I am sure a specific person or group of people popped into your head immediately as you read this title. If you are someone who does not believe in mental health, this is NOT an article meant to disrespect your beliefs. It is giving those who believe in mental health tools to help respect their beliefs while caring for their own needs. We must always respect and hold value for others’ beliefs, just as you would want someone to respect your own.
Now that we have addressed respect for beliefs, let’s learn to care for our mental health while respecting others. Number one: focus on getting better. Healing is a personal journey in which you can seek help from licensed professionals and loved ones who understand your needs. It is important to listen to licensed professionals, as they know what is best for you. You are not the first patient, and you won’t be the last for your provider. Find someone you can place all of your trust in. That is essential.
If nonbelievers don’t understand your condition and ask you about it, please refer them to some sources to help them learn more about it. Remember to thank the person for trying to understand and broadening their perspective. It is a learning moment for them, and that should be honored. However, it is essential to note that the nonbeliever must show interest and ask. Take it slow, and never push someone into any belief. No one likes others to impart their beliefs to them.
Unfortunately, in this world, polarizing beliefs can hurt relationships. If someone is hurting you or unsupportive of your mental health, you have every right to distance yourself from them to care properly for yourself. If someone hinders your healing process, it does not mean cutting them out since it is for your recovery. It is not selfish to put your mental health first.
Actually, it is one of the most selfless things you can do. Why? Because when you are caring and loving to yourself, your relationships will be positively affected and bettered by it. It is like the old saying, “you cannot love someone if you cannot love yourself.” That does not just go for romantic relationships but for all personal relationships. When you think of it like that, you’re taking the proper steps for healthy relationships with yourself and others.
In your life, you will come across people with all different beliefs (mental health-related or not). However, it is not as much about convincing them to believe what you believe. Instead, learn about each other’s perspectives to better understand one another. We must remember that people form their own beliefs based on their experiences and perceptions. Most often, it is not out of ill intent but more a result of specific experiences and/or ways of life. Hold value for and honor each other.