Did you know that those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning experience more mental health issues than the general population? Why is this? One possible explanation is the fact that the LGBTQ community experiences “minority stress,” in the form of discrimination, prejudice, bias, harassment, exclusion, rejection, violence, and social stigma.
In fact, not only is there a stigma associated with the LGBTQ+ community, but there is still a stigma surrounding mental illness. Fear of being labeled, ridiculed, or rejected may leave you feeling too uncomfortable to talk about your struggles with anyone, be it friends, family, or even mental health professionals.
But suffering in silence can have dangerous – even deadly –consequences. Not reaching out can lead to a lack of treatment, a decline in mental health, and sadly, even suicide.
Common Issues Facing the LGBTQ+ Community
- In the United States, about 20 percent of the general population will experience a mental health condition in any given year. But members of the LGBTQ+ community are particularly at risk of developing PTSD or a substance use disorder, and three times as likely to struggle with an illness such as general anxiety disorder or depression.
- 25 percent of the LGBTQ+ community abuse alcohol and other substances, compared to about 10 percent of the general population.
- According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, members of the LGBTQ+ community are at an increased risk of suicide.
- Youth who identify as transgender are four times more likely to develop depression than their peers. An alarming 40 percent of transgender adults have attempted suicide – compared to 5 percent of the general population.
- Internalized homophobia, which is the embarrassment, shame, or prejudice sometimes unknowingly “absorbed” by oneself due to growing up in a hostile and discriminatory society, can lead to relationship conflicts, domestic violence, and low self-esteem.
Free Psychological Self-Tests
Do you think you might be struggling with more than the blues or occasional sadness? Take this free depression test here
Is your anxiety causing you distress and interfering with your life? Take this free anxiety quiz and learn more.
Take this suicide screening test to determine your risk.
Could you be the victim of workplace bullying? Check out this quick quiz and find out.
All of the therapists at Deepwater Counseling are LGBTQ+ friendly, culturally sensitive, and religion neutral. You’ll be given a safe and supportive space to explore your sexuality and relationships, feelings and emotions, struggles and pain points, or anything else on your mind. We’ll help you learn tools and coping skills to help you build confidence, self-acceptance, and resilience. Through compassionate and judgment-free counseling, we’ll help you find healing so you can thrive and live your most authentic life. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Reach out at 734.203.0183 or contact us here to learn more or schedule an appointment.