Mental health is one of the most serious issues our population is currently facing, and contrary to popular belief, a huge amount of people in need of mental healthcare aren’t engaging in therapy or other solutions. And this is of particular concern in this day and age, when mental illness is running rampant throughout the world.
Recent studies show that one in four people will suffer from a major depressive episode during their lives, serious enough to even consider suicide. Seeing as these are the statistics for the regular population, you can imagine the dismal numbers for minorities and other persecuted groups.
According to a new study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, suicide attempts are more likely for young gay and bisexual men. This is owed to a number of reasons, primarily to the way they view life, their access to appropriate mental healthcare, and the way society treats them.
For the study, the team of researchers looked at the data of 5,799 gay and bisexual men aged sixteen and over, all living in the UK. Their tendencies towards committing suicide attempts, towards self-harm, as well as towards having anxiety, and a generally poor mental state in their youth were analyzed and recorded.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Ford Hickson form the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, talked about the statistics and what they mean for the mental status of the country’s gay and bisexual youth. He claims that older people are better at handling the problems because of the circles in which they hang out and because of having more time to get adjusted to the situation.
As for the statistics, they aren’t really surprising for anyone, but they numbers are at least somewhat concerning. First of all, gay and bisexual men under 26 are six times more likely to attempt suicide than those over 45. They were also twice as likely to show signs of depression and anxiety.
Going further into minority territory, black gay and bisexual men were five times more likely to attempt suicide than the white majority, as well as twice as likely to attempt suicide. Plus, lower wages and less education were also linked to much higher levels of anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies and self-harm.
There was one factor that seemed to limit these negative feeling for all classes, ages, ethnicities, or sexual orientations – cohabitation. Yes, cohabitation proved to decrease the chances of developing depression by as much as fifty percent for gay men of any age, and living in a city with a more active LGBT community also helped the men feel better about themselves, supposedly thank to a sense of belonging.
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