Oftentimes, a person’s sexual or romantic orientation may—in and of itself–not be a source of distress. However, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (known as LGBT, among others) may find that the social stigma of living as a sexual minority is a source of stress or anxiety. Being exposed to social rejection, verbal and physical bullying, and other negative reactions from family and peers can lead to chronic stress and diminished mental health.
Seeking therapy, whether for issues associated with one’s sexual identity or for everyday concerns, such as relationship issues and anxiety, and finding a qualified mental health professional who is aware and accepting of issues within the LGBT community can be vital to successful therapy outcomes. Approaches such as CBT and EMDR can be helpful in coping with earlier issues related to being rejected by family and peers, and learning to establish healthy communication and boundaries with support networks can be instrumental to improved relationships.