By Steven Haden (he/him)
I am grateful to be alive and celebrating the holidays. A little over 16 years ago, while I was still actively struggling with a substance use disorder and depression, the holidays were chaotic, unhealthy, and not very fun. Today, I am careful about the spaces I show up in and guard my sobriety.
The holiday season can be especially triggering for many people, but LGBTQ people are more likely than their non-LGBTQ counterparts to experience loneliness, stress, anxiety, and depression during this time of the year. Research shows that LGBTQ people are more likely to experience these symptoms year round, but numerous mental health providers say that the holiday season, especially returning home for the holidays, can exacerbate these symptoms.