Many people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer face mental health conditions like the rest of society. However, this community experiences additional barriers due to sexism and discrimination.
Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or someone who works with them, it’s important to know how to navigate this type of mental health care. Here are some resources to help you do just that.
The Challenges of LGBTQ+ Mental Health
There are many challenges LGBTQ+ people face when it comes to mental health. They can have a hard time accessing and affording healthcare, which can negatively impact their well-being.
They are often discriminated against at work and home, which can also affect their self-esteem. This can lead to issues with depression, anxiety and substance use.
It’s important for members of the LGBTQ+ community to be able to get the care they need without fearing discrimination or bullying. It’s also vital for mental health professionals to understand the needs of this group so they can provide effective support.
Suicidal ideation is also a common issue among LGBTQ+ youth and adults. In fact, LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to consider or attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual peers.
This is a serious concern, especially for young people who may be at high risk for trauma due to the violence and hate crimes that often occur within this community.
As a result, it’s imperative that the mental health field take a more intersectional approach to understanding the needs of LGBTQ+ people and providing effective services. This can be done by requiring that all mental health practitioners receive training in the needs of LGBTQ+ POC and meet certain benchmarks related to intersectional experiences.
How CBD Oil Can Help with Anxiety and Depression
CBD is one of the 80 compounds found in cannabis that interact with the human endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate mood. It is a natural and safe alternative to prescription medications for anxiety and depression.
According to research, CBD oil can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep in people with a variety of mental health conditions. Several studies have shown that it can improve symptoms of anxiety disorders, including social phobia, public speaking anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In fact, a recent study showed that CBD oil improved the quality of life for adults with social anxiety disorders by reducing feelings of stress, fear, and worry. CBD increased their feelings of calmness.
When choosing a CBD oil for anxiety, it’s important to find a reputable brand that produces high-quality products and uses third-party lab testing. Look for brands that offer full-spectrum oils to maximize the benefits of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients.
It is also important to avoid taking CBD with certain drugs, such as benzodiazepine sedatives like Klonopin or Ativan, immune-suppressants, and opioid painkillers like morphine. CBD may increase the effects of these medications, which can lead to side effects like drowsiness.
Tips for Managing Mental Well-Being in the LGBTQ+ Community
The LGBTQ+ community faces a number of mental health challenges at higher rates than the general population. This includes depression, anxiety and self-harm. Fortunately, there are many ways to navigate these issues and find support for your needs.
The first step is to speak to someone you trust. You can also reach out to a therapist or helpline that understands the community.
While it can feel scary to ask for help, especially if you haven’t been through these experiences before, being open about your feelings will allow you to connect with others and gain comfort in knowing they understand the challenges you face. Having a therapist who’s a member of the LGBTQ+ community can also be empowering, says New York-based clinical social worker Maryam Moody.
It’s also important to remember that the constant influx of negative news can contribute to mental illness. It can cause people to feel anxious, depressed and hopeless, which can lead to recurrent bouts of anxiety or panic attacks.
The LGBTQ+ community has been disproportionately affected by discrimination and rejection in their everyday lives, which can have negative effects on their mental health. Despite these barriers, LGBTQ+ individuals continue to work hard to achieve their goals.
Staying Informed and Connected with Others
It is crucial for people who are experiencing mental health challenges to remain informed about their treatment options and to be able to connect with others who can offer support. This can include reaching out to friends and family members, as well as talking with health care professionals.
A lack of information can lead to isolation, which is especially common for LGBTQ+ individuals. They may feel isolated or afraid to share their experiences with others, which can increase their risk of depression and anxiety.
LGBTQ+ individuals may feel less supported by their families or employers. Creating supportive workplaces can help ensure that these individuals have a safe place to talk about their challenges and receive the help they need.
Research shows that family acceptance and connectedness are a key factor in the mental health of sexual and gender minority youth (Buote et al. 2012).
The study also found that mental health services can provide critical support to sexual and gender minority youth in their journeys towards recovery. These services need to be tailored to the needs of these youth, and should address issues like acceptance and safety. This is particularly important in a world that often stigmatizes sexual and gender minorities.
Supporting Mental Well-being in the LGBTQ+ Community
If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or if you have someone in your life who is, it’s important to understand how mental health can be an ongoing challenge. This is especially true if you are dealing with discrimination, stigma, rejection, or violence.
There is a growing body of research showing that LGBTQ+ people are at higher risk for depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, eating disorders, substance use challenges, and other mental health concerns. This is due to a variety of factors, including discrimination, bias and stigma.
One study found that youth who live in a supportive LGBTQ+ environment are less likely to attempt suicide. This is especially true of transgender youth.
As a result, it’s important to understand the role that family and friends play in LGBTQ+ mental well-being. You can support a loved one by empathizing with their experience and supporting them intentionally in their efforts to overcome stressors that are unique to their identity.
It is also essential to help them access professional support. Often, this requires finding a therapist who is LGBTQ+-affirming and who understands their mental health needs. You can look for services that specialize in this area, such as Talkspace or Amwell.
CBD oil can provide a valuable tool for many members of the LGBTQ+ community who are navigating mental health challenges. By encouraging relaxation and reducing stress levels, it can help individuals to manage their feelings in a more positive way. As with any supplement or medication, people should talk to their healthcare provider before incorporating CBD oil into their treatment plan.
Individuals should choose products that have undergone third-party testing for potency and quality to ensure the best results for their health and wellbeing. With proper guidance and a better understanding of how CBD oil can be used as part of an overall wellness program, members of the LGBTQ+ community can find greater joy and peace while navigating mental health challenges.