Any marriage and family therapist who works with LGBT people can tell you that coming out of the closet is a difficult experience for many. There can be emotional, psychological, and sometimes even physical repercussions to it.
For people with existing mental health conditions, however, it’s even more damaging to stay in the closet.
June is LGBT Pride Month, so if you’re planning to come out, check out these tips from a sex therapist in Bay Area to keep your mental health in good shape:
Make Sure That You’re Sure
Choosing to come out of the closet isn’t a decision to be made lightly. In fact, many LGBT people simply live the lives they want to without ever coming out of the closet.
Make sure you do some soul-searching, collect your thoughts, and are sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Know Your Circumstances
You don’t need to come out to everyone you know at the same time, especially if it poses any kind of risk to your physical or emotional well-being.
You may choose to come out to your best friends and not come out to your other friends right away, or you may come out to one person in your family and not the others.
Your first responsibility is to yourself, so make sure you’re coming out in a way that works with your personal circumstances.
Consider Getting Help
If you’re experiencing conflicting feelings about disclosing your sexual orientation, it’s wise to go to therapy and sort them out in that safe space.
A therapist with an understanding of LGBT concerns can help you sort out your emotions, make up your mind, and figure out your next steps.
Your therapist can also offer insights into coming out to someone and talking to them about the subject.
Pay Attention to Yourself
It’s easy to get caught up in other people’s responses and what you expect them to say when you come out, but don’t forget to pay attention to your state of mind.
Many people experience severe anxiety that’s often triggered by the idea of coming out. Note any symptoms of anxiety that you recognize in yourself, and consult your therapist or talk to a trusted friend for help.
Untreated anxiety can often lead to panic attacks.
Don’t Feel Pressured
As soon as the month of June begins, there are a lot of events, parades, and a celebration of LGBTQIA+ identities taking place everywhere you look.
You might also have close friends or other people you know that are coming out or have already come out and are comfortable with their choice.
Remember that it’s your life, and you should only come out if you feel comfortable and ready to do so. The day-to-day realities of living outside the closet vary from person to person, and it can be easy to forget that when you’re feeling emotional in pride month.
Don’t make the decision to come out because you feel pressured to.
At Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling, noted same sex couples therapist in Palo Alto Azizeh E. Rezaiyan, LMFT, provides anxiety treatment, couples counseling, marriage guidance counseling, and therapy for infidelity.