Is your sexuality affecting your mental health?

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Sexuality is the word used to describe the attraction you have for another person. This person can be of the same sex or a sex different to yours.

There are many different names and types of sexuality. Some people find comfort in labelling themselves. Some do not (you can find a full A-Z of sexualities over at Stonewall).

The important thing to remember with sexuality is that you are valid no matter what your sexuality might be.

Unfortunately, those who do not accept, understand or come to terms with their sexuality often experience bad mental health conditions ranging from addiction to depression, anxiety, and many more.

Fear of Sexuality

A person may be worried about their sexuality out of fear.

Fear of sexual acceptance can occur for many reasons. Firstly, someone may not want to embrace their feelings or emotions because they’re scared of how a friend or family member may react.

This happens in those who have internalised homophobia due to past events. For example, someone brought up to believe that being part of the LGBTQ+ community is bad is more likely to fear coming out if they are of a different sexuality to others.

Sexuality: Mental Health Symptoms

Sexuality can cause someone to feel many emotions and feelings:

  • They may feel ‘othered’ or see themselves as an outsider
  • Bullying due to sexuality
  • Fear of bullying or prejudice from others
  • Self-hatred or bad self-image
  • Feeling angry all the time
  • Irritable, even violent towards others

How to Ease Your Mental Health

There is no set way to easing mental health as we are all different, but these are a few helpful tips.

Embrace Yourself

The first step to any situation is acceptance. Now, this is not saying you should go out and scream from the rooftops about your sexuality, but at least say it to yourself and maybe to some understanding friends or family.

Depending on the individual, it may not be possible for a person to come out to the world or be their true selves. But someone may find that at least coming out to themselves to be a huge turning point in their journey.

Taking the time to look inward and reflect is always good for the mind to check in and see how it is.

If you find yourself struggling with your sexuality, try telling yourself, “I am …”. If you feel confused, just acknowledge that too. Simply telling yourself the words you have been scared to hear can change your entire world – imagine a lightbulb switching on.

Talk About It

Is there someone in your life to who you can talk about your thoughts and feelings? This could be a family member or someone from a third party that will listen to you.

This does not necessarily have to be someone from the LGBTQ+ community, just someone you can have an open, truthful, and honest conversation with. Someone who can provide you with a safe space to reflect on all the possibilities without fear of being judged or shamed.

As humans, we all experience mental health turmoil at one time or another. Talking about feelings gives you the chance to unravel and digest your thoughts.

Find Your Community

This is particularly helpful to those who find themselves without role models or figures with the same sexuality.

Try taking the time to research if there are online or offline groups that align with your experience – join if you feel inclined. No pressure, sometimes just knowing there are others out there with similar or shared experiences can help tenfold.

If you need to talk to someone about your mental health, you can always get in touch with Dr Nick to find a service that works for you. If you are experiencing stress or troubles due to your sexuality, you can find more helpful information over at Stonewall, The Proud Trust and The LGBT Foundation.