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Let's Talk About Mental Health of the LGBTQA Community

The LGBTQA Community continues to flourish with pride. Their mental health is considered to be affected by multiple different factors like bullying, discrimination, inequality, lack of acceptance, and likewise which may lead to distress and severe discomfort. Minority stress is real and needs to be addressed sooner than later.

The LGBTQA community has been recognized as a minority and as we know, minority communities often experience high levels of stigma and discrimination. What we fail to understand is how this unfortunate and unfair treatment can affect their mental and physical health. Although people may be becoming more sensitive and aware now, this doesn’t discount the negative comments, attitudes, behavior expressed towards the LGBTQA community.

According to American Psychological Association, Mental health of the LGBTQA community members is considered to be fragile as compared to heterosexual human beings. Teens and young adults in this community seem to have higher rates of suicide and depression along with mood disorders, stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Bullying is also one of the common concerns faced by them. These experiences may also hinder one’s perception of self and causes feelings of guilt, shame, self-doubt, low self-esteem, isolation and likewise. According to psychologists, “the process of coping with prejudice and discrimination by the LGBTQAA community is called minority stress”

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Coping with minority stress

  1. Express yourself – Holding back your emotions may only cause more discomfort. Try to tfind ways to express them. Poetry, music, dancing, singing, talking to a friend, crying, art, physical activity, yoga, or anything that helps you express yourself in a healthy manner.

  2. Positive Self-talk – Often you might be in a negative situation with a lot of negative opinions. It’s important to pause and think about what you’re telling yourself. Negative self-talk needs to be challenged and replaced with positive and realistic thoughts which will help you cope with your negative emotions and achieve goals.

  3. Seek Professional Help – Talking to a mental health counsellor can help you work on self-confidence, developing better coping strategies, seek validation, and begin to build a healthy support system.

  4. Affirmations – Reminding yourself positive statements during a difficult situation is key to feeling better and more confident about yourself and your surroundings. “I am worthy of love and acceptance”. “I am capable of loving another person fully” and likewise.

  5. Read and Listen – Like you, others may also be experiencing similar emotions or thoughts. Encourage yourself to read more about these experiences and listen to talks given by people from the LGBTQA community. This will empower you to believe in yourself and your community.

  6. Don’t Isolate – Isolation can become an unhealthy trap. Try to stay involved and connected to people who help you feel positive and safe. Proactively indulge in activities, support groups, seminars, conferences, and likewise to enhance your knowledge of your community as well as the evolving views of others.

The LGBTQA community continues to grow with pride and so does sensitivity in others. Being hopeful and positive about a changing and a more inclusive world is important. Mental health is equally as important as physical health and for everybody and anybody. Let’s try to be more inclusive and aware and less prejudiced and close minded. We’re all human beings of the same evolutionary process.

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You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.



A Common Mismatch – Let’s Talk about Gender Dysphoria

Gender dysphoria can become a concern for someone when and if their gender identity continues to remain incongruent with their assigned sex. Gender identity, gender roles and stereotypes may often lead to discomfort and incoherence, especially at the onset of adolescence.
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“Perhaps our greatest distinction as a species is our capacity, unique among animals, to make counter-evolutionary choices.” - Jared Diamond

Gender and Sex – The basics.

Let’s first understand the difference between ‘gender’ and ‘sex’. Gender is defined as the sociological attributes of an individual while ‘sex’ defines their biological attribute. Gender identity refers to the way in which a person perceives his/her gender. Adolescence is a period when teens explore their own gender and often associate with their assigned sex and the gender stereotypical behaviors.

It’s NOT a Match and That’s Okay!

Gender Dysphoria is a concern which highlights the distress and discomfort caused when the gender of an individual doesn’t match with the assigned sex. For example, a girl might enjoy building blocks, playing football or wearing masculine clothes while a boy might enjoy cooking, fashion or other stereotyped female behaviors. What’s important here is to inculcate a mix of feminine and masculine traits which may lead to a healthy and well-groomed individual.

Gender Dysphoria can be considered a cause for concern if a person’s experienced /expressed gender and primary sex attributes don’t match for at least six months, has a strong need to detach from the primary sex characterastics, has a strong inclination towards the sex characteristics of the other gender, has a strong need to be treated as the other gender, and/or a strong desire of feelings and reactions associated with the other or an alternative gender.

If at least two of the aforementioned symptoms are recognized, and if they create impairment in the person’s functioning like social relationships, school or work life, then gender Dysphoria can be considered a possible concern.

It’s important to understand that even if you might feel some irregularity and uncertainty in this spectrum, it can be managed with therapy, gaining more knowledge and an open mind to learning and exploring more about oneself and others.

As adolescents begin to grow and develop, they also mature in the understanding of gender, gender identity and gender roles. A combination of both masculine and feminine attributes can be a nurturing personality rather than being completely rigid to an extreme pole of traits.

Rushing into finding a gender identity of oneself can be problematic as the adolescent enters adulthood. It’s necessary to remain patient and find your comfort. Gender identity can be influenced by families, cultures, hormones, peers, siblings, beliefs, values and everything that engulfs our life.

Discovering yourself is an ongoing process which can take time to reach a place of comfort and acceptance. Going through this journey is sacred and unique for each individual.

Note – Please do not treat this article as a diagnostic tool. It’s only for the purpose of sharing information about gender Dysphoria and related concerns.



If you have a story to share,Click Here

If you have a query,Click Here.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.


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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.