The Covid-19 pandemic has brought on a whole gamut of issues to our LGBT community. When we lose a loved one, a job, or are forced to relocate, it can be very damaging to our mental health. Grief and the feeling of loss of control can often lead to depression or anxiety. For those among us who are fortunate enough to be spared from it, there is another set of problems to face.
For, you see, the pandemic also acts as an accelerant to whatever mental health issues we were already facing before this whole ordeal started. When we are locked in and our social interactions become severely limited, we are left alone to deal with the inner demons that we may have somehow been able to avoid before, whether they are low self-esteem, stress, addiction, etc. With fewer avenues to distract ourselves, underlying issues will readily surface and if we are not equipped with the necessary skills, they can quickly become overwhelming, even leading to a clinical problem.
Sexuality is a common issue that gay men in Asia face. Unfortunately, as Asian countries tend to be more conservative when it comes to LGBT acceptance, many gay men struggle with embracing their sexuality. Without the opportunities to socialise, not only is it harder for them to come out of their shells and find support from the community, but loneliness might also lead to extreme thoughts such as “I’m gay. I deserve to be punished.”, or “I will end up alone for the rest of my life”. If you resonate with this description at all, I strongly encourage you to talk to an LGBT-affirming therapist.
Single people, in particular, struggle with loneliness and dating during this hard time, as dating difficulty can be very isolating. Some may feel that their range of alternatives has been taken away and hastily jump into a relationship just to avoid loneliness without proper evaluation. Known in psychology as “reactance”, this is a very short-sighted approach, because a relationship without sufficient foundation often crumbles and, when it does, it crumbles hard, leading to more misery.
A general piece of advice for single people during this time is to build on your social support. Friends first, relationship second. Remember that you need to be well and happy with yourself first before you can thrive in a relationship. A boyfriend won’t solve your problems, as tempting as the idea may sound.
The biggest takeaway from the pandemic should be that everyone is eligible for mental health support. I know many struggling people who refuse to get help because they do not have clinical conditions. But I’d like to emphasize that mental health services are not exclusively for people with depression or anxiety. They benefit anyone who can use an ear. Nor does seeing a therapist mean that you are weak. In fact, I would say that refusing to see a therapist when you need it, is weak. The help is out there. Make use of it.
At PULSE CLINIC, we provide every one of you with a private & discreet environment.
Avaiable on Tuesday 9am – 11am, Wedesday 9am – 11am & 6.30 to 8pm
(By Appointment Only, No Walk-in)
(Public Holidays Closed)
Choice of consult: Face-to-face or Teleconsult via Zoom.
For teleconsult will need to make payment first.
Fees: Individual $192.60, Couple $214.00
118A Neil Road, Singapore 088854
Telephone: +65 6974 5919