Self acceptance, relationships, and authentic living as a LGBT person
If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender you are all too aware of the special challenges faced in finding and maintaining effective, fulfilling relationships. Depression and anxiety are more prevalent in the LGBT community than in the heterosexual population. The reasons for the increased risk are easy to identify. From the initial struggles to accept yourself to the process of ‘coming out’ to family, friends, and others , fear, loneliness, and uncertainty may have an ongoing presence.Coming out can be the most liberating yet one of the most overwhelming times in a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered person’s life. Being able to speak openly of your wants, needs, dreams, and desires are often the only the first step in the next segment of a life-long journey.
Finding an effective relationship and dealing with the pressures of day to day life are a major challenge in the best of situations. Living in a society where homophobia continues to be prevalent and where the rights and legal protections of LGBT persons continue to be challenged regularly are an ongoing source of stress. Recognizing depression, anxiety, and other stress responses can be important first step in developing authentic living as an LGBT person. These emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are normal responses to stress but for LGBT persons they carry particular risk given the isolation and limitations you may experience.
Some of the symptoms of depression include:
Depressed mood most of the day;
Markedly decreased interest in activities most of the day;
Decrease or increase in appetite;
Decrease or increase in sleep;
Fatigue or loss of energy;
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt; and
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Some symptoms of anxiety include:
Feelings of apprehension or dread
Feeling tense and jumpy
Anticipating the worst
Physical symptoms including nausea, fatigue, and/or racing heart
You may also have experienced and may continue to experience bullying and harassment because of you sexual orientation. You may have been alienated from your family, your religious community, or your friends and coworkers. These experiences have a profound effect on your emotional, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. Intrusive thoughts and memories of these experiences may lead to fear and deeper isolation in an attempt to cope. These behaviors and reactions may be indicators of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Begin the journey living out, proud, and healthy. Develop the skills to combat homophobia both in your community and in our own thoughts and emotions.
Learn healthy and honest communication skills for improving and expanding your relationships. You have the right to the best of your life!!
Contact Jim Walker, LCSW 502-494-6631
Confidential email: firstname.lastname@example.org