Closet to Chaos: Abuse, Addiction, & Mental Health with Brad Shreve

Brad Shreve sitting on a couch smiling
Brad Shreve shares his wild journey of mental illness, drugs, abuse, and self-discovery from Michigan to Los Angeles. Find out how Brad found solace in writing, started a successful podcast, and learned to appreciate the opportunity for a fresh start amidst adversity. Don't miss this powerful and inspiring story.

Host Brad Shreve takes us on a wild ride as he shares his personal story of love, addiction, abuse, and ultimately finding himself. From a life fueled by drugs, alcohol, sexual addition, to facing domestic violence, Brad opens up about the challenges he faced and the difficult decisions he had to make. But this episode isn’t just about the dark times. Brad reminds us that amidst the negativity, there are powerful stories of resilience and triumph within the LGBTQ+ community.

Every scar tells a story, and Brad’s are written across the pages of his life. Join him as he bears his soul. Hear about the devastating effects of hiding his sexuality, finding any means to mask it, and his tumultuous journey to self-discovery. He eventually found stability and started anew, metaphorically throwing off his old persona and embracing who he truly is.

This episode originally aired on The Unexpected Guest podcast in April 2023.

Link to:
The Unexpected Guest podcast

Need help? In the US you can call 988 and reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also chat with them and learn more information at

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The Coming Out Handbook from The Trevor Project

Navigating Mental Health in the LGBTQ Community

Mental health is a topic that affects individuals from all walks of life, and the LGBTQ community is no exception. In this blog post, we will explore the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals when it comes to mental health and the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for all.

  1. The Impact of Minority Stress:
    The LGBTQ community often endures higher levels of minority stress due to societal stigma, discrimination, and prejudice. These experiences can lead to increased rates of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. It is essential to acknowledge the impact of minority stress and create safe spaces where LGBTQ individuals can find support and validation.
  2. Cultural and Historical Factors:
    Historical trauma and the struggles faced by previous generations within the LGBTQ community can reverberate and impact mental health in the present. The AIDS crisis, criminalization of homosexuality, and conversion therapy are just a few examples of experiences that have deeply affected the collective well-being of the LGBTQ community. Understanding these factors is crucial in providing empathetic care and support.
  3. Intersectionality and Mental Health:
    Mental health challenges within the LGBTQ community often intersect with other aspects of an individual’s identity, such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and disability. Intersectionality plays a significant role in shaping an individual’s experiences and their access to mental health resources. Recognizing the diverse needs of LGBTQ individuals is essential to ensure inclusive and effective support systems.
  4. Barriers to Mental Health Care:
    Despite increasing societal acceptance over the years, many LGBTQ individuals still face obstacles when seeking mental health care. Fear of discrimination or prejudice from healthcare providers, lack of LGBTQ-inclusive services, and financial limitations can prevent individuals from accessing the help they need. Addressing these barriers involves advocating for LGBTQ-affirming healthcare policies and promoting training for mental health professionals to create a more accessible environment.
  5. Building Resilience and Support:
    Supportive communities and resources are vital for LGBTQ individuals navigating mental health challenges. LGBTQ centers, support groups, online forums, and helplines can provide a sense of belonging and understanding. It is crucial to foster a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences without fear of judgment and find solace in a like-minded community.
  6. Self-Care and Self-Acceptance:
    Nurturing self-care practices is essential for LGBTQ individuals to promote positive mental health and well-being. Engaging in activities that validate one’s identity, such as reading LGBTQ literature, participating in pride events, or supporting LGBTQ causes, can greatly contribute to self-acceptance and build a sense of belonging.

In conclusion, the journey of mental health within the LGBTQ community is unique and layered, necessitating specialized care and support. By acknowledging the impact of minority stress, understanding the historical and cultural factors, and addressing the barriers to mental health care, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for LGBTQ individuals. Let us foster compassion, advocate for accessible resources, and celebrate the resilience and strength within the LGBTQ community as we strive towards the collective goal of mental well-being and acceptance for all.

Uncovering the Impact of Meth and Alcohol on the LGBTQ Community

The effects of methamphetamine (meth) and alcohol on the LGBTQ community. Substance abuse is a significant issue that affects various communities worldwide, and it’s crucial to shine a light on how it specifically impacts queer individuals. By shedding light on the challenges faced and resources available, we hope to provide a better understanding of the issue and foster empathy and support.

  1. The Intersection of Substance Abuse and LGBTQ Identity:
    Substance abuse can affect people from all walks of life, but members of the LGBTQ community face unique challenges. Many individuals struggle with acceptance, discrimination, and prejudice, which can lead to higher rates of substance abuse as a coping mechanism. Experiencing rejection, internalized homophobia, or facing violence based on their sexual orientation or gender identity can amplify the desire to seek solace in substances.
  2. Methamphetamine and the LGBTQ Community:
    Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that has disproportionately affected the LGBTQ community. Several factors contribute to this correlation, including the presence of gay club culture, where meth has been prevalent. The drug can heighten sexual experiences and prolong partying, making it appealing to individuals seeking connections or escape from the societal pressures they may face.
  3. The Devastating Impact of Meth Abuse:
    Meth dramatically impacts physical and mental health, and its effects can be particularly severe within the LGBTQ community. Extended meth use can lead to an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), emotional instability, paranoia, and despair. Additionally, the shared use of needles during methamphetamine abuse can heighten the risk of HIV transmission, further impacting the LGBTQ community.
  4. Alcohol Abuse in the LGBTQ Community:
    Alcohol abuse is another prevalent issue within the LGBTQ community. Many individuals turn to alcohol as a means of self-medication or coping with the challenges they face daily. Social environments that revolve around bars and clubs, where alcohol is widely available, can exacerbate these issues. Moreover, cultural attitudes towards drinking, such as “drink until you can’t feel the pain,” perpetuate the cycle of alcohol abuse.
  5. Support for Recovery:
    Recovery from substance abuse within the LGBTQ community requires specific approaches that address the distinctive challenges faced by queer individuals. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offer LGBTQ-specific meetings, providing a safe space for shared experiences and mutual support. LGBTQ-affirming therapists and counselors, who understand the unique struggles faced by this community, can also make a significant difference in the healing process.
    The impact of meth and alcohol abuse on the LGBTQ community is undeniably severe. Recognizing and addressing these challenges is paramount to creating a culture of understanding and support. By advocating for accessible and inclusive resources, we can help queer individuals overcome substance abuse and foster healthier, happier lives.
    Let us remember that a supportive community, whether it’s in the form of LGBTQ organizations, social groups, or counseling services, can be instrumental in supporting recovery and providing a safe space for those in need. Together, we can create a society that celebrates and supports the well-being of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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