Just like heterosexuals, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people seek help for clinical and life issues like depression, grief, anxiety, work stress, couple’s therapy and so on. Most of these issues have little to do with sexual orientation or gender identity. Others, on the other hand, are intimately connected to the LGBT identity.
Regardless of the reason why you are seeking therapy, it is important that you feel supported and allowed to speak freely. This is important especially for those dealing with the double stigma of LGBT orientation and mental issues.
Whenever you need counseling, search TherapyTribe to get a therapist who is either LGBT friendly, openly LGBT or one who deals with issues facing the LGBT community.
LGBT mental health issues and coping with stigma
Research shows that LGBT people are at higher risk for anxiety, depression, and substance abuse or addiction. The stigma and discrimination faced by LGBT individuals on a regular basis from family members, society, peers, classmates, and co-workers have led to risk for mood disorders and addiction in the LGBT community.
Stigma impedes the well-being of the affected individual according to Clarityclinic.com.
Here are some tips that can help those coping with the stigma associated with an LGBT orientation:
- Learn more- Learning more will help you understand that stigma surrounding an LGBT orientation is always wrong
- Surround yourself with the right people- It is a good idea to surround yourself with supportive people. These people can be supportive family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors or those who may be facing the same challenges as you.
- Seek help from a professional- If you are dealing with a mental illness caused by stress from stigma, then it may be good to seek proper treatment as it will help you feel less isolated.
- Share your experiences with others who can relate- This can have a positive effect on your outlook on life.
- Join a political or advocacy group- Doing this will help you combat unfair treatment or unjust policies of the LGBT community.
Due to the stressors that LGBT groups have to confront such as societal discrimination, homophobia, and prejudice, coming out and negotiating family relationships, getting a therapist who is openly LGBT or one who specializes in LGBT issues can be very helpful to any LGBT individual out there.