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Our Mental Health Blogs

Finding LGBT Friendly Mental Health Care for the Uninsured

Finding LGBT Friendly Mental Health Care for the Uninsured

You can feel yourself slipping away. Again. You don’t feel anything. You don’t see the dirty laundry and dishes that have piled sky high. You don’t hear the kids yelling, the dog barking or your wife talking. Life is on mute.

Or quite the opposite, you find yourself in such emotional chaos that you see, hear and feel everything simultaneously. You can’t think straight. You don’t care about anything or anyone anymore. Except you really do which is why you decide to seek support in addressing your mental health issues. However, finding LGBT friendly mental health care can be very challenging, particularly for the uninsured. I’ve been there.

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Yoga for Better LGBT Mental Health

Yoga for Better LGBT Mental Health

Just in case you haven’t heard the news by now, with very few exceptions, yoga is good for you! And if you happen to be an LGBT individual committed to better mental health, then you may find that a simple yoga practice is just what you need.

Anxiety, depression and high stress levels are serious problems for many of us in the LGBT community. A study of 4,000 people by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) concluded that “almost 80% of LGBT folks have suffered intense anxiety within the last year”!

It seems to me that we are carrying a disproportionate share of mental health issues across the globe, and yoga is a no to low cost way for our community to practice mental self-care.

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Back to School: How Out Should LGBT Families Be?

Back to School: How Out Should LGBT Families Be?

School is back in session in our home and with it has come a torrent of changes not only to our daily routine, but also in our relationships and associations. For my 3 daughters; a senior in high school and two middle-schoolers going back to school is an exciting time as they look forward to meeting a new set of teachers, friends, soccer coaches, etc. However, for many LGBT families, going back to school can mean anxiously making decisions about how out to be in the school environment, if at all.

Given how heated the international debate about same-sex marriages (and the families we create) are, it is not without reason that as LGBT parents, we may worry about the impact coming out in our child’s school will have.

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Coming Out an Ongoing Process for LGBT Parents and Our Children

Coming Out an Ongoing Process for LGBT Parents and Our Children

As LGBT parents, we must remember that coming out is a ongoing process for our children like it is for us. Learn how LGBT parents can help their children adjust.

It was the summer of 2010 and after 4 years of coming out, dating and gradually growing closer as a couple, my partner Tamiko and I were both joyously and anxiously planning for our upcoming commitment ceremony that autumn. We were also looking forward to blending our families and starting a new chapter of life together.

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How to Honor Our Feelings to Honor Ourselves

How to Honor Our Feelings to Honor Ourselves

Honor your feelings even if others invalidate or dismiss them. It may sound hard, but dishonoring our feelings hurts our mental health. Learn more here.

It’s important to honor our feelings, to treat them with respect and to not judge ourselves for having them. Even embarrassing feelings, or hateful ones, or angry ones. We can honor our feelings without acting on them immediately because when you own your feelings, you have self-discipline and can allow feelings to pass in and out of you until you feel ready to act on them. Or not. Learning to honor our feelings teaches us to honor ourselves.

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Out at Work: LGBT Mental Health in the Workplace

Out at Work: LGBT Mental Health in the Workplace

Common wisdom and social research both tell us that accepting who we are and being open about our sexual identity brings mental health benefits, despite the negative consequences we may experience for doing so. Many of us who have come out LGBT know that coming out as a sexual minority is risky and the consequences are real, particularly in the workplace. We also know that coming out is not a one time thing. It is a never ending process of interacting with others while trying to remain as true to ourselves as possible. Whether it is correcting co-workers who assume the ring on my finger means I have a husband, or telling my boss the woman in the picture frame isn’t my sister, we are always making a moment by moment decision about disclosing who we are.

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“Forgive Me Please?” – Mending Hurt Relationships

“Forgive Me Please?” – Mending Hurt Relationships

Hurting other people, especially those we love, is inevitable. Living with mental health issues like Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Depression, Addiction and other mood altering conditions, means we will also have to live with the fact that we hurt other people with greater frequency and sometimes with greater depth than those who are not. So if we are going to have healthy relationships, learning to acknowledge our slights and ask for forgiveness is essential.

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Toxic Relationships: Dealing With People Who Have Issues

Toxic Relationships: Dealing With People Who Have Issues

I come from a large quirky family of addictive and codependent personalities that bred what seems like nothing but toxic relationships; relationships that ultimately did more to harm our mental, physical and emotional well-being than good (7 Basic Signs of a Toxic Relationship). I’ve never really considered us “dysfunctional” because we actually functioned quite well as long as everyone did their job and played their role. That job or role always being to pacify and enable the person with issues by protecting them from reality or the consequences of their actions. It looks a little something like this:

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Codependency in LGBT Relationships

Codependency in LGBT Relationships

It’s no secret that those of us in LGBT relationships tend to have strong emotional attachments with our partners, particularly long-term partners. While this can be a wonderful experience in a relationship with healthy boundaries between “self” and “other”, strong emotional attachments can become maddening when codependency is an issue.

Anyone who has spent any time in the LGBT community may have heard comments like: “Lesbians never break up.” and “Gay men never let go.” While this has been a widely accepted idea often used to stereotype our relationships as dysfunctional, research is showing that there is some truth to these statements. Specifically; that women in same-sex relationships tend to remain connected and intertwined in each others lives long after break-up.

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Self-Acceptance is The Way to Grow

Self-Acceptance is The Way to Grow

This time of year, everyone but me seems to be in the “New Year, New Me” spirit. Sure, the phrase is catchy enough; but I like who I am just fine and I have no interest in continuously obsessing about my weaknesses, failures and limitations. For me, self-acceptance is the way to grow.

On the surface, I don’t see anything wrong with having the desire to grow and improve yourself. And I know that the desire to be a better you doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t like who you are at the moment. But for those of us struggling with self-acceptance, “self-improvement” can become just another hammer to beat ourselves over the head with.

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