Understanding LGBTQ+ Mental Health
Mental health struggles are unfortunately common in the LGBTQ+ community, for a variety of reasons. People with a gender identity or sexual orientation outside the “norm” face challenges that can take a toll on their mental health. For example, a shocking number of transgender adults report they have considered suicide.
If you are the loved one of someone within this community going through mental health challenges, you may have trouble understanding LGBTQ+ mental health. Whether you are experiencing mental health concerns, or worried about someone you love, this guide can help you navigate the ins and outs of LGBTQ+ mental health.
What Is Minority Stress?
Minority stress is the idea that certain minority groups, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and others, face social challenges that cause excess stress. That stress can lead to poor mental health or a serious mental health condition.
Discrimination and violence are not uncommon occurrences for young people who identify as LGBTQ+, as they have less control over their environment. The minority stress model can help LGBTQ+ populations and other minority groups understand the issues they face compared to the majority population.
If you or a loved one begins experiencing mental health issues, it is possible that your social surroundings may be a major contributing factor. Of course, the answer is more complicated than just moving and that is not always possible. Mental health treatment is invaluable, and a mental health professional will be able to identify the stressors and offer the solutions needed.
Common Mental Health Challenges for LGBTQ+ People
Minority stress is far from the only mental health disorder common among the LGBTQ+ community. Depression, substance abuse, self-harm, and suicidal ideation are common among lesbian, gay, and transgender adults and young people. Many in these groups have attempted suicide, and depressive mental health symptoms and eating disorders are common compared to heterosexual peers.
The LGBTQ+ community is subject to mental health disparities, such as discrimination and less access to mental health services. They are less likely to be insured and may be prevented from seeking mental health resources. Youth mental health is especially a concern, because the minor’s caretakers may be unwilling to recognize their sexual or gender identity or allow them to seek health care.
In the past, many LGBTQ+ identities were considered mental illness, and conversion therapy is still common. Even with affordable mental health care, many gay and transgender individuals do not trust professional help for their mental health conditions. Family rejection and physical abuse are persistent worries, so some choose to bury their problems rather than acknowledge them and seek help.
Support Options for Members of the LGBTQ+ Community
There are plenty of mental health support options for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Mental health issues, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders may seem impossible to overcome, but with help from medical professionals and the community, they can be managed.
Many community resources are available in the LGBTQ+ community, depending on where you live. With some research or the help of a mental health professional, you can find local resources tailored to your sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ+ youth at risk in their homes can find shelter and support.
The best support for mental health issues, psychiatric disorders, and substance misuse is with professional help. A therapist can provide the healthcare you need and there are many affordability options. Younger transgender individuals can rely on organizations like the Child Mind Institute that help with the various mental health conditions and risk factors young people face.
How Synergy Mental Wellness Can Help
Synergy Mental Wellness is dedicated to helping our clients with their mental health problems using personalized and private care. We work with you at every stage of treatment. Whatever orientation and gender identity you identify as, we respect and recognize your personal mental health care needs.
Our services are based online, meaning we are always available to you. We work out conferencing, resources, and medication with you. Our staff is friendly and professional, with plenty of experience treating mental disorders in sexual and gender minorities.
Reach Out for the Mental Health Support You Need
Many transgender people, especially transgender youth, face difficulties for reasons related to the way they are treated for their gender expression. More than half of the LGBTQ+ population faces suicidal ideation, and LGBT adults also have specific pains and stressors. Young adults, including bisexual youth, face bullying and isolation from their peers in many cases.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are on average at greater risk of mental health problems. If you or a loved one falls into this category, it is never too soon to reach out for help. Synergy Mental Wellness is here for you, always reachable through our website.