Introduction to Daniel Lyons, Author of 'The Life: LGBT Mental Health'
My name is Daniel Lyons (they/he), and I am the new co-author of the blog The Life: LGBT Mental Health. I am 36 years old and a transgender, queer, bisexual, non-binary person living in California with multiple mental health diagnoses. Throughout my life, I struggled with misdiagnosis and struggled to get adequate care for my mental health. Some of this had to do with being assigned female at birth and doctors not taking my symptoms seriously and underdiagnosing. Some of it had to do with diagnosis difficulty and the presence of multiple diagnoses. I can confidently say now I live with bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I also live with gender dysphoria, which I will talk more about in blog posts to come. It’s a complicated matrix of diagnoses, but I want to write this blog post for folks to know there is hope.
Daniel Lyons Struggles with Mental Health
I started struggling with my mental health when I was in college. I had a severe depressive episode when I was 19 years old, in college, in New York City, away from my family on the West Coast. It was the first time I remember having suicidal ideation. It was severe enough that I had to take a medical leave of absence from my university and return home to Seattle to take care of myself.
Since then, I have gone through mental health treatment a number of times in both residential and outpatient settings, spent time hospitalized for suicidality and mania, and undergone nearly a decade of outpatient therapy. I have also received care for an eating disorder that has taken many different shapes in my life, from anorexia to "other specified feeding or eating disorder" -- a diagnosis given when an eating disorder doesn't neatly fit an existing specific category of eating disorder.
Daniel Lyons' Mental Health and LGBT Issues
In 2020 when the pandemic hit, I experienced the most intense manic episode of my life. It resulted in a three-week hospitalization for mania as well as a month-long stay in a residential, hospital-based treatment facility where I would get the diagnosis that changed my life: bipolar disorder. With more than a decade of mental health treatment under my belt, somehow, the doctors had missed the most obvious diagnosis: I had bipolar disorder and classic manic symptoms throughout my life. With this diagnosis, in addition to beginning my medical transition as a transgender person, I began to get the medical care I finally needed, and I have now entered into the most stable period of my adult life.
Learn more about Daniel Lyons and their mental health issues here:
Daniel Lyons Offers Hope to Those in the LGBT Community Who Struggle with Their Mental Health
Today, I can say I am really happy and am thriving. My diagnoses take a lot of work, dedication, and medical attention, I have a job I love and is meaningful, have friends and family that love me, and can say I’m finally living the “life worth living” that my dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) therapists have talked about. Through both alternative medicines and conventional Western medicine approaches, I have found a lot of healing. I wanted to write for HealthyPlace to talk about the intersections of mental health, gender, and sexuality and give hope to queer and transgender folks that live with mental health diagnoses that they can get better.
Lyons, D. (2023, August 3). Introduction to Daniel Lyons, Author of 'The Life: LGBT Mental Health', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/thelifelgbt/2023/8/introduction-to-daniel-lyons-author-of-the-life-lgbt-mental-health