As we say goodbye to Pride Month 2023, which ended at the end of last week, My Mind News presents our one-stop guide to all things LGBTQIA+ related to mental health.
What does LGBTQIA+ mean?
Being LGBTQIA+ doesn’t automatically mean you will experience a mental health problem. But LGBTQIA+ people are more likely to develop a mental health problem or experience poor mental health due to their life experiences.
In this article, My Mind News looks at the issues people in these communities may face and how you can manage your mental health as part of these communities.
LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and plus. Different people prefer the use of different acronyms as they identify themselves in different ways, and some people may prefer a different term to LGBTQIA+.
What does trans mean?
Trans is a term that describes people who have a gender that’s different from the sex they were assigned at birth, either male, female, or intersex.
What does the ‘+’ stand for?
The plus (+) recognizes that many people don’t identify as LGBTQIA+ but do not fit into traditional categories of gender or sexuality.
What is pansexual?
Bisexual people may identify as ‘Pansexual’ or ‘Pan’ as they feel romantic and sexual attraction to people regardless of their gender identity or sex.
LGBTQIA+ and mental health
A review of studies on mental health issues in LGBTQIA+ communities found that LGBTQIA+ people are more likely to experience poor mental health or mental illness than those who do not identify as being LGBTQIA+.
- LGBTQIA+ people are at more risk of suicidal behavior and self-harm than non-LGBTQIA+ people;
- Gay and bisexual men are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide across their lifetime than the rest of the population;
- LGBTQIA+ people are 1½ times more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorder compared to the rest of the population;
- 67% of trans people had experienced depression in the previous year, and 46% had thought of ending their life;
- Stonewall’s ‘Prescription for Change’ report found lesbian and bisexual women had higher rates of suicidal thoughts and self-harm compared to women in general; and
- Of all the common sexual identity groups, bisexual people most frequently have mental health problems, including depression, anxiety disorder, self-harm, and suicidality.
The reasons why there are higher rates of mental health issues among LGBTQIA+ people are complex. There are many experiences that LGBTQIA+ people will often have to deal with as a minority community, such as stigma, prejudice, and discrimination.
Types of discrimination
We hope that you have found this guide useful. If so, please do let us know in the comments.