Thanks for reaching out, and sorry it’s taken a while for us to put together this response. It’s understandable that feelings like anxiety, overwhelmedness, and desperation have come up with the very real external problems you face. You are doing your best in this situation, and you are not alone. Many other gay asian guys have experienced – and survived – the same kinds of struggles that you’re dealing with, and you’ve taken a big step by naming the problems you want to address and seeking help.
You deserve to feel better, and we’re concerned that these issues seem like a self-reinforcing cycle. We can’t make concrete, specific suggestions without knowing more details about your needs, such as local resources in your area but want to emphasize the importance of finding people you can talk with in detail about the issues you’re experiencing in order to stabilize your situation.
Below are some options that may be helpful for you when you’re experiencing intense emotional distress, but In the longer term, it’s important to find ways to break isolation and build up your support network. These are the people who will remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles and who will support you as you identify and address the conditions in your life which you need to change in order to live the better life you deserve. Your support network can include trusted friends or family, people in your in-person or online communities, and a therapist. If there is an LGBTQ community center or wellness service organization in your area, they should be able to help you understand and evaluate your options for resources.
If you’re experiencing immediate intense emotional distress:
When you are distressed but not in a crisis, you can call a hotline or a warm line to talk confidentially to a trained staffer. Here’s a description of what warm lines are like: http://ift.tt/2vl3vba, and here’s a list of warm lines in the US, organized by state: http://ift.tt/2wvAUOU.
The LGBT Helpline:
(888.340.4528 Monday-Saturday 6 PM-11 PM, for callers of age 25+) and
LGBT Peer Listening Line
(800.399.PEER Monday-Saturday 5 PM-10 PM, for callers of age 25 and under)
may also be useful for finding local LGBT-specific groups and services.
If you see yourself in danger of harming yourself or someone else, you should contact someone you trust and/or a hotline for immediate help and referral to resources. Examples of free, 24/7 hotlines in the US include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), the Lifeline Crisis Chat (online chat at http://ift.tt/MGBbH7), the Trevor Lifeline (1-866-488-7386, specializing in LGBTQ youth), and the Crisis Text Line (text 741741).
You may want to make a step-by-step safety plan for strategies you will use and people/resources you will contact who can immediately help you get through a crisis situation. You can refer to http://ift.tt/2wvIVU3 for guidance on what you may want to put in the plan, and you can put together the plan with help from a therapist or a hotline staffer.
In the longer run:
Chances are that other people in your life have experienced mental health struggles, possibly similar ones to yours. They may be looking for people to confide in, or they may have learned lessons they are eager to share with others about mental health. Building these connections can be powerful and mutually beneficial.
Talking to a culturally-sensitive therapist can be very helpful for both short-term needs and long-term growth. A therapist’s job is to be an unbiased, confidential third party who holds space for you to work through anything you want – a person to talk to if/when talking to friends or family is not the best option in the moment. However, finding a therapist who does their job right, fits you well, and is accessible and affordable can be challenging. It helps to have a trained professional from a hotline or community center to guide you through the process. You can find therapists trained in LGBT-specific counseling at http://ift.tt/2vldUDZ, and therapists in general at http://ift.tt/2wvATdO and http://ift.tt/1q5lCfE. Depending on where you live, you might even have the option of talking to an LGBT Asian-American therapist.
If therapy seems to be unaffordable for you, you might be able to benefit from lower-cost therapy options and alternatives to therapy: http://ift.tt/2ww8mVC
There are people in our G3S community who have experienced similar struggles who you can talk to either through our Mentorship Program (http://ift.tt/2c3h4VZ) or the LINE chat (http://ift.tt/2jn8QWB). Please note that members of our community are not necessarily trained to respond to mental health-related situations, but they’re great for friendship and advice. We can connect you to them if you message us with some way to contact you online.
I (Ethan) know from past experience how difficult it can be to cope when we know we need changes in our life but feel powerless to make them happen. I’ve learned that the barriers to change only appear inevitable because of external conditions – which we can eventually replace by organizing with others – and internalized patterns – which we can replace by taking risks that build our power to bring about change and grow as people. It’s a long journey, but you have what it takes to do this, one step at a time and with support from others.
We hope you found some of the above suggestions helpful. If you’d like more specific suggestions, please message G3S at firstname.lastname@example.org for anonymous/confidential discussion, or our ask box at http://ift.tt/2duXVIZ for a public reply.
– Ethan and Andrew from the Admin Team