Society at large should be more accepting of men who show their emotions, their feelings, and of those men that openly seek help. The stigma against men who show their vulnerability should be eradicated. Regardless of gender, it should be okay for anyone to ask, find and eventually accept help. In a still mostly patriarchal society in which men are expected to be invincible, it could be challenging to ask for help. Gay men, on the other hand, not only experience the stigma against showing vulnerability, but receive twice as much hate because of their sexual orientation. Because of this, when they need help, they’re forced to look for therapy online.
Gay men need access to quality mental health care. Findings in a scientific study revealed that gay men are especially vulnerable to depression and suicidal tendencies. Furthermore, the study adds that the prevalence of depression among gay men is at least three times higher than the general population. Depression is a risk factor for suicide. It causes the most number of male deaths.
Gay Men In Our Society: Everyday Struggles With Mental Health
As a part of the LGBT+ community, gay men share the struggle with the rest of their peers. They are constantly trying to live their lives being true to themselves. Though the world is a lot more accepting now than it was before acceptance for the members of the LGBT+ community was brought to attention, it doesn’t mean that everyone shares the same sentiments.
In fact, because of fear of being abandoned and not accepted by their family and friends, a lot of gay men remain closeted and have to live their lives under a veil of protection. It, of course, leads them to a cycle of self-hatred because they’re lying to themselves all this time. Self-destructive thoughts of never being good enough arise. The fear of being ostracized from society constantly remains in their mind. Because of this, and the stigma against being men and being a member of the LGBT+ community, depression may develop.
Some studies suggest that, although most sexual minority individuals are well adjusted, non-heterosexuals may be at somewhat heightened risk for depression, anxiety, and related problems, compared to exclusive heterosexuals
Depression, PTSD, and anxiety are among some mental illnesses gay men are susceptible to. Aside from mental health problems, gay men are also at risk with other health-related threats. Because of all these risk factors, gay men have tried seeking assistance. However, even in the industry providing health care, they still face discrimination. With nowhere to go, gay men and other members of the LGBT+ community are forced to overcome their problems, fears, and concerns alone.
How Can They Safely Ask For Help?
If traditional treatment methods aren’t readily available, you can always turn to online therapy. With online therapy, you don’t have to worry about seeing other people you know, physically driving towards the therapist’s office, adjust to a new surrounding, face possible discrimination, and a better chance at having the treatment done covertly.
Through online therapy, patients undergo the same methods done through traditional therapy, but an online medium. Therapy sessions can be done through voice or video calls. You can also do it through texts or email correspondence, and either individually or by a group. In an online setting, there are fewer risks, which is why online therapy is recommended for you. It’s safe, cheap and can be customized to fit into your mental and emotional needs.
Gay men, bi men, men, in general, are urged and encouraged to attend online counseling if they can. There’s less pressure when the online realm acts as a buffer against human interaction privy to fear, discrimination and abandonment. A licensed professional will still guide you through your journey and talk to your concerns and fears with you.
Traveling toward a healthy mind is difficult. You’d have to practice the art of self-care and to learn to be more open about yourself and to others. As a member of the LGBT+ community, revealing yourself can be tough. But to heal the past traumas you’ve developed through the years, you’ve got to learn how to let go and embrace yourself for who you are—regardless of what others may think.
Same-sex marriage has already been legalized by all fifty states in America. It is one of the greatest triumphs of the LGBT community in New York so far, and it signals toward realizing a society that is free from irrational discrimination and hate. Indeed, in no time we can achieve a utopia where each one of us is treated equally and given the same opportunity to build our own homes, where same-sex couples can establish parenting identities like any other individual. They can express their compassion and unconditional love towards the person they love regardless of sexual orientation, and build a family with them.
The idea of building a family with the love of your life is not only common for opposite-sex couples. Even lovebirds of the same sex think of it too; that’s why they consider getting married. While some find it a bit scary, others seem to want to pull the hours so that it will come fast.
Being part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, collectively referred to as the LGBT community, can be a proud and empowering fact. Around 91 percent of LGBT members are not ashamed to be part of this community.
