Phones, music and mental health?
Bob: “I love my IPhone, it has so many amazing apps, it’s so easy to use and it’s pretty resilient, I can’t see why anyone would order any other kind of phone. Look at my apple tattoo!”
Joe: “Psht, Android devices are way better, plus I can customize mine with my leet hacking skills. Get with the times apple fan boy”.
Whether in person or online we have all seen/participated in arguments very similar to this one. I know way too many people who have created lifelong aversions or loves to certain brands of technology. More than that, they will try and convince others of their choice, holding it up as the best possible choice out there. The amount that some people get into it, you think they owned part of the company.
Technology isn’t the only space this happens. It happens in music taste (hipsters who hate top forty, people who love/hate Justin Bieber, people who only listen to acoustic everything), food, and especially what makes a person attractive. At some point or another, you will be called to discuss or defend your choices in each of these categories. Sometimes people even get into heated arguments that change friendships forever. In my unique little world, I see these discussions happen around mental wellness choices as well. It goes something like this “The right food will make you happy! No, it is chocolate? Going for a run ? Accepting yourself and binge watching TV? Looking to friends for tough love? No, look to friends for acceptance!!!” And don’t even get my started on mental illness: with over 100 unique therapy types, even more meds to choose from and endless self-help books everyone thinks they have cracked the secret. And (when they are feeling up to it) they will recommend it to you. And most definitely argue over it.
After one such heated argument, I wondered why it mattered to me so much to have my choice in mental health methods validated by others. I felt like I was obsessed with making the best/right choice. I wanted to make sure that I was choosing something well researched, well supported and well liked. Then I caught myself.
What is the only thing that matters in all of these choices? It’s that it’s working for me.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best reviewed phone, most hip music taste, or highest rated care team, if it doesn’t work for you! We should always be choosing the item or method that we feel will work best for us and we should feel confident in that choice. So, if what works best for you is a Windows phone, all the Justin Bieber, and sticking with meds, then more power to you. Same goes if you want the newest android, music no one has ever heard of, and all the newest therapists and therapies. The only advice I will give you is to realize just because something works for you, doesn’t mean it will be the answer for everyone. The only advice you should give someone is to keep trying to find something that works, and stick with it when it does. Don’t expect others to agree with you, and don’t expect to agree with others choices. The only thing that matters is that whatever you choose is healthy and sustainable.
Especially when it comes to mental health!