WHY DOES SEXUALITY AFFECT MENTAL HEALTH?
Lots of things can impact our mental health, including where we’re from, our background and our current life circumstances – as well as all of the stuff we do and go through in everyday life, so it makes sense that your sexuality, and people’s responses to it, can also affect how you feel.
The only person your sexuality should matter to is you. Unfortunately, some people don’t see it that way, and discrimination based on someone’s sexuality is not uncommon. You might feel that you have to hide or mute elements of who you are, or perhaps you constantly have to explain your life decisions to people you barely know.
LGBTQ+ people can face a huge amount of pressure, which can have an impact on mental health. If you are struggling, you can always talk to the CALM helpline, or specialist LGBTQ+ organisations including Switchboard LGBT, and MindOut.
You may feel some of the following:
- Like a liar or a fraud
- Like you can’t be yourself
- Worried or anxious about the future
- Experience panic attacks
- Like giving up
- Want to shut yourself away or avoid certain places like work or school
You do not have to disclose your sexuality to anyone if you don’t want to. No one has a say in your sexuality except you. Sometimes that means relationships with friends and family who have different views can be tough. You can find support here.
Remember that LGBTQ+ rights are protected by law.