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The LGBTQIA Community

We live in a day and age where tolerance and acceptance can sometimes seem to be in short supply. And for the LGBTQIA community, the struggle to overcome daily instances of stigma and alienation is one that presents a constant source of stress and conflict. When others question your identity and its ability to mesh with “normalcy”, and single you out as abhorrent, it will always have a detrimental effect.

The LGBTQIA CommunityThere’s really no beating around the bush when talking about the fact that non-conforming sexual orientation and non-binary genders are somewhat new concepts to the modern American society. Yet while these may be hotly discussed issues in the modern eye, the LGBTQIA community has been struggling with free expression and acceptance for much, much longer.

We’re changing. The growing pains are severe, as relatively simple things like accepting same sex marriage have been and continue to be debated issues, but there is steady progress as the LGBTQIA community continues to fight for a better understanding. But that doesn’t mean we should accept daily mental anguish and struggle as an unavoidable part of being homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or otherwise non-binary.

The Mental Health Struggle in the Community

The LGBTQIA CommunityIt’s a scary fact, but people who identify sexually as part of the LGBTQIA community are three times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression or a general anxiety disorder. One study notes that nearly half of people identifying as gay reported being discriminated for it. And for children struggling with the stigma and prejudice against the LGBTQIA community, the suicide rate may be as high as 14 times that of heterosexual people.

The stress of hiding one’s sexual orientation, the fear of coming out, the fear of the backlash and the social ramifications and, at times, the very real threat of physical and non-physical violence is enough to lead to symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and an individual insecurity that can lead to symptoms of depression.

To put it more concretely, mental health issues that are more common among people in the LGBTQIA community because of stigma and minority stress include:

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The LGBTQIA CommunityAmong these disorders, alarming symptoms like self-harm and suicidal thoughts are also more common than among the general population.

The last thing many want is to legitimize their symptoms by seeking help. Seeking treatment for a mental illness – or in fact just checking in with a therapist to get diagnosed – may seem to not be in the cards for someone who wants to hold back the truth about themselves to avoid the consequences of coming out. In other cases, people may fear being judged for their sexual orientation or gender, and they don’t want to face harassment or the prospect of being sent to “specialists” for illegitimate forms of therapy and mental abuse, like conversion therapy and the like.

We understand the difficulties. We’re mental health specialists here at Vantage Point, and understanding feelings of pain, fear, and anxiety are naturally part of our job description. Our culture isn’t just one of inclusion for the sake of inclusion, but because we very simply devote ourselves to helping people – all people – get better. The statistics and anecdotes all point towards the very real challenges the LGBTQIA community faces, and we recognize that there are many among you who need help.

The LGBTQIA CommunityComing Out

We understand the challenge of being under the pressure of societal judgment – but as members of the professional mental health community, it’s extremely important to stress that we’re here for you.

Here at Vantage Point, and all over the country, medical professionals exist to provide you with the resources and means to deal with depression, anxiety, psychosis and many other symptoms and disorders regardless of their origin or your sexual orientation.

For those looking for a treatment and mindset that specifically caters to the needs and considerations of the LGBTQIA community, know that we make every decision regarding your mental health with both your best interests at heart and every possible factor in consideration.

The LGBTQIA CommunityThe Vantage Point System

Mental health is complicated. At times, it’s a little messy to talk about. But to us, when it comes to treatment, the core philosophy of our system is simple.

There are no labels, drawers, binders or boxes. Every case is objectively analyzed, studied, and treated. We identify not a singular disorder, but an array of symptoms, and work with you to establish what most likely affects and contributes to them. And while not all factors are under your control – such as a genetic predisposition or prior environmental factors – we help you as best we can change your life to better suit your mental health.

This includes considering diverse types of medication, or no medication at all. It includes considering alternative treatment methods, taking into consideration every form of self-therapy and group therapy, helping you surround yourself with more supportive people and empowering you to shape your life in a way that gives you the drive and motivation to live it to the fullest.

There is no easy way to tell you what’s going to happen next. All we can say is that if you need help, then we’re here to get you started and get you that help, in every way possible.