However, being part of the LGBT community can be very difficult at times due to the intense societal discrimination that they sometimes face. These difficulties can have an adverse impact on their mental well-being, and indeed they are more prone to psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. This article seeks to quantify the incidence of stress and depression in the LGBT community, identifies factors that contribute to this phenomenon, and suggests ways to counteract it.
Manifestations Of Stress And Depression
The incidence of stress and depression can be very high for the LGBT, with an incidence rate of around 30 to 60 percent that is 1.5 to 2.5 higher than that of non-LGBT members. The amount of stress that they receive can be enormous, and they are exposed to it whether they go.
Around 37% of LGBT feel unsafe at school due to their gender expression, 55% have experienced verbal harassment, and 11% became the target of the physical assault. Meanwhile, LGBT members are frequently also targeted even by family members. There are severe cases that their own family kicked them out of the house. Evidence of this is the fact that around 40$ of homeless youth identify as part of the LGBT community.
Around 70% of the LGBT experience feelings of worthlessness, while approximately 95% have sleep problems due to stress. The amount of pressure they receive can damage their mental health, making them prone to more disorders. They have a higher incidence of drug use, risky behavior such as drunk driving, and suicide. As will be shown later, several factors contribute to the vulnerability of LGBT members to mental health disorders such as stress and depression.
Stressors For The LGBT
We all live in a heteronormative world. Most people still treat homosexuality as deviance from normal behavior instead of just a regular occurrence. Hence, many LGBT members feel that they are not normal or that there is something wrong with them. Also, many of them are still afraid to embrace their gender expression or sexual orientation.
They may also be afraid of how others would react if they come out. These fears are not unjustified given that the incidence of LGBT-targeted violence and isolation is common. In summary, they are experience confusion between expressing themselves and protecting themselves from the world. This mental tension can cause their mental health to suffer.
Providing Adequate Mental Healthcare
However, all is not lost in ensuring that LGBT members receive adequate mental health care. LGBT members can be protected from mental health disorders. This is especially true if they have a good support system. They need a loving family and caring friends that will accept them fully and without judgment. They can also be provided a safe space to protect them from mentally damaging discrimination.
Social interaction with LGBT members can help forge their sense of identity and increase their confidence, knowing that they are with kindred souls. Finally, enabling easy access to professional mental health care providers can help them seek out therapy and counseling when they need it the most.
Mental health counselors probably have encountered a lot of heartbreaking stories from LGBT patients. And these stories are due to homophobia and heterosexualism. Many of the LGBT would feel different merely because they are not heterosexuals. They want to speak out but are afraid to do it.
The LGBT community, more commonly known as the gay community, is a group that pertains to the gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexuals who have come together as an organization bound together by a common culture. These communities are comprised individuals who practice freedom by celebrating gay pride, individualism, and diversity through rallies, parades, and campaigns.
Gay villages, LGBT conformist groups, gay student organizations and LGBT rights groups are considered part of the LGBT community, although not all LGBT individuals are not active participants and do not consider themselves a part of this community.
Like most men and women, there are also distinct LGBT individuals around the world who have made a difference one way or another. They have not only become famous for their unique appearances and personalities but also because of their ability to fight for their rights and excel in their careers of their current positions.
Here are some of the LGBT individuals/conformists/activists who have ignited change and made a name for themselves.
Ellen DeGeneres. Before she became the rich and famous TV show host that she is today, Ellen was ridiculed and lost her advertisements when she went public about her sexuality. In an interview a few years ago, she said she was so afraid to come out and let the world know that she was a lesbian, but she did – and in no less than her TV show!
Lynn Conway. Lynn Conway was an important property of IBM until she came out and spoke of her desire to become a female. IBM immediately fired her, a clearly biased move, which encouraged Conway to seek the help and support of the Board of Directors of the world’s biggest engineering professional society, the Institution of Electrical And Electronic Engineers. Her action was successful.
In 2014 a code of regulations and protections for transgender individuals was established. Conway was then included among the top transgender individuals who influenced the American culture by Time Magazine.
