American Psychiatric Association: LGBT Population at Greater Suicide Risk in Comparison to General Population!
In one of the recent publications in the Psychiatric Times, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reported that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) population have a greater risk of committing suicide when compared to the general United States population. According to the study, this is due to the society’s non-acceptance and rejection of this behavior which consequently contributes to a higher depression rate among this segment of the American society.
Lifetime suicide attempt in Gay and bisexual men was reported to be 4 times higher, while lesbian and bisexual women were 2 times higher than the general heterosexual population, according to the study. Gay and bisexual men reported higher than the average rate of depression and anxiety while lesbian and bisexual women reported higher substance abuse disorder, pointing to a higher than average poor mental health. Regarding adolescent suicide tendencies, those in the LGBT category reported 3 times higher probability than the heterosexual youth.
Within the transgender youth, the survey discovered that a high 25% – 43% reported attempted suicide. Greater discrimination, victimization and prejudice compounded by internalization of social rejection caused a higher mental health problem and suicide attempts, the study further emphasized. The acceptance of immediate family and social circle could be a cushion against this suicidal idealization. The study additionally pointed out that about 8.2% of the US adult population reports lifetime same-sex behavior and 3.5% identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) .
The study concludes that discriminatory laws and public policies caused poor mental health among the LGBT community, resulting in higher suicide risk. The researchers recommended that acceptance from family, friends and society is crucial in arresting the poor mental health and suicides among those who are identified as LGBT individuals.