December 1, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Mental Health Tips and Advice for LGBTQ+ Individuals

Living life is not always an easy thing to do. Everyone has challenges that they need to overcome just to get from one day to the next. Unfortunately, the LGBTQI+ community has to deal with more than their fair share of challenges because of the extra stress society puts on them. These are challenges often brought because of misunderstandings and misconceptions about who these people are and that for which they stand.

The statistics show how difficult life is for people who fall outside of what society considers the norm. According to a report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, people who identify with being part of the LGBTQI+ community have three times more issues with depression and anxiety. Even more troubling are the higher incidences of suicide and substance abuse within the community.

If you are struggling with mental health issues as a member of the LGBTQI+ community, you are not alone. There are people both inside and outside of the community who care. With that in mind, we would like to offer you six tips on coping with your mental health issues.

1. Seek Therapy

Everyone gets overwhelmed by stress or emotion at some point in their lives. The ones who seem to cope better when these times arrive are those folks who are willing to seek professional help.

There is no longer any stigma associated with needing help from a mental healthcare professional. The truth is most people can’t look objectively at their issues. A compassionate LGBT therapist willing to listen, tell us the truth, and help objectively guide us through difficult times can be a tremendous asset.

2. Seek Assistance from Organizations that Support the LGBTQ+ Community

While it may not always seem like it, we live in a world where many people care about others. You should be happy to learn there are fully funded organizations out there that are proud to provide services and resources to the LGBTQ+ Community. These organizations are filled with individuals who have experience helping LGBTQ+ Community members with bullying or coming out.

3. Find a Support Group

As we indicated above, you are not alone in your mental health issues. You need to surround yourself with other individuals who have gone through or are going through the same kinds of issues. These groups and organizations will be filled with people who are as relatable and seeking help as you. The truth is there is nothing grander than one hurting person helping another hurting person.

4. Find Ways to Occupy Your Mind and Time

If you spend too much time lamenting the struggles that cause your depression or anxiety, it’s just a matter of time before you lose yourself. No one wants to see that happen to you.

What you need is a break from your struggles. If you haven’t already, you might want to find a creative outlet to occupy your time and mind. You would be amazed at how a new hobby or interest will distract from the stressors in your life.

5. Know When to Avoid Conflict

Unfortunately, uninformed people will go out of their way to make you feel uncomfortable about your own life. It’s hard to understand why they feel threatened about something that has absolutely nothing to do with them.

The truth is you can’t fight all the battles. There might be too many of them. To protect your mental health and well-being, you need to know when it’s time to walk away from a confrontation. It’s not a sign of fear or weakness. It’s a sign of you understanding that you can’t change the way people think and feel, just like they can’t change the way you think and feel.

6. Take Care of Yourself

There are things you can do to manage stress better. A lot of it has to do with you simply taking care of yourself. If you exercise, eat right, and take time for self-reflection, there is a good chance you will feel better, making it easier to deal with your daily challenges.

in NEWS
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