If you identify as a member of the LGBTQ community, you have a higher likelihood of experiencing a mental health condition like generalized anxiety disorder or major depression.
This stems from the prejudice and negativity that you may face. Rather than facing your challenges alone, you may benefit from working with an understanding, inclusive provider such as Dr. Nisha.
Who is Affected
Mental health issues are a common experience for much of the LGBTQ community, and young people are especially vulnerable. Studies show that LGBTQ teens experience more bullying and mistreatment than their heterosexual peers. Gender-nonconforming and transgender youth were between three and 13 times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder.
If you are LGBTQ and struggle with your mental health, you are not alone. Whether you are out to family and friends or you are struggling with when and how to come out, there is help available. You don’t have to struggle alone.
Causes of Mental Health Issues in the LGBTQ Community
If you are experiencing a mental health issue as a member of the LGBTQ community, it’s important to know, first and foremost, that it is not your fault. It is not a situation you created for yourself. Mental health issues like anxiety and depression stem from a number of factors, including genetics and trauma. Some other factors that are specific to LGBTQ individuals include:
You may have experienced prejudice due to your sexual orientation or gender identity. Some of the prejudice you may have faced stems from discrimination, abuse, harassment, and family rejection.
There is a higher rate of substance abuse in the LGBTQ community. This stems from prejudice, lack of adequate health care, and a lack of support. More than 20 percent of LGBTQ individuals abuse alcohol or substances.
As a member of the LGBTQ community, you may have experienced less than adequate healthcare. In the past, being gay or transgender was considered a mental illness, and although things have progressed, there are still health care providers who aren’t up-to-date on the needs of the LGBTQ community.
Types of Mental Health Issues Experienced by the LGBTQ Community
LGBTQ individuals may experience a variety of mental health issues, including:
- Depression, which is a persistent feeling of sadness, lethargy, and lack of interest in activities that you found enjoyable in the past.
- Anxiety, which is persistent feelings of fear and worry.
- Gender dysphoria, which is a feeling of conflict between your gender identity and the gender you were assigned at birth.
You may also be experiencing stress or challenges related to your relationships, your work, or other day-to-day experiences. They may not be directly related to your sexual or gender identity, and Dr. Nisha is happy to work with you in those situations as well.
How Counseling Can Help
Counseling can help you develop healthy coping strategies if you are struggling with mental illness. An understanding Psychologist like Dr. Nisha can help you navigate relationship and family challenges or concerns related to your gender identity. You don’t need to struggle alone, and help is readily available. All you need to do is reach out.