Lesbian, Bisexual , Queer (LBQ) women support group session on Depression.

We should be defiant in our acceptance of mental health problems in the same way that we would about our sexuality or gender identity” With support from UHAI-Eashri we had a successful support session for Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer women/men where we had in-depth interaction and discussion on depression. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistently low mood and a feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is a persistent problem, not a passing one, lasting on average. Lesbians, Bisexual and Queer women are a marginalized group living in a hetero-normative and homophobic society, with this it leads to higher rates of mental health issues such as depression; because they don’t fit into the expectations of what certain sectors of society consider to be the norm. Many factors cause depression and anxiety among all women, However, lesbian, bisexual and queer women report higher rates of depression than other women do. Depression in LBQ women may be due to: Social stigma, rejection by family members, abuse and violence, unfair treatment in the legal system, stress from hiding some or all parts of one’s life.

Symptoms of depression include

    • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
    • Loss of interest in daily activities
    • Appetite or weight changes
    • Sleep changes, either insomnia or oversleeping
    • Anger or irritability
    • Loss of energy; feeling fatigued or physically drained
    • Self-loathing
    • Reckless behavior


Causes of depression in LBQT women/men;

    • Self-esteem and internalized homophobia
    • Minority stress associated with stigma, depression, prejudice and homophobia
    • Microaggressions
    • Pressure to conform
    • Coming out
    • Parenting
    • Family rejection/ alienation
    • Cultural acceptance

What can LBQT persons do about depression? If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes aren’t enough, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression including;

    • Psychotherapy- which focuses on behavioral change, it can focus on identifying thoughts that causes depression and challenging those thoughts.
    • Medication, psychiatric medications works by altering the chemicals in your brains as prescribed by a doctor.

Whether this be calling others out on using homophobic slurs, supporting queer friends who are struggling, or campaigning on a national level for better awareness in health services – it’s vital that we talk about LBQT mental health, especially what we can do to change things. It’s time to end the stigma surrounding mental health and acknowledge the millions who struggle with intolerance and suffer in silence. We can find hope and healing in mental health treatment while breaking down the behaviors that contribute to mental health conditions.