As pride month is about to end let’s know about the mental health challenges faced by the LGBTQ community and why Pride month is celebrated. LGBTQ community and sometimes extended to LGBTQIA.
Queer is the umbrella term for the community.
A sexual orientation that describe a person who is emotionally or sexually attracted to people of the same gender; it is commonly used to describe men.
A woman who is sexually or emotionally attracted to other women.
A person who is sexually or emotionally attracted to more than one gender.
A person whose gender identity doesn't match with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Self-identify queer or an adjective used by some people whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual.
Pride month is celebrated during the month of June to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City which sparked the modern gay rights movement.
Why is Pride Month Important?
It is important to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and to increase the visibility of the LGBTQ.
The mental health issues faced by the LGBTQ community.
The LGBTQ community experiences mental health issues at higher rates.
A recent study found that 61% have depression, 45% have PTSD and 36% have an anxiety disorder.
Mental health is very important and any kind of mental health issue needs immediate attention. There is a high risk for people to have mental health issues these days and the youth of LGTBQ communities are more likely to experience mental health challenges. And it is due to discrimination and oppression they face on a daily basis in the society and in the environment they are in. Over the years, they have faced intense prejudice, discrimination, and violence because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, and in the era of the internet, not to forget intense trolling for who they are. Self-acceptance and social acceptance not only affect their mental health but overall well-being.
A 2018 Human Rights Campaign report drawing on national survey data found much higher stress rates among LGBTQ youth.
Nearly all respondents (95%) report trouble sleeping at night, 77% reported feeling depressed.
When a person feels like they are unable to fit in the social circle, somewhere they start feeling inferior and have low self-esteem. In the initial stage of coming out, the fear of rejection by family, friends, society can posses a threat to their mental health. When it comes to the initial stage, self-acceptance becomes a matter of concern for them, however, which sparks a battle within them. It is their own mind and soul they are fighting with and whom to defeat in that process.
Fear prevails but accepting yourself has become the hardest yet the most important thing. If you cannot accept yourself how can you expect others to accept you. It is self-acceptance that one needs to conquer.
After self-acceptance, the urge to express themselves fully but the fear of rejection and abandonment by close ones can even lead to mental health problems. It becomes harder when one is surrounded by anti-LGBTQ people. The fear not only leads to anxiety, substance abuse, panic attacks, it even leads to developing eating disorders, depression which further leads to suicidal thoughts.
LGBTQ teenagers have higher rates of suicidal actions and thoughts. A 2016 study suggests that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth consider suicide at nearly three times the rate of heterosexual youth.
The Trevor Project’s 2019 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that 39% of LGBTQ youth seriously contemplated suicide in the prior year, with 71% of LGBTQ youth feeling sad or hopeless.
Anti-LGBTQ messages, family rejection, and fear can affect the self-esteem of the people in the LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ youth were 1.75 times more likely than their peers to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. The figure was even higher among trans and non-binary youth, as they were 2.4 times more likely to face anxiety or depression.
Respondents report that due to lockdown procedures, many felt more exposure to stigma. In many cases, quarantining with unsupportive family members exacerbated their anxiety.
But remember, you are more than a body, more than your sexual orientation. You are a mind and a soul, you are a human after all. Don’t let anything stop your growth or divert you from your purpose in life.
Purpose, full of vision, focus on your self-growth, self-care, and self-love. This world is filled with endless possibilities, it is filled with beauty.
To seek any kind of help or advice, contact our psychologist at www.steffiprasad.com
We can help the LGBTQ community to live in peace by respecting individual differences and replacing comparison with acceptance.