Sexual Identity

Sexual Identity Related Distress
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals are at higher risk than the rest of the population for developing depression, anxiety, and/or other mental health disorders. Although things have improved for the LGBTQ community in recent years, sexual minority individuals may struggle with “coming out” due to social stigma, and/or fears of discrimination from family members, co-workers, peers, classmates, or institutions. Consequently, this may contribute to the development of negative feelings towards oneself and others, low self-esteem, personal insecurities, social isolation, and anxiety.

Symptoms of a Mental Health Problem:

  • Depressed mood

  • Hopelessness

  • Feelings of anger and irritability

  • Social isolation or avoidance of certain people, places or situations

  • Feelings of worthlessness

  • Thoughts of suicide

  • Worry or fears

  • Self-destructive behaviors including increased substance use or other risky behaviors

  • Racing thoughts

  • Inability to concentrate/easily distracted

  • Changes in sleep or appetite



First Steps specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ+ related concerns, including assisting individuals in the coming out process. Effective treatment methodologies include:

  • Individual Psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral, mindfulness, solution-focused, acceptance and commitment, and self-compassion therapy modalities

  • Group Psychotherapy, the participation in group therapy with other sexual minority members can lead to feelings of increased self-esteem and acceptance

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they text to 741741.

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