Our sexual and mental health are so closely linked that it is difficult to generalise about the things that they have in common. Young people experience a range of feelings and emotions which may effect their mental health and well being. However, people’s individual experiences can be very different. Here are some examples:
People whose self-esteem is at a low ebb may feel that it is not worthwhile being careful about sexually transmitted infections, or about protecting against pregnancy.
A positive attitude towards life in general, and sex and relationships in particular, can be a protective factor against developing mental health problems.
People whose experience of sex has been negative (for instance, sexual abuse or rejection) may develop mental health problems, or make worse any they already have.
It may be that someone has grown up believing that sex is wrong or sinful, so that realising that they are a sexual being can lead to anxiety or depression.
People who have mental health problems may self-medicate with alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs and this may lead to their compromising their sexual health.
Having a mental health problem does not necessarily mean that someone will be unable to form positive sexual relationships.
Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection can affect someone’s mental health and wellbeing.
People who experience stigma or prejudice because of their sexual orientation may become isolated and develop mental health problems if they cannot find support.
Links for mental health and wellbeing information for young peoplewww..youngminds.org.uk/young-people