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
“Some people, particularly men, are more likely to externalize their depression,” says Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD. And 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.
““Coming out” can be an emotionally charged time punctuated by numerous transitions and changes.” Joseph Manera, PsyD said. 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. Nicole Issa, PsyD said, “Much of the information they are exposed to is negative and harmful, and thus only reinforces the feeling of isolation.” 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.