How resiliency fosters recovery for LGBTQ+ individuals

Reviewed by:
Tracey Griffin, LMHC – Staff Therapist at Talkiatry
June 28, 2019

One part of recovery from any mental illness is the concept of resiliency. Resiliency is a word that has been coming up frequently. Many people do not know exactly what it is. Resiliency can be likened to an elastic band. When in good shape, an elastic band should be able to be stretched, moved, flexed, and more, without breaking.

What is more important about the elastic band is its ability to maintain the same resting shape once you let it go. This is the case for resiliency. Resiliency is a concept that can be taught to those who have experienced trauma or those who are living with mental illness. Resiliency is a concept which can apply to many situations.

The concept of resiliency can especially help individuals who identify as L.G.B.T.Q.+ and are living with a mental illness. Research has shown L.G.B.T.Q.+ adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition. This makes it even more important to develop and teach transferable tools to better help these populations. So how can someone with these issues build resiliency to deal with their problems?

Find a support network or mentor

Seeking and becoming part of supportive partnerships and relationships is a key source of sustenance for anyone. One of the basic needs of humans, second only to food and shelter, is personal safety. This may come in the form of partnerships such as support groups or community agencies. More commonly, these take the shape of relationships and friendships with people who understand and comfort us through it all.

Acceptance from others can help us feel both physically and emotionally safe. Connections especially can take this safety to a higher level by nurturing and encouraging growth in all areas of life. Those living with mental illness often feel isolated and misunderstood. This makes forming a sense of community even more important in moving toward recovery. If you are living as an individual who identifies as L.G.B.T.Q.+, community is even more important to feel safe in an often unpredictable world.

Grow from your experiences

When hardship or tragedy hits, a person’s viewpoint can make all the difference. The lived experience of an individual who identifies as L.G.B.T.Q.+ undoubtedly plays a large role in their life. These events all come in the form of opportunities which can make or break someone’s spirit and ability to live fully.

Growing from your experiences can help you transform from someone who is struggling to deal with their past to someone who brightly looks toward the future. This notion can even take the idea of growth one step further. Individuals who wish to act as a source of support for those who identify as L.G.B.T.Q.+ should assume a mindset which encourages their own personal growth along with the growth of others.

Live fully through your daily interactions

By taking each friendship and relationship as a chance to express individuality, L.G.B.T.Q.+ individuals are better able to experience a feeling of fullness and livelihood. By living in the present, you are taking the scenic route toward finding what and who you love, while spending time how you want to.

Principles such as gratitude, meditation, mindfulness, and self-care mean a lot to someone who is recovering from trauma. This can bring your thoughts to the present and focus on the most important thing: your recovery and journey toward wellness.

Living fully also means taking time to know and love yourself. Loving yourself sounds a whole lot easier said than done. If you are living and breathing, it is safe to say you have personal battles or vices you are struggling with each day. How you respond to these struggles is what makes the difference. With time and nurturing, a sense of security will grow to such an advanced level that it can bounce back from nearly anything.

Communicating well with others

The age old adage ‘actions speak louder than words’ is not always true. While what you do does make a big statement, what you say can have a large impact on yourself and others. Individuals who identify as L.G.B.T.Q.+ can often closely relate to this. Most L.G.B.T.Q.+ individuals can think of at least one time someone’s words or ignorance were used as a weapon. This is yet another opportunity to express yourself in a way that shows love and appreciation. If you want someone to understand you, it is important to express yourself in a way that shows how you are truly feeling.

Communicating with others may be especially difficult for some people who have not taken that vital first step of loving themselves. Unless you have trained your mind to love yourself for who you are (including what you have been through), communicating yourself in a way that projects love will prove one of the most trying things you will do.

Coping with a mental illness

Mental health counseling or therapy can be an integral choice in the journey to recovery from mental illness. One form of therapy we previously spoke about is cognitive behavioral therapy.

At Talkiatry, our providers are available for consultations on a wide variety of mental health symptoms. Our providers can determine if treatment is recommended and what options are appropriate for you.

About Talkiatry

Talkiatry is a local, accessible and complete mental healthcare solution that accepts insurance. We close the gap for individuals who want to get better, but feel that mental health care has been challenging to navigate up until this point and want a more convenient way to take the first step. Talkiatry takes the traditional local mental health visit and combines it with technology, scale, efficiency, and design to provide the best possible environment for healing.

Talkiatry is a mental health practice, and our clinicians review everything we write. However, articles are never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may need mental health help, talk to a psychiatrist. If you or someone you know may be in danger, call 911 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 right away.

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