Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people, questioning, intersexes, and their allies represent a diversity of identities and expressions of gender and sexuality. Members of the community include people from different races, religions, ethnicities, nationalities, and socioeconomic classes. Intersectionality refers to the combining of multiple identities into one whole. Intersectionality brings a diversity of thought, perspective, understanding, and experience to heterosexual peers and other allies. Understanding its importance is an essential part of understanding why members of the LGBTQI community feel so strongly about their identity.
Being part of an LGBT+ group can bring strengths and difficulties for people who identify within these communities. It’s significant for people who identify as LGBTQI to understand their own experiences related to sexual attraction and gender identity because these identities can be deeply personal.
There is limited evidence suggesting that people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ), intersex, two‑spirit, pansexual, or otherwise nonbinary may be at an increased risk of developing specific mental health issues in determining the mental health outcomes. However, these findings need further study before they can be considered conclusive. Adults who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are at least twice as likely as their straight peers to report having experienced any mental illness within the past year. Transgender people are almost four times as likely as cisgender people to experience a mental health condition.
LGBTQ+ youth (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender often face additional challenges related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals are three times as likely to experience depression symptoms as heterosexual adults. Transgender youth face additional disadvantages regarding their mental health because they are twice as likely to feel depressive symptoms, seriously consider committing suicide, and commit suicide than heterosexual youth. Trauma-Informed Care for LGBT+ Individuals will reduce the likelihood that a member of the LGBT community will commit suicide or even think about it!
Many LGBT+ individuals experience adverse effects from their social environment due to racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, or xenophobia. For some people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, pansexual (LGBTQIA) individuals, these issues may be exacerbated by being gender minorities, leading to increased mental health challenges such as depression, history of trauma, physical abuse, sexual abuse, anxiety, minority stress, and self-harm. Trauma-Informed Care for LGBT+ Individuals must be at the center of their treatment!
Important Risk Factors Of LGBTQI Mental Health
Positive Changes In Societal attitudes towards homosexuality and LGBT people act as a protection for their mental health. In addition, however, this shift in acceptance has resulted in many youths coming out earlier than they would otherwise be expected. These early disclosures often happen when these young people feel comfortable enough to disclose their identities to gain access to peer support networks, such as sports teams, schools, and clubs. It may be challenging to deal with these issues when they arise because heterosexual parents usually don’t understand why their children need help.
Fear of Rejection
For some people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), coming out can be an extremely challenging experience and may cause psychological distress. Rejection by someone who knows you well may feel like an attack upon yourself, but rejections from people outside your inner circle usually come because they don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
A survey conducted by GLAAD found that nearly half (42%) of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people report having been rejected at some point by a parent or guardian. Family rejection can exacerbate anxiety disorders and levels of depression in LGBT people. Family rejection can also stem from a generation gap where parents do not understand current trends in society. People of color often experience family rejection at a higher rate than other ethnic minorities. According to recent research by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), one out of five lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming students has experienced childhood abuse or another related traumatic experience. Trauma-Informed Care for LGBT+ Individuals can help the person cope with the fear of rejection from their peers and family.
Traumatic Life Events
Feeling like an outcast because of their sexual orientation or gender expression has been called trauma by some researchers who are led to more outstanding trauma-informed care for people who feel in social isolation due to their sexuality. Social isolation will only exacerbate their mental health condition. Mental treatment and mental services can significantly benefit from understanding where their clients are coming from. When health care providers understand, their clients will gain more excellent emotional safety by expressing their true feelings to you.
Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people includes any form of prejudice, hatred, intolerance, oppression, rejection, isolation, violence, harassment, bullying, hate speech, vandalism, arson, murder. Hate crime perpetrators target LGBT people because they believe their actions will be met with less punishment than if they had attacked someone who wasn’t part of the community.
Discrimination against people because they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTQI), or any combination thereof may increase the likelihood of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and increase the risk for suicide. Behavioral health concerns such as transphobia and homophobia must be met with a desire to educate the perpetrator not to continue their actions.
Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance use disorders (SUDs) include alcohol abuse, substance dependence, nicotine addiction, opioid dependency, illegal drugs, cannabis abuse/dependence, pathological gambling, compulsive sexual behavior, binge eating disorder, and kleptomania. In general, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults are nearly twice as likely as their straight peers to suffer from a substance abuse problem. Substance abuse disorder will lead to other chronic health conditions such as thoughts of suicide, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, and immunological disorders. Transgender people are almost four times as likely to experience substance abuse problems than cisgender people. LGBTQ students who don’t know if they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or something else may be at greater risk for using illicit drugs than their straight counterparts.
High Homelessness Rate
It has been reported that LGBTQI youths and young adults face a 120 percent greater chance of becoming homeless than their heterosexual peers. Often, these individuals experience family rejection or discrimination because they identify themselves differently from others. It’s exceptionally high for people of color that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender youth. Homeless shelters often refuse to admit transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, questioning, two‑spirit, pansexual, polyamorous, demisexual, or otherwise non-heterosexual individuals.
High Suicide Rate
Many people in this community struggle in silence — and face worse health status as a result.
- According to research by the CDC, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBTQ) people are significantly more likely than their straight peers to attempt suicide.
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth face significant mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal ideations, sexual abuse, and suicide attempts.
Inadequate Trauma-Informed Care for LGBT+ Individuals
There’s inadequate attention to the unique needs of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBTQ). It may not always be easy, but this approach has advantages and disadvantages, making it worth trying out.
A variety of factors affect an individual’s mental health condition —including gender identity, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, religion, socioeconomics, geographic location, culture, age, disability status, political affiliation, body size, etc.—and Race and socioeconomic status may influence not just whether someone receives health insurance but also which type of coverage is available.
Suppose you’re struggling with any form of mental illness, including depression. In that case, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) confronting them with an LGBT-friendly therapist may help improve your overall experience. An LGBT-friendly therapist may act as a confidential peer. Your therapist should understand Trauma-Informed Care for LGBT+ Individuals and how to better help you on your journey to a better life!
Please call 911 if you are experiencing a medical emergency or to call our admissions department for support (801) 499-9316