If you identify as LGBTQ and need professional help with a mental health problem, you want a therapist who is well-versed, knowledgeable, and experienced in working with and understanding the LGBTQ community. Barry J. Richman, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating a variety of mental health conditions at his clinic in Manhattan, New York, and has considerable experience supporting members of the LGBTQ community. Call Barry J. Richman MD Psychiatry today to arrange a consultation, or book an appointment online.
What are LGBTQ issues?
LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, encompassing the many variations of human sexuality and sexual identity.
Gay and lesbian people come to psychiatrists for help and treatment for many of the same clinical and life issues that heterosexual people do, such as anxiety, help with relationships, and help with cultivating an awareness of patterns that are interfering with their moving forward in their lives.
Some of these issues have little to do with the individual’s sexual orientation, while others may be intimately connected to their sexual identity. Either way, as treatment gets underway, issues of sexual orientation and identity are likely to play a role in how the treatment evolves and becomes key in understanding the individual.
Consequently, a therapist with some specialized knowledge and understanding of these issues will be most helpful to the patient.
What is gay-affirmative psychotherapy?
Gay-affirmative psychotherapy is an assumption that gay, lesbian, and bisexual identities are normal, and changing a patient’s sexual identity should not be a goal of treatment. This is an important definition, as there needs to be clarity between Dr. Richman and his patients that attempting to change their sexual identity is not part of the therapeutic process.
There are many important and unique aspects of working with the LGBTQ population. Therapists need to be familiar with the coming out process and must understand the complexities of internalized homophobia and heterosexism.
Are there specific health issues affecting the LGBTQ community?
Alcohol and substance abuse is a significant issue for the LGBTQ community, and there also seems to be evidence to suggest there are higher rates of mood disorders amongst LGBTQ people.
HIV is another area that’s of huge importance and concern to the LGBTQ community, as many patients may require special assessment and monitoring of medications that produce psychiatric side effects and drug interactions. The syndrome itself may also present with psychiatric symptoms ranging from depression and anxiety to loss of memory and other cognitive changes.
Dr. Richman has specialist expertise in helping members of the LGBTQ community with their mental health needs, so call Barry J. Richman MD Psychiatry today to arrange your appointment, or book online.