In the past ten years, there have been constant trials and challenges that the LGBT community has faced on equal rights. Bullying, abuse, and discrimination primarily because of the existing stigma have led the community to be highly vulnerable to various kinds of mental, behavioral, and emotional problems. If they seek the help of mental health professional, they should choose the right therapist who can capably deal with and have experience in reaching out to the gays, lesbians, and transgenders who in reality are unique in their own ways. They, too, are entitled to personalize and efficient mental health services.
“Loneliness is an epidemic, We’re the most socially connected society, yet so many people experience extreme loneliness.” psychologist Amy Sullivan, PsyD. said. With that, one mental health condition that is prevalent among the LGBT community is depression, with anxiety just a close second.
It is generally normal for teens and adolescents to explore and learn the love for freedom. However, LGBT teens are mostly stressed in an environment that is not so accepting of them, especially in the home and at school. An article from the Mental Health in Family Medicine stated that teen gays and lesbians are among the most common victims of bullying and physical abuse and usually suffer from extreme stress, depression, and anxiety. Linda A. Travis, PsyD once said, “I can’t overstress the potential fears that people have about discrimination,” she says. As a result, she says, “LGBT older adults can be reluctant to see health-care providers until their problems become so bad they can no longer avoid doing so.”
Despite the cultural and social developments in first world countries, adults in the LGBT community continue to be bombarded with many challenges and difficulties. The Journal of Women’s Health states that the higher likelihood of depression among LGBT adults is largely due to the discrimination and lack of support from society. A study done by The Gerontologists focused on the healthcare provisions that the LGBT adults are in crucial need of. It is a sad truth that this group has very little access to proper care and therapy.
Understanding Sexual Identity
Sexual identity is such an extensive topic that involves our points of view and our personal opinions when it comes to sexual and romantic relationships. There are misunderstandings and even violent reactions when discussing this topic.
One must remember that sexual identity is different from gender identity, as sexual identity refers to sexual or romantic attraction towards other people and gender identity is an individual’s personal view of self – of whether he is male, female, gay, lesbian, or both. It can be different or the same as the gender assigned to them at birth.
The Stigma Around LGBT
The LGBT community is among the most prevalent groups that are victims of stigma by other people and even by their own families, friends, and coworkers. A major reason for this is that the general population still lacks knowledge, comprehension, and empathy. Also, others somehow practice a strict belief for them to reject people who do not belong to the normal male and female categories.
Bullying also makes up a large percentage of the pie on the major matters that cause LGBT anxiety and depression. “There is no remorse or “just kidding.” The final hallmark of bullying behavior is the intent and knowledge that they can, and likely will, do it again and can purposely keep people on guard.” Paul Schwartzman, LMHC, MS, DAPA explains. It seems that prejudiced students, parents, and other individuals still haven’t gotten tired of criticizing those who are different from the rest, despite their skills and what good they can offer to the community. Teachers and other educators should act upon this immediately if this is present in their classrooms or school surroundings. They must help prevent this violent act from happening and educate their students about the concept of equality and discrimination.
The Need For Therapy
Aside from the issues mentioned above, LGBT individuals also experience other equally devastating problems, such as PTSD, social discrimination, and suicide. This puts them at a tremendously higher likelihood of developing mental health illnesses and suffering from low quality and access to therapy and other types of mental health care. However, as more and more studies reveal the importance of these services for the LGBT community, a lot of programs are now established to allow the community to access the services of therapists, psychologists, counselors, and even social workers.
Since depression is on top of the list of the most commonly seen mental illnesses in LGBT individuals, the need for professional help has been recognized and eventually appropriately provided.
The Right Therapist
If you are gay, lesbian, transgender, or someone who had chosen to be different from the gender assigned to him when he was born, do not be ashamed to seek therapy. And for you to get the full benefits of mental health therapy, find someone well-acquainted with the problems that you and your community have been facing. He should also be capable of understanding your sentiments and what has caused you to be anxious and depressed. Finally, the therapist must have an open mind and an empathic heart that can reach out and help you break the barriers that have been keeping you from growing into the best you can ever be.