Laverne Cox. One of the stars in the popular series Orange is the New Black, Laverne continues her advocacy for the trans community, speaking about lesbians and gays around the world and how they are special and beautiful, just like everyone else.
Richard Isay. One of the headstrong and fierce gay activists in his time, Richard is remembered for charging a lawsuit against the American Psychoanalytic Association for discriminating LGBT individuals. After the deliberation, the association soon allowed lesbians and gays to train as analysts and in 1997 expressed its support for gay marriage.
Harvey Milk. The LGBT’s gay rights icon, Harvey was a politician and the first openly gay Mayor in San Francisco, California. He was also a visionary and a human rights activist. His battle for equal rights was short-lived, however, as he was assassinated a year after being elected. Various books and movies have been made about him, one being titled after his surname, “Milk,” which starred Sean Penn.
Janet Mock. Mock is a trans woman, an LGBT activist and a bestselling writer. She is an advocate for equal rights of transgender individuals, especially black trans women. Her book “Redefining Realness” topped the New York Times at no. 19, and she continues to shine as an editor at Marie Claire, where it all started for her in 2011.
Although most countries have embraced the transgender community as part of their own, LGBT individuals still suffer from bullying and discrimination, leading to a large majority of them to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. BetterHelp is a reliable website to find more information about mental illnesses. The stigma is undeniably still present but continues to fade as they make beautiful noise in their career and their personal lives.
What I am or have hasn’t been clinically defined. Some say that I’m simply shy or an introvert. I sometimes feel like what I have is a disease, like there is something in my brain that prevents me from thoroughly enjoying another’s presence.
After the worldwide recognition of the LGBT community where most of the country considered them part of the minority, they have been more vocal about their relationship with same sex. This allowed them to express themselves and be open about their intimate relationship towards their other half. However, issues arise with regard to the healthcare problems especially on the act of sexual intercourse.
Impact on health and wellbeing
The World Health Organizations has always been adamant about having a sexual relationship with same sex. Ever since the rampant cases of AIDS and HIV came to their concern, they publicly announce the dangers of having unsanitized sexual intercourse. There have been reported cases that between 70% and 78% of gays had an STD and it is still growing in numbers up until today.
While monogamy among gay men is present in the community of LGBT, the potential infection can occur in acts such as oral sex, rectal sex, fecal sex, and urine sex. This can greatly increase the risk of medical consequences that often times associated with deaths. The list of sexual practices leads to numerous physical injuries and spread a higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases. It is reported that a huge percentage of the LGBT group is active on sexual acts and almost 80% of gays (mostly men) are recorded to have different sexual partners.
It is well recognized that homosexuals are engaged in more destructive activities which somehow backed up a study that they usually die young and lose 20 years of life expectancy. In line with mental health issues, a Dutch study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with same-sex sex. Several studies suggest that gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals appear to have higher rates of some mental disorders caused by emotional stress from rejection, depression, discrimination, and abuse.
The Oral-Anal Contact
One of the most common sexual acts that most gay men practice is oral-anal contact. Certain studies show that 90% of gay men have engaged in regular rectal intercourse. It gives an extremely high rate of parasitic and other intestinal infections due to the mixture of lubricant, saliva, and germs that is considered direct substances of infectious diseases. Apart from that, the internal bruising or tearing of the anal wall is very common during anal or penile sex which can also lead to a fast spread of bacteria such as Salmonellosis, Neisseria meningitides, Shigellosis, Pediculosis, scabies, Campylobacter, and etc.
The community is aware of the rampant cases of HIVs, STDs, and even AIDS. As far as the World Health Organization is concerned, parts of the LGBT community still have the freedom to express their rights to a marital union (in some countries) and allow them to experience intimate and sexual bond. Though it is frequently addressed as ‘inappropriate,’ the awareness of lesbian, gays, and bisexual sexual intercourse are put into consideration.
The Societal expectation of the LGBT community has arisen for more than a decade, and their fight against equality has always been their top priority. Though there might have been some enlightenment on their side of the issue and the world is now accepting them than it was years ago, there are still facts and figures around the world that doesn’t support their advocacies. In most cases, it happens to be the reason why coming out is an unfathomable struggle.