A recent survey conducted by the Census Bureau indicated that 60% of LGBTQ+ participants between the ages of 18 - 29 show symptoms of anxiety and 50% show symptoms of depression - significantly higher than non-LGBTQ+ participants in the same age group. When mental health disorders go untreated, they will continue to get worse and can manifest themselves in poor professional and personal relationships and unhealthy life choices. In previous generations, queer behavior was sometimes considered a mental disorder in and of itself, which led many people in the community to avoid therapy. Today, certain therapists specialize in the unique mental health needs predominant in the LGBTQ+ community and create a safe space for clients. Learn more about LGBTQ therapy specialties.
It can take some people a long time to come to terms with their sexuality, especially if they previously identified as straight. It can be particularly difficult for these patients to present themselves authentically to others. Transgender patients will have to face the difficulty of publically undergoing a gender reassignment, and they'll have to come to terms with their new identity and body after the fact.
Many members of the LGBTQ+ community struggle with self-love for a range of reasons, including outside ridicule and the crushing weight of disappointing certain family members. Therapists will work to improve the patient's self-esteem by reciting words of affirmation and changing self-loathing thinking patterns.
While not as common in today's social climate, some family members will disown a relative for being queer. When this happens, the patient may let fear of abandonment overcome them and impact future relationships. The abandonment issues may manifest themselves in an angry manner.
Young people should have fun and experiment in moderation. Some patients struggle with self-control and may let their impulses guide them toward substance abuse, unprotected sex, and other risky behaviors. A therapist will get to the bottom of why the patient feels the need to act so impulsively and teach them effective ways to check themselves before making bad decisions.
When things get so bad that a patient doesn't want to wake up in the morning anymore, a therapist must recognize the signs and get the patient help as soon as possible. Suicidal thoughts are an emergency situation. Luckily, with the right treatment (and the right LGBTQ+ therapist), a person can move past that dark stage in their life.Share