Mental health has finally come under the spotlight, more so after the pandemic. For long enough, this subject has been stigmatised and brushed under the carpet. Slowly and steadily, there is growing awareness that mental health is as important as physical health. Yet, not everyone understands its importance, and that’s exactly where the problem lies.
If you’re someone who believes in mental health care, but does not know how to break it to their parents, you are not alone. There could be several reasons for your nervousness: either you’re worried that your parents might get scared. The other scenario is that your parents might just dismiss the concept of therapy, and that’s not a pleasant thought.
So, what is the best way to approach the elephant in the room? Here are some effective ways to help you deal with this situation.
If you’ve decided to tell your parents about therapy, then make sure you have all their attention. That’s because we live in times where distractions are manifold, and it’s not a good feeling if your parents look at their phones all the time, or have other engagements to tend to. That’s why let them know that there’s an important conversation you need to have with them, and ask them to give you some time minus any distractions.
It is quite possible that you and your parents have diametrically opposite views, but let them know that you are trusting them with something that you believe in. Also, before you begin the conversation, let me know that you’d like them to be completely objective to your situation, and have no judgments or any biases. That will help you get rid of all your nervousness.
Your parents might be completely new to the concept of therapy and may have various questions floating in their minds. That’s why you must not get irritable if they throw a thousand questions at you. It could be that they are concerned about you. In case you feel they are breaching your privacy and asking you questions that you are uncomfortable with, make sure to let them know politely.
Not everyone has the same kind of thought process, and it is quite likely that your parents might get rude with you, and completely dismiss your decision of taking therapy. Be polite and ask them for their unconditional support, and let them know how much it means to you. If they still do not understand, then do not indulge in ugly banter and end the conversation right away. There’s no point harming your mental health, when the entire premise of the conversation is also around mental health.
Some conversations are not easy, but you need to exercise your boundaries, even when it comes to your parents. If you feel you do not get support, it’s fine. That shouldn’t deter you from continuing with therapy!