miércoles, 16 de diciembre de 2015

Mental Health, Sexual Orientation and the Holiday Season

    A few weeks ago, I returned to work as a psychotherapist at my private practice, which I had been considering doing since a few months ago.  It seems that after listening to some of my patients, I realized that one complaint has remained constant during the Christmas or Holiday Season:  The reactive, season-related, depression among many of my patients living with same-sex attraction.    
     After a decade in retirement I thought that the apparent tolerance of the Panamanian society regarding SSA would diminish the afore mentioned complaint.  I realized recently that it has not been so.
     There also seems to be a dilemma in helping a person to maintain good mental health when professional help is considered.  I have always believed that each individual has the right to determine which actions to carry out to help oneself, especially now that more alternatives exist. Though it seems that there is an underlying political agenda of proselytism among many of my peers, which limits the choices.
     For instance, it is true that sexual orientation is unchangeable – it cannot be modified.  Nevertheless, sexual identity can be altered in transgender people nowadays.  In both cases, the person is responsible for deciding what to do to feel well with his life and sexual identity and sexual orientation.  Moreover, it is up to the mental health provider to help the individual make a well-informed decision.
     Why is it that so many people feel alone even when surrounded by a multitude in the month of December?  Perhaps it is because they perceive that deep down inside they are not really accepted due to their difference, and the hugs do not convey the needed sincerity.

     I always conclude that we must consider that we are all different, which in turn makes us all equal…