How being LGBTQ+ Can Affect One’s Mental Wellbeing
By: Eden A
Hi everyone! This is the first article in our Pride series, which focuses on mental health issues that are faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community. Enjoy reading!
Different factors that accompany being part of the LGBTQ+ community can affect one’s mental wellbeing. There are studies showing that individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community can feel more unsafe than those who are heterosexual. Additionally, those who are LGBTQ+ can have a higher risk for developing mental illnesses, due to the basis and discrimination one may face.
When we talk about struggles for people who are in the LGBTQ+ community, we see that risky behaviors and suicide rates are higher for the LGBTQ+ community than heterosexual individuals. This is sadly due to the stigmas, negative comments, and backlash that many members of the LGBTQ+ community face.
Society is now more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community than in the past when no one would accept them. There have been cases where coming out is a huge relief, where individuals are not having to hold in how they really feel, and that can lower stress and build resilience.
Some people fear coming out to loved ones since they don't know how someone might react, such as potentially being kicked out, or not being loved or worthy anymore. Young LGBTQ+ adults are more likely to self-harm, and young LGBTQ+ youth are likely to show symptoms of an eating disorder.
At the same time, the LGBTQ+ Community is beautiful and diverse. However, in the workplace, many of LGBTQ+ people experience a lot of shame and embarrassment for being queer and are more likely to experience conflicts and harassment at work. On the other hand, some workplaces allow queer people feel safer as there is a better support system and it is easier for them to talk about how they are feeling. If someone were to act as an ally and just accept the LGBTQ+ people, the LGBTQ+ individuals would feel better, and it would be a safer environment for everyone.
It is reported that abuse is more common in transgender youth compared to cisgender youth. Some experience bullying and some symptoms of depression. What we could do to help those feel more valued, is to start a discussion with others. This can help them create a positive view towards people in the LGBTQ+ community.
Thanks for reading the first article in our Pride series! We hope that you learned about different mental health issues that members of the LGBTQ+ community can face. It's important to spread awareness about healthcare issues that impact the LGBTQ+ community, so that we can ensure an inclusive world for all.
If you enjoyed this article, take a look at another one of our mental health articles, "What if I'm not Good Enough?", by Salina Shafi. This article covers feelings of stress, and how people can cope with those emotions.
Until Next time,
Eden and the Writing Committee :)
Reporter, S. R. H. D. (2020, July 6). Covid worsens mental health in the LGBTQ community. WebMD. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200706/covid-worsens-mental-health-in-the-lgbtq-community
Staff, F. E., & Rice, A. (2021, May 5). LGBTQ mental health issues. familydoctor.org. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://familydoctor.org/lgbtq-mental-health-issues/
LGBT+ Mental Health. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/living-with-mental-illness/wellbeing-physical-health/lgbtplus-mental-health/
Therapyroute. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.therapyroute.com/article/helplines-suicide-hotlines-and-crisis-lines-from-around-the-world