.

But it takes mental strength to acknowledge when something isn’t right and to talk to someone about it. Asking for help is tough. But usually, that first step is the toughest.

It’s important to remember that professionals will share their opinions with you. They might recommend medication, therapy, diet changes, and alternative treatments but ultimately, you’re the expert on what type of treatment you want to try.

Quotes From Taye

Taye Diggs

People don't realize how important a good night's sleep is. It's just as important, if not more, as eating and drinking.

— Taye Diggs
  • "There's a stigma that goes along with the word [insomnia]. And, I always thought that those people were weird or were walking around like zombies, that they never slept ever throughout the night. And it was what I was suffering from—just not being able to allow [my] body to do what it does naturally."
  • "All of the dynamics around me were the same, but the way I viewed them and the way I [could] attack life was different. And that's just cool."

More About the Podcast

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Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you.

For media or public speaking inquiries, contact Amy here.

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.