Did you know that the number of women who have complained about domestic violence has risen over the past few years? According to a recent study, this violence does not only exist in married couples but even in couples who are just living together or even in a dating phase. This statistics is quite alarming because it can have adverse effects on the victims involved. Psychology would tell us that a battered woman may suffer not only physical abuse arising from domestic violence but also emotional ones that can lead to mental health-related issues.
“There are 3 million cases of domestic violence reported each year. Many more go unreported.” Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT said. Because if this, we see it fit to discuss the different ways on how women like you can handle domestic violence. Whether you are a victim or not, it is essential for you to read these techniques to ensure that you can protect yourself at all times. Do not wait before it is too late to act on the situation. Here are the tips to keep in mind to make you better in handling this kind of violence:
Know Your Worth
The crucial thing that you must do is to determine your worth as a person. Do not let other people tell you who you are. Instead, show them how amazing you are as an individual. Never allow your partner to hurt you physically, emotionally or verbally. You need to be strong enough to fight back and show the other person that you will never back down no matter what happens. The moment you show to someone that you recognize your worth and that you have a high level of self-esteem; he will start to fear and respect you.
Ask For Police Help
Stop caring for someone who keeps on beating you and making you doubt about your worth as a person. The best thing to do when your spouse or boyfriend hurts you is to call the police authorities. Be sure to do it fast so that the suspect or offender can be apprehended as soon as possible. Do not think of the welfare of the assailant, especially if he will be placed into jail. Always remind yourself that bad people deserve to be in prison. It is not your sole responsibility to change his old habits. Allow the state to prosecute him and render judgment based on his acts towards you.
Save Yourself And Run Away
Unfortunately, many women choose to forgive their partners after they have been molested and abused because they think that life will improve after the latter would apologize. We hate to tell and break it to you, but the truth is that a lot of offenders will never improve their attitude after you have forgiven them. The cycle will keep on running until you choose to runway from the failed relationship or broken marriage. Do not hesitate to leave the other person if it is necessary so that you can save yourself from immense pain and suffering. “It can be difficult to re-establish a healthy routine and empower yourself after a toxic relationship. Fortunately, coming to the realization that you need to let go is one of the most difficult steps.” As Heather Edwards LMHC, NCC, BCC explains. Be strong or brave enough to walk away from something that is no longer working. Think of the long-term benefits so that you will have the courage to do it.
Seek For Professional Assistance
As already mentioned above, the bad thing about being abused is that it can affect your mental health. It is the reason why you can see people who become depressed and anxious because of a negative experience that they have. If you do not want to end up like them, it is best if you will take time to seek professional help and support. Search the best therapist, counselor or psychologist who can provide you with the right assistance that you need. Take your time in choosing the best professional to protect your interests. Because “Some individuals think that couples therapy is the answer to domestic violence; however couples therapy is not recommended while the abuse is active.” that is according to Nicole Tammelleo, LCSW-R
Domestic violence is never okay, regardless of the reason that the offender will give you. Keep in mind that you deserve a happy life – away from someone who does not care for your feelings or emotions. The moment you realize that the other person is violent, be sure to save yourself while you still can. Look for someone who will not hurt you no matter how difficult times get. You are going to achieve the best things in life as long you put your heart and mind into making it happen.
China is home to some of the most hardworking and intelligent women in the world – that is a fact. To back up this claim with statistics, a report has demonstrated that, after the United States of America and Canada in the top spot, China has the second-most number of female CEOs at 2.5%. According to the same report, “half of the world’s self-made female billionaires are from China.” Nevertheless, many of them still need to get therapy online or offline to be able to deal with the stress that society puts on them.
