There is an increased risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions in the LGBTQ+ community due to some of the unique challenges they face, such as coming out and exploring gender identity.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are twice as likely as non-LGBT adults to develop a mental health condition. Furthermore, transgender adults are four times more likely than cisgender adults to experience anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders. LGBTQ+ individuals also experience higher rates of substance use and houselessness than non-LGBTQ+ individuals.
Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ youth are even more likely to experience mental health issues. They are more than two times as likely to report persistent feelings of hopelessness or sadness as their heterosexual peers and seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of non-LGBTQ youth. They are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide.
A therapist can provide support to LGBTQ+ individuals and help with:
- Exploring gender identity/expression and sexual orientation
- Navigating coming out
- Managing depression and anxiety
- Dealing with rejection and bullying
- Treatment for substance abuse
- Discussing concerns about sexual health (STDs/HIV)
- Working through relationship issues
Therapy can help improve mental health symptoms and help people work toward the goal of living their most fulfilling life.