Homosexuality and Mental Health – The Connection

Most if not all suicides are associated with mental health. In 2017 a rapper from the USA known as Logic released a music video to one of his songs titled 1-800-273-8255, the number is the county’s hotline for suicide prevention emergencies. The video features a male teenager attracted to another teenager of the same sex and he faces rejection from family and peers, and is on the verge of committing suicide. The theme of the song itself is mental health and suicide. Music is considered to be society’s mirror and the making of the video might have been inspired by real life events.

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Recently mental health has been one of the issues that are affecting large populations of people directly and indirectly. Homosexuality is still an issue that stirs up hot debates when it comes up because a majority of populations around the globe are yet to accept it due to religious and cultural beliefs. This article seeks to do an analysis on studies done on homosexuality and peoples understanding of it as well as its effects on people’s mental health.

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Compared to heterosexual counterparts there are higher rates of childhood physical abuse and trauma within families of subjects of a study that identified as either lesbian, gay, bisexual, or two-spirit participants. There was differences noted in pattern of alcohol use and most of the subjects were more likely to have used illicit drugs. The study, Culture, trauma, and wellness: A comparison of heterosexual and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirit Native Americans, done by Balsam, K.F., Huang. B., Fieland, K.C., Simoni, J.M., & Walters, K.L. in 2004 compiled the above results and is ideal in studying homosexuality as it used a specific demographic which is Native Americans from Alaska and American Indians.

One common symptom of poor mental health among lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals is the inability to communicate emotions and for a majority of them it is hard for them to identify themselves where human sexuality is concerned. This is often termed as borderline personality disorder, where some individuals will even marry the opposite sex and have children without their relatives knowing that they are gay or bisexual and most of such cases have been identified to most likely have mental health issues.  Also male clients who were perceived as gay or bisexual or with partners of an unspecified gender were more likely to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. (Carter, C.E & Goldfried, M.R., (2006), Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(6), 751-770.)This indicates that male individuals who are gay or bisexual or in any way associated to homosexuality are more likely to have mental health issues.

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 .Although many studies have been done on homosexuality, more need to be done with a gender basis and also have the mental health issues included in them so as to find solutions as with times changing behavior changes are inevitable among different demographics. According to Wikipedia, with the exception of South Africa and Cape Verde, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa are very limited in comparison to the rest of the world. This means the above mentioned groups of individual not only face the stigma that comes from society but also face being treated as criminals. Most will not even have the courage to fight for their rights and they face a huge risk of facing mental health issues. In Africa a lot of people experience various different hardships and mental health leave alone homosexuality is an issue not given much priority. For such a continent I would advise a commencement of studies done on the populations alone and thereafter receipt of the demographics to the issues.

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