Let’s start by putting things in context if you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) or questioning your sexual orientation or gender identity and you’re struggling with anxiety or depression. That is to say, let’s consider some significant life events that have had a significant impact on your sense of well-being.
Anxiety and depression affect between 30 to 60% of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people at some point in their life. This percentage is 1.5 to 2.5 times greater than that of their gender-conforming or heterosexual counterparts. It’s a startlingly large number, and it begs many questions. While the complete answer to why you or your LGBTQ loved ones are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression is surely multifaceted, context is crucial to understanding it for yourself.
If you’re LGBTQ, I’m willing to bet that you’re skilled at assessing a scenario to see how much of yourself you can comfortably express. While this skill is adaptable, it comes at a price because it was created in response to high levels of chronic bias and discrimination.
Ask any adolescent who is attracted to persons of the same sex (or think back to your own experiences) and you’ll hear (or remember) vivid examples of the fear, embarrassment, and scorn that lead to learning how to read a situation.
As a lesbian, gay male, bisexual, or transgender person, being highly attuned to context impacts your inner world as well. It has an impact on how you think about yourself and how you feel about yourself. Many people begin to see themselves as fundamentally damaged, unlovable, undeserving, and hopeless as a result of an outside environment full of negative messages about what it means to be attracted to others of the same sex or not cisgender.
Minority Stress Factor
Minority stress is a term used by psychologists to describe the process of dealing with continuous prejudice and discrimination in a social context. Many studies have demonstrated that it has significant, long-term, and harmful effects on LGBTQ people’s mental health and well-being. Bottom line: It fosters an environment conducive to anxiety and sadness.
Life in a Larger Context as an LGBTQ person
Coping with minority stress, however, is only part of the narrative in the lives of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people. There’s a lot more to each person’s existence than that: community, friendship, and the love of other LGBTQ individuals and their supportive allies provide camaraderie, pride, strength, and a sense of belonging. Whether we’re gay, straight, cisgender, or not — or somewhere in between — we’re all more than a collection of obstacles we’ve had to overcome. LGBTQ People’s Guide to Anxiety and Depression 2022
If You’re Searching for Help
The ways in which anxiety and depression affect your life are determined by a variety of circumstances. Our body, genetics, and life experiences all have an impact. My recommendation to LGBTQ folks seeking anxiety or depression treatment is as follows: Look for a professional that understands the bigger picture and what it means to be you. Contact Our Help Service: email@example.com LGBTQ People’s Guide to Anxiety and Depression 2022