Human sexuality is a complex process. Sexuality is defined as how individuals express their physical, emotional, and sexual feelings towards another individual. An individual may be attracted to the opposite gender, same gender, both gender, and gender. Each one of us has a different sexuality. It is essential to remember that there is no right or wrong for each one when it comes to sexuality. Sexuality is about how an individual identifies themselves and who they might be attracted to. There are different ways in which an individual might identify their sexuality. A few of them are below mentioned. It is entirely normal to describe your sexuality using one of these terms, or a different term, or none at all. You must always feel right, and it is absolutely your choice to your sexuality.
Heterosexual- An individual is attracted to the opposite gender.
Asexual – An individual who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others. They have no interest in sexual relationships or behaviour.
Bisexual- An individual is attracted to both genders.
Homosexual - An individual is attracted to the same gender. A homosexual man is known as Gay, while a homosexual woman is known as Lesbian.
Pansexual- An individual who feels attracted towards individuals from all sexual identities
Demisexual- An individual who experiences either little or no sexual attraction until romantic feelings are developed
Autosexual- An individual who is sexually attracted to themselves. Masturbation doesn’t determine whether you are autosexual or not.
Our sexuality has a significant impact on our mental health. Due to sexuality, an individual might get bullied, poorly treated or differently. An individual with different sexuality might feel like an outsider. You might be made to feel different from individuals around you, your friends and even family. Due to your sexuality, at times, society might treat you differently. You might not feel safe or even comfortable in certain places, including classrooms, bus, social events. When individuals experience being treated differently, they experience feelings of isolation and sadness.
An individual who identifies themselves as a part of LGBTQIA+ community might experience poor mental health. You might experience-
Others mislabelling your sexual orientation
The feeling of a void leads to isolation and loneliness
Prejudice about your sexuality
Physical or mental abuse
Not feeling safe in public places
No support system
When an individual has such negative experiences or feels that they are being discriminated against all the time. The discrimination by their acquaintances, friends, and even family members, might become unfortunate. Due to bullying, discrimination and loneliness, an individual may feel the following -
· Depression and isolation
· The feeling of fear about coming out to individuals
· Regular as well as Social Anxiety
· Being self – conscious
· Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
· Alcohol and substance abuse
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH-
Talk about it- It is imperative to talk to someone about your feelings and your experiences. You should talk to close friends or a family member if you are comfortable and you feel safe. It is okay not to know how or what to address. You must talk to a counsellor as they provide a safe place as well as provide confidentiality.
Visit safe spaces- Try finding safe spaces near your area. It helps you provide social support and makes you feel safe. You can find safe spaces at online sites, community and even at schools.
Practice art- An individual who practices art experiences various mental health benefits. Whether an individual is drawing, painting, sketching, or even knitting, our engagement with the material helps communicate to our nervous system that we control, which can support us responding, not reacting, to a crisis situation.
Listen to Podcasts and self-help books - An individual must listen to queer podcasts and books. It really helps in motivating, accepting yourself, improves confidence and even improves overall mental well-being.