A rehab center is designed to be a safe place where you can stay while you receive help dealing with an addiction. In most rehabs, you’ll find a mix of people from many different backgrounds, which increases the chances of you finding others that you can connect with during your recovery. As a gay man, you may worry that this could also put you in a situation where you are exposed to discrimination or bullying. People who are working through an addiction sometimes experience powerful emotions such as anger, and you don’t want this to be directed at you when you are at one of your most vulnerable moments in life.
Fortunately, the counselors who work in rehabs understand that people’s personalities and beliefs will sometimes clash. This is why they work hard to create a safe environment that has zero tolerance for negative interactions between people who are in recovery. You can expect to feel safe and supported throughout your stay. If you still have concerns, then looking for a rehab that emphasizes their commitment to helping members of the LGBTQ community is a good place to start with your search for the right program.
Work With Gay-Friendly Counselors
Professional counselors typically try to offer a non-judgmental viewpoint, but you can make sure that yours will be looking for ones that focus on providing gay-friendly services. A gay-friendly counselor is one that has taken the extra time to learn more about the issues that impact members of the LGBTQ community. For example, you might have faced discrimination in your past that has affected your family relationships or even cost you a career. Or, you might have even faced physical abuse due to your status as a gay man, and talking to someone who understands can help you better manage the trauma.
Feel Safe Expressing Your Identity
In the past, you might have felt the need to hide this important part of yourself to avoid discrimination. As a gay male, you might feel worried that straight men might judge you in a group setting. Although society is becoming more open-minded, it can still be hard to fully express yourself in mixed company when you don’t know if someone will be offended by your lifestyle. Being open about yourself is important for helping you to work through the issues that impact your addiction. This is why you need to make sure that you can talk about every aspect of your life without fearing that someone will judge you or say something negative about your lifestyle.
In a gay-friendly rehab, you can absolutely feel safe sharing about your hopes, dreams, weaknesses and strengths. In individual counseling, your counselor will listen to everything that you have to say while guiding you towards solutions for your problems. In group therapy sessions, you can trust that everyone will be expected to uphold the general rule of being respectful to everyone else in the room. For many gay men, walking into a rehab where they can feel safe discussing their issues is a very freeing moment that sets their addiction recovery on the right path.
Get Help Working Through Mental Health Issues
Gay men are at a higher risk for developing an addiction because they also have higher incidence rates for coexisting mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. A large part of this is believed to be caused by living in a society where your lifestyle is not always accepted. In a gay-friendly rehab, you’ll receive services that address these common mental health issues in men.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
Overcoming addiction is easier when you have professional guidance that helps you deal with your underlying mental health issues. Your rehab program may use a combination of different types of therapy to help you begin the process of healing. For example, you might need to work through your traumatic experiences using talk therapy. Many people find cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to be helpful for dealing with anxiety or OCD. You’ll also enjoy being able to engage in recreational activities that help you to stay busy and keep your mind off of drugs or alcohol while connecting with other people who understand what you are going through.
Are you ready to find a rehab that supports gay men through their recovery? Give us a call at 772-934-6580! We’ll help you find a program that makes you feel supported and safe.