Lesbian Teen Treatment

Growing up can be tough for anyone, let alone people who do not seem to be able to fit in. For gay and lesbian teens, high school and social pressures can be too much to handle. If you think that your child is facing too much stress, and is developing dangerous habits, you may need to investigate gay and lesbian teen treatment.

Teens face enough trials as it is with changing hormones, growing bodies, and the stress of school. Gay and lesbian teens face additional trials because of public perception. They are especially at risk for depression, anxiety, and experimenting with substance abuse.

Worried parents should know that there are options out there that can help prevent their teens from destroying their own lives. An effective option for gay and lesbian teen treatment is psychological counseling. Your teen may not be thrilled with the idea at first, but it can be very freeing for your child to have a person to speak to without worry. There are rehabilitation clinics and centers available for teens who have become dependent on dangerous substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs.

Parents should try and be as supportive as possible, while also setting appropriate limits. Just because your teen has told you that they are gay or lesbian does not mean they experience these problems. With the proper support from their parents and friends, gay and lesbian teens can lead normal, healthy lives. However, if your teen is experiencing problems, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a professional.

Even at rehab centers there are several different treatments. This allows every person to be matched with the system that will help him or her to recover. There are the individual sessions; these are what people imagine when they think of meeting with a counselor or psychologist. There are also group therapy sessions where your teen can meet others like him or her that are going through the same process. Some rehabilitation facilities offer special therapy sessions involving animals.

When seeking gay or lesbian teen treatment, look for facilities that understand the special needs of children as compared to adults. Kids have different needs than adults, and the same applies to treatments for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse problems.

It is important to encourage your teen as they enter any kind of program to help fight off mental disorders or addiction problems. Gay and lesbian teen treatment for these disorders can seem embarrassing to a teenager. Sticking to the proscribed routine is a key aspect of your teen being able to reenter society again as a happy and healthy young adult.

The Similarities in Stories of Lesbian Teen Struggles

There is no one story of lesbian teen struggles, because there is no one kind of teen, thus the stories of lesbian teen struggles are as diverse as the teens themselves. However, many elements of these stories are the same.

Lesbian teens have many of the same challenges as straight teens, including school, extracurricular activities, and worry that they will not be able to live up to parents’, family, or church expectations.

With the onset of puberty as teens start having romantic relationships, their feelings of awkwardness increase. For the lesbian teen, the fear that their families and religious communities will not accept them increases that awkwardness and stress.

Some lesbian teens have known from a young age that they have same sex attractions, while others only begin to recognize that they are lesbian during the onset of puberty. Most teens fear rejection from friends and peers to some degree, however, this is increased significantly for individuals who do not conform to gender stereotypes.

To add to their stress, lesbian teens have fewer role models. Parents and other supports may not be emotionally or intellectually available to support lesbian teens during this critical time in the development of self. The teen years are very much a training period for adulthood, and if teens do not have role models, finding their place and role in life becomes difficult. In addition, the vast majority of lesbian youth report that they have suffered physical or verbal harassment.

Each teen’s story is unique, depending upon the amount of pressure by parents to meet expectations, level of acceptance from families and religious communities, acceptance of peers, and availability of role models. Each teen’s story as they struggle against stereotypes is unique. However, with help, stories of lesbian teen struggles can end with positive outcomes.

Social Conflicts for Lesbian Teens

Adolescence is often a time of very important changes—physical, emotional, cognitive, and social—and learning how to navigate this complicated web of interpersonal relationships is of critical importance during this period. Unlike childhood, where peer friendships have many of the same parameters and expectations, adolescence introduces far more nuanced and complex relationship dynamics. When it comes to social conflicts for lesbian teens or, more broadly, teens who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), these dynamics can be even more challenging. For the sake of your teen, learning effective conflict resolution skills can make a tremendous difference in her life—a difference that can resonate through adulthood.

Many facets of effective conflict resolution—whether for teens or adults, straight or gay—are identical. In traditional conflict resolution, a neutral environment for both parties is often suggested, so as not to allow one person to have, or be perceived as having, an unfair advantage. Using a practiced problem-solving process to help diffuse tempers and align thinking can be an extremely helpful tool. Communication techniques, like learning to listen attentively, explain honestly, seek out common or compatible interests, and accept another person’s point of view—even if it isn’t an agreeable one—are all very valuable useful skills for anyone to develop. While social conflicts for lesbian teens may be inevitable sometimes, arming your LGBT teen with the ability to help resolve issues within meaningful relationships can go a long way toward building a healthy personality, as well as a potentially smoother transition to college and beyond.

