I’ve had my own share of the anxiety tea. There have been times, when my heart tried to beat out of my chest, hands almost shook off my body and nerves felt so jittery that I would cry. I’m sure, five out of ten people dealt with or still dealing with it. Anxiety is a common occurrence.
Similarly anxiety and depression are commonly heard terms, when we talk, read books or watch movies related to the LGBTQIA+. Today, let’s understand what is the root cause of anxiety or depression in the LGBTQIA+.
REASONS FOR ANXIETY/DEPRESSION:
LGBT people, when compared with general masses, experience higher levels of anxiety.
It is a known fact that as kids, LGBT are bullied at school for wanting to live as who they are. We’ve all heard the stories where parents abuse them or try to ‘cure’ them, instead of embracing and helping them grow. They are also discriminated and oppressed either at school or work or both. If you remember, there is an episode in Sex Education where a person beats up Eric because he dressed up as a woman. LGBT people are said to be twice as suicidal, than their heterosexual classmates.
Trying to understand what they are, and accepting their identity, despite what the society thinks, is also a major cause. Then the stress around coming out to their family and friends is another huge anxiety inducer. We all know, making family understand is no easy feat. For my folks to see my point of view AND interpret it, I’ll have to either wage a war or cry-die-roll on the floor. So, obviously coming out to parents is definitely stressful. And if you’re from a conservative, traditional background, then by no means you can live with a peaceful mind and heart.
THEY AREN’T TREATED AS EQUALS:
In countries like United States, some states consider LGBTQIA+ as minorities. Even the law does not give them legal protection. For example, a gay person is pushed out of his home, by his landlord because he foolishly believes that this person would spread HIV/AIDs to the neighbours. Then there is no such law in place that states this act as a crime or offense. Why should someone’s sexual orientation decide if they are eligible to be protected by the law is an unsolved mystery. Even if there are strong protections enabled for the LGBTQIA+, many fear coming out of their closets at work place. This is due to the fear of humiliation, discrimination and abuse.
Trans people, have always been the community to be affected the most. They have been known to deal with depression and anxiety, a lot more than LGB. Previously, like way back, the LGB have tried to maintain distance from the trans community. Ever since the LGB people have gained significance in civil rights, did they begin to support and help the trans people community.
In conclusion, all these factors result in creating a scenario, that results in LGBTQIA+ suffering from depression and anxiety.
YOUR ARE MORE THAN YOUR ISSUES:
Remember, your life’s story book does not record only the chapters about you dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. There is much more, so much more, to life. The way you embraced yourself with pride, how you found strength in who you are, mutual trust with others of the community and your sense of belonging with them. You have found love and allies in the community. Focus on that. Choose positive over negative. All os us, irrespective of whether straight, gay, lesbian, transgender etc, we are all more than just our struggles. The hardships we’ve had to overcome are just one part of our story.
The regular anxiety you face, does not lead to any notion that something is severely wrong with you. You suffer from anxiety because of the environment around you. Many factors like our experiences and bodies add up to anxiety and depression. Suitable therapy will help you interpret and cope with it, and also help you improve your daily life.
However, when you’re looking for help, go to a professional. This person should be able to understand the bigger picture and what living as you, means to you. Here are some factors you may want to rely on before seeking any sort of therapist:
- Someone with a similar experience i.e., a homosexual or transgender therapist will may be give you more assistance, because of their own experiences.
- Find a professional, whose main area of focus is anxiety of the LGBT.
- Make sure that the therapist you visit does not believe in any notions such as conversion therapy or ‘homosexuality can be cured’.
It’s one life we get, and it’s our duty and responsibility to live this life to the fullest. Never forget this.