LGBTQIA+: The impact of “minority stress” on mental health

LGBTQIA+: The impact of “minority stress” on mental health

June is the month in which pride is celebrated LGBTQIA+ community. Pride Month is a time to celebrate inclusion, but there are still plenty of them Prejudices to those belonging to minority sexual groups who have a major impact on their physical and mental well-being. We spoke to the doctor about it Sara Beomonte Zobelpsychodynamically oriented psychotherapist of the online psychology service Good and expert on issues related to the LGBT world.

In this article

Prejudice and psychological violence in the LGBTQIA+ community

“The problem with psychological violence is, on the one hand, that it is less visible than other forms of violence, such as physical violence.” On the other hand, it is violence that can take many forms. Any minority is subject in addition to explicit attackseven to a whole bunch of microaggressions, where sometimes there is no explicit will or awareness to discriminate. For example, suppose a person who presents as a woman identifies herself as such in terms of gender identity. we are in one Society that has not yet reached a sufficient level of awareness on these topics. For this reason, it is important to emphasize that for those coming from aExperience of systemic discrimination is also traumahowever qualified as Violence», explains dr. Sara Beomonte Zobel.

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are at higher risk of suffering from mental health problems

“If we look at studies that look at mental health, such as the surveys that have been conducted across the United States of thousands of people in the general population, there is indeed one higher prevalence of mental disorders or conditions. However, it is not the case that being part of the LGBTQIA+ community in itself is a predisposing factor to lower mental well-being. It must be related to the fact that there is an intermediate filter, the company and the “minority stress”».

What is “minority stress”?

“This concept comes from social psychology. is theexcess of stress to which people belong marginalized and stigmatized categories, such as LGBTQIA+, are more exposed. When people are in a state of stress, it is because they are reacting to adapt to the environment. When we are stressed, neurotransmitters and hormones are activated that affect how the brain functions. be exposed to one stressful condition For a longer time includes a greater susceptibility to the development of diseases, both from a physical and psychological point of view. The symptoms that can result from prolonged exposure to systemic stress, such as that experienced by minorities, are then strongly related to personality, the social context of origin or the context in which the person moves. On emotional, intellectual and environmental resources.

“The alarm bell It’s just the fact that you don’t feel good about being yourself or being yourself. In the feeling inadequate or inadequate without being able to give an explanation. In fact it is context that creates or activates that type of experience. For example, that you are very conditioned in the way you live relationships or that you have to present yourself differently than you are,” the psychotherapist specifies.

The effectiveness of affirmative therapy

“There affirmative therapy It is not a therapeutic orientation, but a style, a way of being and being in therapy on the part of the therapist. Yes Unlike conversion therapies which unfortunately still exist and are based on the denial of the identity of the individual. The affirmation therapies they are socially and culturally informed approaches. They recognize identity in all possible forms and do not see it as an indication of anything pathological.”

“In theory, all good psychotherapy should be positive therapy. And the condition sine qua non so that a person can trust, perceive an environment as safe, open up and give the professional or specialist the opportunity to help them. Therapy does not allow us to change the outside world in a demeaning or stigmatizing direction. But let’s have a space where you feel recognized, free in their own decisions and by can feel good even in contexts that are not necessarily inviting.”

Discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community limits access to healthcare

“There are many studies that tend to exist less access to care of the members of LGBTQIA+ communitydetermined by the Fear of being discriminated against even by health workers. Or simply because you have to put in more effort into the other person than someone who fits society’s expectations of sex. People perceive, possibly because of a past experience or a global context of discrimination and rejection, aanother obstacle. This is a very big problem that highlights a training and information needsespecially for those who work in contact with the population,” continues Dr. Beomonte Zobel gone.

The importance of educating about diversity and attention to language

“It starts with the ad for elementary education educate for diversitythrough to more targeted and specific training in the professional field. Considering that we live in a cultural system where biological sex-gender match, or being straight, is taken for granted.”

“Another important thing is trying to adopt one neutral language when speaking, whether in a formal, informal or educational setting. When we are in a group and we all present ourselves with such an approach and state the pronouns of preference, the person who does not recognize their biological gender will feel less stigmatized because they are not the only one indicating it must . And in speeches of any kind We must never assume that there are certain preferences or inclinations. It takes a little effort, but they’re all things that happen automatically once we start doing them. If I start speaking a certain way, the person in front of me will tend to use the same language.”

Create an inclusive environment

“In one truly inclusive society It would not take anyone more effort than anyone else to be recognized for what should only be a right. If a whole bunch of little things are already coming into the system, the rest follows as a consequence, why language creates», concludes the expert.

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