Learning Your Teen Daughter Identifies as Lesbian

For a young person struggling to come to terms with her sexual identity, expressing her lesbian orientation to her parents for the first time can be an especially difficult task. While many a teenager’s years are often spent questioning and exploring various facets of her own personality—many of which can and will change over time—you as a parent should strongly consider refraining from snapping to judgment and presuming “it’s just a phase”. Not only is this unhelpful, but it may wind up making your daughter feel alienated at a very vulnerable time in her life. Parental conflict and lesbian teens are common associations, but it is important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. As gay and lesbian teens have markedly higher rates of drug abuse, suicidal ideation, and suicide, it is a far better plan to accept your daughter’s announcement with love and concern, even if you yourself are struggling to come to terms with her beliefs.

Sexual identity therapy may be one very useful tool for both you and your daughter to pursue. There are professional psychologists and family counselors who specialize in working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth and teenagers. While parental conflict and lesbian teens are understandably closely related to one another in many families, with proper and professional help at critical steps along the way, you and your daughter can both have a better chance at happier, healthier lives and relationships—both with one another, as well as with others in your family or circle of friends.

Note to Parents of Lesbian Teens

Being a successful parent is one of the most difficult, yet wonderful challenges any adult can undertake in his or her life. Instilling your child with healthy personality traits—like the ability to love and be loved, take responsibility, admit mistakes, and build trustworthy friendships with peers—can feel overwhelming at times. Learning that your child identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can make adolescence even more complex.

Note to parents of lesbian teen: if you were raised in a religious or socially conservative household, you may be worried or upset. You may be secretly hoping that she will change her mind, or that it’s “just a phase”, and want her to go to counseling. Just bear in mind that not all counseling is created equal. Many psychological professionals can help your daughter come to terms with who she feels she is, and what she wants and needs. Other types of “counseling” may seek exclusively to undermine her sexual desires and beliefs, encouraging her to believe she is actually heterosexual. Most of these “treatment programs” are not successful; many of them actually can and do cause significant harm.

Note to parents of lesbian teen: it is up to you as the parent to realize that while you may have her best intentions in mind, you cannot control whom your teen is attracted to. What you can do is support her decisions in a loving and supportive way. Insisting on pushing what you feel is best upon your daughter at this vulnerable stage of her life may have extremely negative consequences.

Identity Therapy For Lesbian Adolescents

Adolescence is a tumultuous time for lots of young people. Part of being a teenager often includes developing a greater understanding of what your personal interests are, your strengths and weaknesses, and learning what makes you unique as an individual. However, for many teens, the pressure to conform and appear “normal” can feel overwhelming. For adolescent females who identify as lesbian, this struggle can feel magnified as being attracted to individuals of the same gender is automatically thought of as being “different” by many. It has been long established that LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) youth maintain statistically higher rates of suicide and drug abuse in the United States than their heterosexual peers. With a proper support system and guidance from trained professionals, it is hoped that these numbers can finally start to decline.

The stigma of homosexuality, particularly in a high school setting, can cause anxiety and depression in LGBT adolescents. Identity therapy for lesbian teens may be one useful tool in helping her learn—or in many cases, relearn—to associate positive thoughts with her sexuality and personality. Identity therapy can help identify and clarify which values and personal beliefs are important to the teen, as well as identifying issues at hand. Many times, simply coming to terms as identifying as lesbian can be a stressful and confusing process. After this comes deciding on exactly how to take action that will be meaningful and improve relationships or self-esteem. Developing better relationship skills, as well as enhancing existing relationships, is often the final step in identity therapy for lesbian teens.

Suicide Warning Signs Among Lesbian Teens

Suicide is a desperate attempt to release oneself from unbearable emotional pain they are experiencing. A suicidal person often feels self-hate, desperation and isolation. They believe that life cannot get any easier and so they turn to death. However, even those who may be experiencing these overwhelming feelings do not necessarily want to die, they just believe that there is no alternative. Lesbian and gay teens who feel bullied, misunderstood or unsupported in their lives may experience suicidal thoughts. If they are judged by those they most love, they may believe that there is no way for their lives to ever get better.

