How FOLX Can Help with Anxiety

Discover specialized, affirming anxiety care for the LGBTQIA+ community with FOLX. Learn about treatment options and resources.

May 16, 2024
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This article was clinically reviewed by Michelle Forcier, MD.

Introduction

Anxiety isn't always just a fleeting feeling; for many of us in the LGBTQIA+ community, it's a persistent challenge that interferes with daily life. Anxiety disorders are medical conditions that respond to various treatments, including prescription medications as well as talk therapy. The unique stressors faced by our community—such as discrimination—can amplify feelings of anxiety, making specialized, understanding care essential. At FOLX, our clinicians are attuned to these nuances and dedicated to providing affirming support tailored to each individual's journey.

This guide is designed to help you understand the many ways FOLX can support you in living with anxiety, empowering you to take control of your mental health in a way that respects and understands your unique experience as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

How do I know when I should see a clinician about anxiety?

Recognizing when to seek help is a crucial step toward managing anxiety. You might consider consulting a clinician if you're experiencing persistent worry, perseverative thoughts, and disturbances in sleep and energy. People with anxiety can also have physical symptoms like increased heart rate and feeling short of breath, or a whole host of body and pain complaints.  If anxiety begins to interfere with your daily activities there are treatments, including medications, that can help. For LGBTQIA+ individuals, symptoms might also be intertwined with experiences of marginalization or identity-related stress, making it all the more important to reach out to providers who are explicitly affirming and knowledgeable about LGBTQIA+ health.

What kind of treatment options are there for anxiety?

Our FOLX clinicians can offer a range of treatment options tailored to your specific needs, including:

  • Medication Management: Prescribing anti-anxiety medications or other mental health medications that can help regulate symptoms effectively. Read more about anxiety medication options.
  • Talk Therapy: Talk therapy can be a place to explore your anxiety, along with building new tools and skills. We offer therapy at FOLX (in select states) as well as referrals to LGBTQIA+ inclusive therapists across the country. Therapy may include: some text
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A form of therapy that helps you manage your anxiety by changing negative thought patterns and behaviors.
    • Mindfulness and Stress Management Techniques: Teaching techniques that enhance your ability to stay present and lessen the impact of stress.
  • Medical screening: It's important to check for medical issues that can make anxiety worse or even cause it. This includes things like thyroid problems or high blood pressure.
  • Lifestyle Counseling: Providing guidance on how to adjust your lifestyle to help reduce anxiety symptoms, including identifying and reducing triggers,  nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
  • Support Groups and Community: Connecting you to groups where you can share experiences and coping strategies in a supportive environment.
  • Courses and Resources: We offer courses and resources on managing anxiety that can be used in combination with a clinician and therapist, or on your own.

Is there anything I should prepare for my visit?

To make the most of your visit, it's helpful to come prepared with any notes on your symptoms, how they've been affecting you, and any previous treatments you've tried. Making a diary of your symptoms as well as triggers can also be helpful. Consider also preparing to share aspects of your life or history might impact your mental health, as open discussions can enhance the care you receive. Bringing a list of questions will help ensure you cover all areas of concern during your appointment. FOLX provides a “no judgment zone” to discuss your anxiety symptoms, so being open and honest will help you get the most out of your visit. 

What should I expect during a FOLX visit for anxiety?

In a FOLX telehealth visit for anxiety, you can expect a similar level of care and support as at an in-person appointment. You'll discuss your current symptoms, feelings, and any challenges you're facing. Your FOLX clinician may ask questions to assess your mood, thoughts, and behaviors. Together, you'll explore medical screenings you might want to undertake, set goals, and discuss treatment options and coping strategies. Your clinician will offer support, guidance, and tools to help you manage your anxiety effectively. You will also have access to our whole care team after your appointment if you experience side effects or have additional questions about your treatment options. 

Other Resources / Further Reading

For more information and support on managing anxiety, you can explore additional resources:

  1. 5 Ways FOLX Supports Your Mental Health
  2. Anxiety Medications 101
  3. Anxiety and Depression Association of America - Offers resources specifically for LGBTQIA+ individuals facing anxiety.
  4. The Trevor Project - Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQIA+ young people.
  5. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Includes support resources for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

FAQs

Can anxiety be cured?

While anxiety can often be managed and controlled, it varies by individual. Our goal is to find the best strategies to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

How do I know if my anxiety is 'normal'?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion but becomes a concern when it's persistent and disruptive. Discussing your experiences with a FOLX clinician can help determine the support you need.

Are there lifestyle changes that can help reduce anxiety?

Yes, certain lifestyle adjustments such as regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, sufficient sleep, and mindfulness practices can significantly help manage anxiety symptoms. Also, identifying and reducing triggers that often cause anxiety symptoms can be helpful.

Does gender dysphoria impact anxiety?

Certainly, gender dysphoria can have a substantial impact on anxiety levels. The misalignment between one's gender identity and assigned sex at birth can lead to heightened stress, emotional distress, and anxiety, affecting various aspects of daily life. However, not everyone who experiences gender dysphoria also experiences significant anxiety. 

Many people will notice a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms after starting gender affirmative medications and care. Gender affirmative care may not fix anxiety but feeling more comfortable in your head and own skin can really help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

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FOLX Health is the first digital healthcare company designed by and for the LGBTQIA+ community. Our services include primary care, gender-affirming hormone therapy including estrogen and testosterone (HRT), mental health care, sexual and reproductive health care, and fertility consultations. FOLX memberships give you access to LGBTQIA+ expert clinicians, peer support, thousands of LGBTQIA+ resources, and more. Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, or another identity, you can find LGBTQ-specialized health care that helps you meet your wellness goals. Get all the benefits of becoming a FOLX member and sign up today!

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