Sexual orientation and gender are important aspects of an individual’s identity.
Adulthood can bring a unique set of stressors and challenges for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ). As America’s older population is growing, so is number of LGBTQ adults who are moving into later adulthood, adults who are part of the first generation of LGBTQ individuals to have, in large numbers, identified as LGBTQ openly.
LGBTQ adults will face many of the same challenges all people face as they age, though there are unique concerns and barriers that can negatively impact the LGBTQ population. These inequalities can cause added stress and have an influence on one’s mental health and wellbeing.
Although not all members of the LGBTQ community will experience identical challenges— prejudice, discrimination, family rejection, and the denial of human rights are unfortunately still common experiences for many people. Research indicates that LGBTQ adults are more than twice as likely to experience a mental health condition than their heterosexual counterparts and are also at a higher risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts than the general population.
Therapy can assist individuals in managing life stressors that feel overwhelming or confusing. At Metta Psychology Group, our therapists can help individuals navigate situations including: career development and creating a healthy workspace, dating and managing romantic relationships, family planning, and access to aging services and caregiving issues. Building a support group, finding access to healthcare, and understanding one’s legal rights are important aspects in maintaining mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, exploring other aspects of a person’s identity is important in recognizing the impact of intersectionality of identities and how this could increase an individual’s stress level and even contribute to symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Our psychologists have expertise in helping individuals implement effective strategies to cope with the challenges that may arise due to their gender or sexual identity. Our psychologists embody an open-minded, supportive, and affirming approach to ensure competent, accessible, and quality care.