• Alex Madsen

LGBTQIA + Mental Health

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Mental health for people in the LGBTQIA+ community doesn’t come as easily as it does for other people. Many of them, including myself, have to deal with knowing that there are people who think we are diseased and can be “fixed”, or even that we should just be killed. Overcoming this is difficult, and often has to be done alone as so many of us are young and in unsupportive households. Fortunately, there are friends and other people who support us, and they help us get through the bumpy parts of it. That is one coping mechanism, talking to others. So many times I have just talked to another one of my friends in the community about an issue or struggle I’ve gone through and they can relate to it(and sometimes give me advice) and be there to listen to me. Just talking or writing out what is on your mind is shown to help reduce fear or anxiety about certain issues. The process lowers the reaction caused by the amygdala, the part of your brain that causes intense emotion. Something everybody should have is a safe space. Whether it is a library, yoga studio, or joining a community of people like you, having a safe space is necessary. All are welcome, and it is a free space where you won’t be judged. You will be supported and respected for being you, and have a temporary place where you can escape from your own problems. They can be online or in person, and a common one is Quora. There are communities just for the LGBTQIA+ that listen and speak respectfully. Exercise sounds cliche, but at times it can be refreshing and freeing. I occasionally go on runs, and when I do it several times a week I feel less depressed and anxious. Doing any exercise helps mental health, no matter how it is performed.

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