Due to stigma and intolerance, LGBTQ teens are more likely than their peers to struggle with their mental health, including depression. Proper support for these teens is key to uplifting their mental health. Learn more about the importance of support, the symptoms of depression, and what suitable treatment includes for LGBTQ teens struggling with depression.
Importance of Support and Acceptance
According to the Trevor Project’s “2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health,” LGBTQ teens who felt high social support from their families reported attempting suicide at less than half the rate of those who felt low or mild social support. Meanwhile, LGBTQ teens who believed their school was LGBT-friendly displayed lower rates of attempting suicide.
These studies prove that when a teen in the LGBTQ community feels supported, they’re more likely to experience a healthier state of mind. When feeling unaccepted by family and peers, their mental health is at serious risk. As a result, these teens are at a higher threat of struggling with depression.
The Trevor Project also revealed that nearly 58% of LGBTQ teens reported experiencing signs of depression. This percentage includes almost two-thirds of transgender and nonbinary teens. In comparison to their heterosexual and cisgender peers, the National Alliance on Mental Health’s (NAMI) article on “LGBTQI” declared that these LGBTQ teens were twice as likely to report negative emotions such as constant unhappiness and hopelessness.
It should also be known that LGBTQ teens of color are more likely to encounter mental health issues. One study found that within the LGBTQ teen community, Latino males were more likely to struggle with depression than white males. It can be determined that family rejection and lack of social support put LGBTQ teens at a higher risk of being diagnosed with depression.
LGBTQ Teen Depression: Signs and Symptoms
When it comes to depression, teens may show different symptoms than adults. While the severity varies from teen to teen, these signs can show that they are in need of aid and treatment. Most times, a teenager’s behavior and attitude will shift. These changes and signs of depression include
- Feeling sadness or crying for seemingly no reason
- Experiencing anger or frustration, even over minor conflicts
- No longer interested in usual hobbies
- Low self-esteem
- Preoccupation with failures or displaying self-criticism
- Issues with thinking, focusing, and memory
- A constant feeling that the future is hopeless
- Misuse of alcohol or drugs
- Often complains about body aches or headaches, including repeated visits to the school nurse
- Lowered grades or recurring absences from school
- Less care for appearance or hygiene
While these signs aren’t a complete test if a teen is experiencing depression, they are helpful to determine if a parent or guardian needs to talk with them about their mental health. Speaking with them honestly about their emotions and issues they may be facing can open an opportunity to find a solution.
Ways to Support LGBTQ Teens
Going out of your way to make an LGBTQ teen feel supported can save a life. While this may sound like a challenge, there are plenty of ways to help them feel understood and accepted. While ensuring LGBTQ teens that they are in a safe space and that you are always open to talk, they may need other sources of guidance. This can include a local organization or business that serves the LGBTQ community, such as advocacy groups or bookstores.
Another supportive outlet can be an LGBTQ adult who can offer comfort and advice. Depression can make LGBTQ teens feel as if a happy future is unattainable. An LGBTQ mentor can help them understand that there is hope for acceptance, success, and happiness.
Lastly, finding an LGBTQ-friendly counselor or therapist can allow teens to feel comfortable discussing their thoughts and concerns. Whether they support the LGBTQ community or are part of the community themselves, these counselors can provide teens with the positive coping skills and knowledge they need to feel confident.
LGBTQ-Friendly Depression Treatment
Mental health treatment can allow LGBTQ teens to find relief from their depression. Most of these teens want to receive mental health treatment but are unable to do so. According to the Trevor Project, 60% of LGBTQ teens who wanted mental health care in the past year were unable to receive it.
Avalon Malibu is an LGBTQ-friendly treatment facility that provides those with depression to regain purpose in their lives. While teens with depression may feel as if there’s no hope, our mental health professionals can help teens feel supported and make meaningful changes in their mood and behavior.
Since every person’s needs are different, we offer various therapeutic treatments. Aside from our diverse types of therapy, we also provide healing activities such as art therapy, writing therapy, acupuncture, and more. Our staff will help determine which treatment programs are right for them.
Is your teen struggling with depression? When searching for care, it’s critical that you find LGBTQ-friendly facilities. At Avalon Malibu, we provide safe and accepting treatment for all clients. Whether in our residential treatment or intensive outpatient care, our mental health experts can ensure a great start to a lifetime of healing. We can provide the support your teen needs to feel accepted and alter their negative thought processes. Avalon Malibu also offers group therapy where your teen can share their emotions with those in a similar struggle. If you’re ready to provide support and treatment for your teen, we can help you determine the program right for them. Learn more about our programs by calling (844) 857-5992.