The letters LGBTQIA stand for a wide range of sexual preferences and gender identities. What do the letters mean?
A lesbian is a woman who is mostly attracted to other women, either romantically or sexually.
Gay: Someone is romantically or sexually attracted to people of the same gender.
When someone is bisexual, they feel attracted to both people of the same gender and people of the opposite gender.
Transgender is an umbrella word for a wide range of gender identities that don’t fit with traditional social norms. It refers to someone whose expression of gender is different from their birth-The given sex
Queer is an identity term that the LGBTQIA group has taken back.
Being intersex: having physical traits that don’t fit into the traditional ideas of what it means to be male or female.
If you’re asexual, you don’t feel sexual interest or desire.
A lot of the time, being LGBTQIA is a source of power. However, it’s also normal to have problems with LGBTQIA issues or worries that can affect anyone.
People who identify as LGBTQIA can now get more specialized services, like therapy, as knowledge has grown. These services are meant to help this group deal with the unique problems they face. If you are having problems with your mental health, seeing a doctor who specializes in providing LGBTQIA-friendly care can help.
The different kinds of sexuality, gender, and LGBTQIA problems
Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA may face the following problems frequently:
Making other people aware of your sexual preference or gender identity can be scary and stressful. This is called “coming out.” People often worry about how other people will respond or have trouble dealing with reactions.
- Identity: A lot of people have times when they question and try to figure out who they are. Some people might have problems with how others expect them to look.
- When it comes to relationships, every one can be tense at times. Social and cultural standards and pressures can make it hard for LGBTQIA couples to be together.
- Family and cultural pressures: People may feel pressured to follow standard gender and sex identity norms by their family, friends, or coworkers.
- Discrimination or stigmatization: Because LGBTQIA people are a minority, they may sometimes be treated unfairly. Some people are bullied or harassed, or they have trouble getting to services.
- Changing genders: Going through the process of changing genders can be hard. Before they can start this process, many people have to go to therapy.
LGBTQIA people and mental health
LGBTQIA people can have mental health problems, just like anyone else. Sometimes these problems have nothing to do with being LGBTQIA. The problems listed above, on the other hand, present their own set of problems. People who do this are more likely to have mental health issues like
- Stress and depression
- Abuse of drugs
- Having trauma
- Low self-worth
- Self-harm and thoughts of suicide
Gender confusion is a term for a condition. It recognizes the mental pain someone can feel if their sex or gender identity doesn’t match the sex they were given at birth.
There is ongoing debate about whether gender identity and dysphoria should still be classified as mental health disorders in the ICD 10 and DSM 5. These are the manuals that doctors use to describe mental health disorders.
How often mental health problems happen in the LGBTQIA group
LGBTQIA people may be more likely to have problems with their mental health. As an example:
A study found that young people who identify as LGBTQIA have worse mental health than young people who do not identify as LGBTQIA.
A study from the UK found that LGBTQIA people rated their own levels of life satisfaction, happiness, and belief that the things they do are useful lower than heterosexual people.
People who are LGBTQIA may be more likely to have problems with drugs:
Furthermore, studies show that LGBT individuals are 1.5 times more likely than straight individuals to become dependent on drugs or alcohol. Using drugs can make other mental health problems even worse.
Different ways to treat LGBTQIA problems
People who identify as LGBTQIA may not want to get help because they are afraid of being judged. This can make you feel alone and make any problems you may be having worse. It’s important to get help as soon as possible.
More specialized services are now offered because more people are aware of LGBTQIA issues. Think about combining some of these choices:
Calls for help
Talk therapies, whether one-on-one or in a group, can help you deal with mental health problems or issues related to being LGBTQIA. Family therapy or therapy for two people together can help, especially if you are worried about coming out or need help with your relationships. Types of therapy to think about are talked about in more detail below.
Helpful places and support groups
Help for LGBTQIA problems in therapy
Problems with LGBTQIA people, gender, or sexuality can be helped by most types of therapy. Some common types of therapy are
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people change their unhelpful behaviors and thoughts and see things more clearly.
- Family Systems Therapy helps everyone in the family understand each other better and learn how to help each other more.
- For people who have trouble putting their feelings and thoughts into words, art therapy or other creative arts treatments can help. Art can help anyone, even if they aren’t very artistic or good at it.
- Psychodynamic therapy looks at how past events affect the way people think, feel, and act now.
- Mindfulness practices help you become more aware of your feelings and thoughts without instantly reacting to them.
- Before you choose a treatment type, you should think about the different ones and how they feel to you. Your potential doctor is a great person to talk to if you’re not sure.
It’s important to find a therapist who knows how to work with LGBTQIA people, but the type of therapy is also important. Read on for more on this.
What you should look for in an LGBTQIA therapist
The right therapist for you will rely on your symptoms, where you live, your budget, and other factors. When you are looking, there are a few things you should think about:
It can be hard to choose which type of psychologist to see because there are so many to choose from. For mental health help, the most important thing is to find someone who is currently qualified.
No matter what kind of provider you pick, make sure the therapist is committed to ongoing training in LGBTQIA problems and has worked in the field before. One thing you could do is look for a therapist who is a part of the American Society of Sex Education, Counselors, and Therapists. Each person has finished at least one course specifically designed for LGBTQIA people.
Being honest about LGBTQIA problems can be hard, so it’s important to work with someone you trust. The therapeutic alliance is the trusted relationship with a therapist. It is the most important sign that treatment is working.
There are a lot of therapists who are either LGBTQIA themselves or who are interested in LGBTQIA topics and know what kinds of problems the community faces. A lot of the time, they’ll put this on their website or online page.
Get a call from the counselling psychologist first. This is the best way to figure out how you might feel about them. You can also ask them about their experience and what it will be like to go to therapy with them.