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As you know, the secular community is a marginalized one. Some of us reside in Bible Belt areas where our secular identity is hidden to avoid scrutiny. Others, covet their secular values from family and peers with the fear of being ostracized.

When our identities are limited in scope, depression can/will rear its head. At every turn, we need to take care of our minds.

What do you do to ensure your mental health is optimum?

Sapio_Ink 7 Dec 10

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I didn't hide my beliefs in my largely fundamentalist southern baptist community. I wish at times I had not been so vocal with my family because I had pretty much alienated them at a young age (probably about 12) but that was because I was venting about the very same frustrations you speak of. It had to happen.

In public, I saw no need to expose myself but I was quick to tell the religious I encountered I wanted nothing to do with them.

At 15, I was performing in a series of several mostly heavy metal bands which brought out "my people". You may look for such gatherings in areas that interest you. We are abundant in the arts and scientific communities, even in the deep south.

The Universal Unitarian Church works for some but it didn't me. They are widely accepting but their "every religion is right" inclusiveness still left me feeling isolated.

Finally, I moved. First to Atlanta where I found religion (or lack thereof) was never an issue. Of course, I was working and socializing in the arts communities. I'm sure the same can be said of many urban areas in the south but I now blissfully reside in Las Vegas where every culture is generally accepted. "God" here is the holy dollar bill though so, if you don't have a lot of them, it can be quite a struggle.

Most importantly you've identified the potential problem. Use the resources you have to alleviate it. Follow your dreams and concentrate on the things you enjoy, whatever hobbies you may have.

You now have this site as well, which lists those close to you. It is growing nicely so, if there are none close to you now, there could be soon.

You can "vent" to us online too. That may be preferable to alienating your family! Welcome!

Ya, I was involved with the Unitarians for a while; they do a lot of world-wide volunteer work---- but they didn't cut it with me either

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Connect with as many positive people as you can that don't use religion as a badge of 'judgement' easy to say I am sure depending on the community you live in but the internet opens up new worlds and connections for everyone... It is the group 'think' that makes most people conform most people find it just too hard to swim against the 'tide' I wish your secular family well...

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Watch tv, read comic books, exercise, spend time with friends and family who don't piss me off, try to act how I think a good person acts, get lazy, take hot baths in the dark. Honestly religion or the lack thereof is such a small part of my day to day that it doesn't really affect me all that much. Though I do enjoy discussions on morality and philosophy.

TL;DR do what you enjoy and try to take it easy.

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It is certain that knowledge and truth will not 'set you free'--- but it will limit the number of people one can communicate with. Try being a 'star' in the 'World of Looney' and you will have thousands of followers.

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Most members of my family are believers so I avoid certain topics around them. I have a couple of nephews who are atheists; unfortunately I do not get the opportunity to see them very often. I do follow some atheist sites on facebook; but this site has become my go to community for some enlightened, and entertaining, conversation.

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When it comes to religion, all that know me are fully aware I’m non religious. For some that is horrible, while others could care less. Bottom line, I’m fully honest with my faith or lack there of. I deserve to be allowed to believe what I want!!! If you don’t like it, to bad.

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Someone once told me non religious people are lost sheep and that I was a fool for not believing in god. He was also a bit of a open racist. So I asked him if he believes god or Jesus was White. Then I asked him to think real hard in that one. He was smart because he knew I wouldn't be ordering parts from there company again if he would've lost that account. Well heaven help him.

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I live in the buckle of the Bible belt, Memphis, Tennessee and I have to be very careful where I express my opinion and how I express them. There are religious zealots everywhere, ready to label you as the antichrist or the devil.
I try to exercise as much as I can to keep my mental health to an optimum and I learn languages. My friends tolerate my viewpoints even though they disagree. They always talk about something called "pure consciousness" which I don't know what it is but for them it's the equivalent of god. I always challenge them to have an MRI or EEG of their brain when they reach that particular state but they have passed on my challenge. I really believe that if they reach that state is because something happens in their brain. It has nothing to do with god or the outside world.

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I am coping just fine, last week I converted 2 more evangelical christians by feeding their doubt; one is now an agnostic the other has seen the light of evidence and truth and is now a full blown atheist.
The feeling of positive energy this gives me to help my community is amazing.
Freedom from delusions and the fear it instills is truly empowering.

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I'm constantly surrounded by Christians.

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Therapy and activism, mostly online.

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Work out. Get plenty of sleep. Eat Right. Get massages. Spend time with people you enjoy being around.

BD66 Level 7 Dec 10, 2017
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My mental health is never optimum. But I find talking to people who accept me and doing me, it the best I can do. So, I bask in my unadulterated nerdiness and seek ways to spread kindness. 🙂

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One beneficial way has been to do extensive research in understanding why people believe in the first place and the underlying reasons why they are prejudice toward atheists. Blogging has also helped my mental health because it gave me a voice, allowed me to justly vent, and provided a medium to share the research.

Listening to music, being creative, making short info-type videos, advocating for human rights, and getting involved in secular online communities has also been quite beneficial. Friendships have beautifully blossomed as a result.

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Believe in myself and know that just because alot of people believe something, doesn't make it truth. I do follow teachings of Buddha and do not judge people for what they believe or how they behave. That is on them. I try to focus on myself, I have the power to cause ripple affects with everything I say or do. Being the best I can be gives me comfort as well as finding you all on this site let's me know that there are others who have not surrendered to the mass delusions.

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In my small town it is school, church and work....then politics and the mundane.
The internet is wonderful. I subscribe to the NY Times.....not for the liberal "bent" ( most good writing is of a "liberal bent' anyway!) Simply for the pleasure of great articles, education and a peek at the outside world.

Udder 'n dat....lots and lots of good music!

twill Level 7 Dec 12, 2017
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Whose ever lied to Jehovah's witnesses on purpose because I do this everytime, I tell you the shit I come up with and the look on there faces oh just priceless la de da da they hand me a Bible and they say there preyer go on there way the Bible goes in the recycling bin. Just curious.

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