In a patriarchal nation, after all, women hardly get praised for their achievements. More often than not, they get comments along the lines of “You are weak,” “You do not belong in the corporate world,” or “You are better off of giving birth.” Derogatory much? Can’t a woman excel not just in the family but the business life as well?
The hotter issue concerning the Chinese women in China is the partnership that the Chinese government co-hosted the “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action” with the United Nations in 2015. This summit focused on lifting and evaporating the gender barriers that are less favorable to women in terms of legislation, job, and social norms.
As it sounds very promising, one will want to hope that all the women around the globe can no longer experience discrimination just because of their gender. It seems natural to dream as well every woman can become seen as men’s equal, not only their support system. However, the fact that five Chinese female activists had been put in jail in the same year because they chose to let the public hears their sentiments about the gender discrimination was, to say the least, ruining the moment.
A few years after the summit, can we genuinely expect equality towards women sooner than later? It will be wrong to make assumptions or conclusions at the moment, but we sure can hope the following topics can be more than touched – groped, I think, is the more appropriate word – in the next global meetings.
For centuries, everyone knows how much valuable men seem to be in China compared to women. The discrimination that the latter experience in the country starts way back when their parents have found out through ultrasound that they are indeed having a bouncing baby girl, and not an adorable baby boy, which is what most Chinese families want to have. When they realize it is not a male fetus, most parents decide to have an abortion and hope that the next time they get pregnant, it is already a boy. If the pregnancy is too far along to become terminated, they let it come to full term, but they either leave it somewhere like a stray cat or treat it very poorly.
What is up with that? Given the idea that no baby can be born without the sperm cells of a man, no baby can also get created without the egg cells of a woman. Thus, men and women should get ranked in the same way. China has banned the usage of ultrasound machines so that there will be no more discriminatory abortions that can happen in the country, but the focus should be more on prohibit the process of abortion altogether instead.
There are many successful “leftover” Chinese women, and only a few of them wish to get married someday. Some say it is because they do not want to be tied down to the small task of taking care of babies and not have the time to build their entrepreneurial career. Others refuse because they do not want to meet the same fate as their other married friends who get mattered physically, emotionally and mentally.
According to the report made by the United Nations in 2013, more than 50% of the Chinese men have disclosed that they have assaulted their wife in one way or another. It was after the publicized divorce lawsuit filed by a woman against her well-known husband that China had a law passed to protect women from domestic violence.
Work discrimination is another touchy topic. There are a lot of job opportunities in China because of the enormous factories there for cars, noodles, toys, and many other products that get sold across the globe. However, only a portion of these factories has room for women. It is as if they always hang this ‘Job Vacancy’ sign in front of the gates, but as soon as a woman comes by with a biodata on hand, they flip the sign to ‘No Vacancy.’ The justice in such a case is nowhere to be found, that is for sure.
China is a very productive country. It is home to a lot of hardworking people, even though it is only beginning to accept that its women can be as good as its men, or maybe even better. Nevertheless, the gender issue in China is apparent in a lot of countries as well. We can only wish that more global summits will lead to the creation of laws that will bring equality to everyone.
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.
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. “overwhelm might manifest as an intense emotion, such as anxiety, anger or irritability; maladaptive thought process, such as worry, doubt or helplessness; and behavior, such as crying, lashing out or experiencing a panic attack.” That is according to Marla W. Deibler, PsyD.
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.
“Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is now on the world stage.” Michael Friedman Ph.D. emphasizes. Around 70% of the LGBT experience feelings of worthlessness, while approximately 95% have sleep problems due to stress. This report is can also be read on a website like whattoexpect.com. 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 experiencing confusion between expressing themselves and protecting themselves from the world. This mental tension can cause their mental health to suffer.
Providing Adequate Mental Healthcare
“historically, the mental health and health field has been a huge place of discrimination for queer folks. And, sadly, that’s still the case,” Rena McDaniel, licensed clinical counselor said. 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.