The LGBTQIA+ community includes people of all genders and sexualities. The term LGBTQIA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Asexual and the + includes all the others who identify themselves as Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, Two-spirit, Fluid, Non-conforming, and Ally.

Since childhood, one is taught to align their gender identity and sexual orientation with their biological gender as this is the accepted norm. However, some people find it difficult to do so. Their gender identity is different from their biological identities and their sexual orientations may also differ from those of other people.

Though asserting one’s identity can be difficult for anyone, it is doubly difficult for people belonging to this community.  Most of them struggle throughout their lives accepting their choices and justifying these to their loved ones. They are looked down upon and are discriminated against in the society. This puts them under enormous mental pressure. 

A number of studies have been conducted all over the world to understand the mental health status of the LGBTQIA+ community. All these studies have concluded that this community is at a higher risk of suffering from mental health disorders and dependence issues.

Brief history

During the 1960s and the early 1970s, even science classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. However, in 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders as mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It took the World Health Organization (WHO) another 20 years to accept the decision of the AMA. In spite of forming nearly 4 percent of the population, they are still stigmatized by the society at large.

Did you know?

  • The LGBTQIA+ forms 4% of the total world population
  • Suicide is three-times more common in the LGBTQIA+ community compared to heterosexuals
  • The LGBTQIA+ youth are 1.75 times more likely to be depressed or anxious
  • Less than 50% of the LGBTQIA+ community has access to education
  • 62% LGBTQIA+ pursuing education face discrimination
  • 92% of the LGBTQIA+ community members do not access to economic earning

Current scenario

A large population of the LGBTQIA+ community suffers from a condition called minority stress. The stress is a result of conditions created when living in a hostile environment. Other common problems faced by this group include bullying and sexual assault. The lack of easy acceptance, love and recognition that a heterosexual couple gets in the society is missing for these people making them more prone to mental health disorders.

Unfortunately, all these factors contribute to the community suffering from mental disorders like depression and anxiety. They are 1.75 times more prone to suffer from depression and anxiety. Among these, the transgender community has the highest rate of depression prevalence at 2.4 times more than the rest of the community.

Even though homosexuality is no longer illegal in India, we have to still go a long way in accepting people from the LGBTQIA+ community. The struggle for the LGBTQIA+ community doubles when they suffer from mental health disorders. Neither do they get acceptance for themselves nor are they encouraged to seek treatment for their mental health disorders.

Athena Behavioral Health understands the challenges and plight of the LGBTQIA+ community. Therefore, we want to come out in the open to support them and give them a better chance at a happy and productive life. This Pride Month, we encourage all members of the LGBTQIA+ community suffering from mental health disorders or dependence issues to seek treatment from us. We promise to help you.

After Pride Month

Athena Behavioral Health understands the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. We want to assure you that we support you and would love to help you navigate through your illnesses and issues. We provide customized treatment programs for mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, dependence issues and dual diagnosis. For more information, WhatsApp at our number today or chat with a representative.