• Minority stress and mental health challenges in the LGBTQ+ community

    Red and green balloons with hands and flags waving

    The Minority Stress model suggests that people belonging to minority groups, such as the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual trans, and queer community, tend to experience more stress than those belonging to majority groups. Heightened stress is linked to the societal stigma and pressures they frequently face. Studies show that minority stress has the following three characteristics.

    • It is socially based: Minority stress goes beyond the common stressors everyone faces. It is triggered by our value systems, institutions, frameworks, beliefs, and prevailing mindsets. For instance, while any child might feel anxious about beginning high school, a transgender teen might experience additional stress if their school’s digital systems don’t allow them to change their name or pronouns.
    • It is unique: Individuals belonging to sexual minority groups may experience unique stressors that aren’t typically experienced by heterosexuals. For instance, a gay man might fear mistreatment by others or even losing his job if he talks about his partner at the workplace.
    • It is chronic: Individuals belonging to sexual minority groups often experience a persistent undercurrent of stress due to the subtle and not so subtle attitudes and behaviors of others towards them. Similar to individuals belonging to other minority groups, LBTQ+ folks face pervasive discrimination and prejudice that impacts almost every aspect of their lives. They are also subjected to prevalent homophobia, sexism, and violence.

    How Does Minority Stress Create Mental Health Challenges in the LGBTQ+ Community?

    If stress isn’t properly addressed, it can lead to health issues and detrimental behaviors. This holds true for everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or ethnicity. The unique aspects of minority stress and the discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ folks heighten their risk of mental health issues.

    Fed up with peoples’ attitudes toward them, many LGBTQ+ folks stop going outside to meet friends or attend social events. Social isolation can worsen the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

    LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy: The Way Forward

    Therapists who only treat heterosexual people are not equipped to understand the nature of the problems that LGBTQ+ folks face and may also fail to empathize with them.

    LGBTQ+ folks grappling with mental disorders should consider LGBTQ therapists in Brooklyn.

    An LGBTQ-affirmative therapist has a deep understanding of the unique mental health challenges facing LGBTQ+ folks and how homophobia and transphobia can affect individuals’ well-being. An LGBTQ friendly therapist never judges their clients for their gender identity and sexual choices.

    The goal of LGBTQ affirmative therapy is to help LGBTQ+ folks build self-confidence and inner strength. It teaches them how to stop worrying about what other people think of them.  An LGBTQ therapist in Brooklyn would never advise their clients to alter or repress their feelings and emphasizes the significance of accepting and honoring one’s true self.

    Are you trying to cope with a mental disorder? Let Cooper Mental Health Counseling help. Our therapists have years of experience treating different mental disorders including anxiety and depression. To schedule your initial consultation, call (347) 244-7873.

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      November 1, 2023 at 6:53 pm -

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