Many people in the LGBQ community struggle with fear, anxiety, and depression. According to NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness, LGBTQ individuals are almost 3 times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition such as major depression or generalized anxiety disorder. Seeking treatment is very important, but sometimes, it can be a challenge talking to others about your issues. This can be especially difficult for a person who is struggling.
Here are my 4 tips on how to talk to others about your depression and anxiety.
1. Ask Your Friends To Learn About Your Condition – Tell your friends and relatives that the best way for them to help you is to learn about your condition. They have options to learn more. They could talk to a counselor, do family therapy, or read some good books, or even join you at a support group to learn about your condition. They can’t understand exactly the pain you are suffering but they will have some idea of what you are going through. Have your friends visit a mental health website that contains helpful information about mental illness, such as Mentalheath.gov.
2. Distance Yourself From People Who Give You A Hard Time – This may seem cruel but if some of your friends or relatives are hindering your progress in getting better, it can be very detrimental to your ability to get better. Distance yourself from the people who won’t make an effort to help understand what you are going through. Its best to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Your goal is to get better, period, so don’t waste your time arguing with your friends or relatives who are giving you a difficult time. If you have problems or issues with a particular person, you can always ask a mental health professional (See below) for advice on how to deal with them.
3. Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your situation. By talking to a professional, you will help yourself in the long run because you will become better able to deal with your depression and anxiety in the future. To find a mental health professional in your area try AGLP -he Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists or GLMA -Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality. GLMA’s online Provider Directory provides links to not only therapists, but also primary care providers, specialists, dentists and other health professionals in your area.
4. Listen To The Professionals And Not Your Friends – Your friends may mean well, but when it comes down to it, the professionals know your situation more than anyone. They know what you are going through and are trained to deal with your situation. When you have questions about your mental health situation consult with your counselor or other mental health professional. Listen to them and follow their advice and not your friends.
Stan Popovich is an author and award-winning and respected contributor on the topics of managing fear and the consequences. Find out more about Stan and his books about managing fear here.