Suicide prevention for lesbian teens is possible. It is important to notice the warning signs of suicidal people in order for them to seek the help they need. Any talk of dying, suicide or self-harm of any kind should be taken seriously. It is a misnomer that people who talk about suicide are not actually going to follow through with it. Furthermore, if a friend or loved one is asking about obtaining a gun or other weapon and looking for access to pills, these items may be used in a suicide attempt, especially if the person has talked about death in the past. Preoccupation with death, or the belief that there is no way out of a current situation, is another common warning sign.

It is important to take suicide prevention for lesbian teens seriously. If you are worried, speak up. You may feel afraid or uncomfortable doing so, but acting right way when you sense that something is wrong is the only way to prevent suicide.

How Lesbian Teens Can Recognize and Deal With Panic Disorders

Panic disorder is a very serious condition that a large majority of individuals may face. In many cases it occurs during teenage years or as an individual enters into early adulthood. In many cases, panic disorder is a result of major life transitions that can cause a tremendous amount of stress. Panic disorder for lesbian teens is also common given that lesbian teens are not only transitioning into adulthood but they are embarking on a lifestyle that their friends and family may not agree with.

A panic attack comes without warning and causes an overwhelming sensation of fear. It is much more than feeling stress given that it causes a physical reaction. Someone going through a panic attack might experience a racing heartbeat, trouble breathing, paralyzing fear and dizziness. A panic attack will occur in situations where you have no immediate reason to feel stressed.

You cannot stop a panic attack once it has begun. However, panic disorder for lesbian teens is treatable with the help of a number of different therapies. Specialists can help identify possible triggers in order to reduce the occurrence of attacks. Behavioral therapies and relaxation techniques are helpful for controlling the situation once it has occurred. In some cases medication such as anti-anxiety pills or antidepressants can help calm a person and control stimuli.

Only a licensed therapist can diagnose and properly treat a panic disorder. Lesbian teens who are experiencing panic attacks should talk to their doctor in order to receive a referral to a specialist who can help.

Why Lesbian Teens May Turn to Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse occurs whenever someone takes medication, whether over-the-counter or doctor-prescribed, in an inappropriate way or in order to feel better about their surroundings or experience a “high” sensation. Teens face a lot of stressors in their lives as they transition into adulthood, and lesbian teens may experience overwhelming emotions while they deal with the physical, sexual and social aspects of being gay. As such, lesbian teens and drug abuse can occur as they turn to prescription medication in order get a buzz and keep the focus on feeling good in the moment instead of dealing with the stress they may feel in their lives.

Prescription drug abuse is dangerous. A teen may believe that it is okay to use medication to help them study better, lose weight or treat their pain without consulting a parent or doctor. They may even believe that because they are taking over-the-counter medication that it will not harm them in the same way that doctor-prescribed pills will. It is possible to become addicted to any medication, and overconsumption of any pill can cause harmful and long-lasting effects.

It is important to seek help if you suspect that a loved one may be addicted to drugs. Encourage them to talk to a parent, school counselor, spiritual advisor or another trusted adult. There are also helpful, anonymous hotlines that a teen can call to receive guidance.

Lesbian teens and drug abuse are not always connected; however, it is important to lend an open ear and allow a gay teen to discuss their feelings so that they have a healthy support system and will be less likely to turn to dangerous methods of feeling better about themselves.

How to Tell if Your Lesbian Teen Has Bipolar Disorder

As teens transition into adulthood they generally experience a range of difficult and often overwhelming emotions. For lesbian teens, the emotions may be exponentially greater as they try to come to terms with their sexuality, especially when their loved ones may not agree with their lifestyle. However, it is important to understand that some lesbian teens are dealing with mood disorders that should be addressed by a professional and will not get better over time.

Bipolar disorder and lesbian teens do not necessarily go hand in hand. It may be easy to believe that your lesbian teen is merely experiencing a stressful period in their lives, but they could actually be dealing with a brain disorder that causes an imbalance in energy, mood and activity levels. The symptoms experienced are much more severe than those felt during common life stressors. For example, your teen may experience extreme mood changes. They will have an overly lengthy period of euphoria coupled with extreme irritability. They may even experience behavioral changes such as becoming easily distracted, talking fast or quickly transitioning from one idea to another, constantly taking on new projects and having trouble sleeping.

While bipolar disorder can never be cured, when effective treatments are introduced an individual may be able to achieve greater control over their illness. Mood swings may occur even with treatment of bipolar disorder and lesbian teens should consistently be evaluated by a licensed therapist in order to help recognize and control manic episodes through medication as well as therapy.