Err, yes, but that’s not what we want to know, is it?

LGBT people are prone to mental illness. It’s a truth we shouldn’t shy away from

If it were the dreadful manner that society treats people then that would be both appalling and something we must do something about.

If it were that the two are simply correlated, well, that’s different. Know about it, treat the illness etc but it is still different.

An no, we’re not even going to go there and start trying to claim that the two are the same thing.

But it is true that thing we want to know is which of the first two is it?

13 comments on “Err, yes, but that’s not what we want to know, is it?

  1. An no, we’re not even going to go there and start trying to claim that the two are the same thing.

    Why not? People have been treating homosexuality as a mental illness for over 150 years. It is central to Freudian thought. No one has ever proven it is not a mental illness.

    But it is true that thing we want to know is which of the first two is it?

    Depends if we can do anything about it and what the cause is. If the cause is genetic and no cure is possible, does it matter that much which comes first?

    Still, we learned this week that Obama considered being Gay – as if that was news – and he decided to take the more difficult option and marry a girl instead. Political ambition is a terrible thing isn’t it? Must be tough on his daughters to learn that. But it is interesting that it is being presented as a choice – and that Obama thought that being heterosexual was harder work. Even before he met Michelle!

  2. If Autism is seen as a form of mental illness then LGBT desires can just as logically be classified as a mental illness. Autism is more likely just a part of whole spectrum of the human psych, so LGBT is just a part of the whole spectrum of the human psych. There might be side effects which mean real mental illness is more likely due to being at one end of the spectrum.

  3. @SadButMadLad

    But Autism AFAIK is not considered a mental illness. Very much not so. It’s classified as a neurological condition, present from birth and not as a curable illness.

  4. There came a certain point in my experience of being LGBT

    To what degree can any one individual have this fourfold “experience”? And why not include the entire alphanumeric “experience” while we’re about it?

    To answer my own question, this all boils down to “poor me”.

  5. Doug: Probably some of what we classify as mental illnesses are present from birth – bipolar & schizophrenia probably. I think the classification likely has more to do with the impact on the individual and the society he lives in. Having said that, homosexuality & the milder forms of autism (is Asperger’s actually that anyway?) aren’t regarded as mental illnesses now. However, when Leviticus was written, perhaps homosexuality was having really bad effects on their society at that time. Or perhaps it was all of a piece with the hygiene rules codified then – no pork etc.

  6. Third option, gay/bi/whatever people, having already overcome the mild (these days) societal taboos around their sexuality, are far more ready to confront the societal taboos around mental illness, and to be open about it as a result.

    In which case it’s not the LGBT people who need to be treated differently, but the mentally ill among the straights.

  7. Who remembers the SDLP, Social Democratic Liberal Party, a bunch of diverse people from several Parties who joined together for political expedient with nothing actually in common – well survival instinct I suppose?

    LGBT it is not a homogeneous group, it is a name for a political movement of no real aim except to exist to keep a few people off the streets.

    Lesbians have less in common with Gay men than straight women (at least both like men); Transvestite/Transgender is not uniquely about sexual orientation, and bisexuality is a different situation from all of them.

    But we have an epidemiological study, find something which a portion of a pre-selected group have in common then proclaim a causal link, ignoring all those who do not have it in common.

    It is said that Vegans, the Ginger haired, men called Fred, people with grey eyes are prone to gout. A well designed study could easily show that.

  8. There are five (FIVE!) SDP candidates standing in this year’s general election who have appeared from nowhere, outnumbering the Liberal Party who are standing their usual four.

  9. “But it is true that thing we want to know is which of the first two is it?”

    I’m pretty sure I’ve answered this question for you already.

    But anyway, in case you missed it, yes the question has been studied in detail. If it’s true that you want to know which of the first two it is, (and I’m not convinced yo do,) pay attention this time! 🙂

    Among trans Ontarians, 35.1 % (95 % CI: 27.6, 42.5) seriously considered, and 11.2 % (95 % CI: 6.0, 16.4) attempted, suicide in the past year. Social support, reduced transphobia, and having any personal identification documents changed to an appropriate sex designation were associated with large relative and absolute reductions in suicide risk, as was completing a medical transition through hormones and/or surgeries (when needed). Parental support for gender identity was associated with reduced ideation. Lower self-reported transphobia (10th versus 90th percentile) was associated with a 66 % reduction in ideation (RR?=?0.34, 95 % CI: 0.17, 0.67), and an additional 76 % reduction in attempts among those with ideation (RR?=?0.24; 95 % CI: 0.07, 0.82). This corresponds to potential prevention of 160 ideations per 1000 trans persons, and 200 attempts per 1,000 with ideation, based on a hypothetical reduction of transphobia from current levels to the 10th percentile.

    Initial multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the transgender respondents, when compared to the cisgender respondents, reported significantly higher family rejection, lower social support, higher loneliness, higher depression, lower protective factors (PANSI-positive) and higher negative risk factors (PANSI-negative) related to suicidal behavior, and were less certain in avoiding sexual risk behaviors. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the exogenous variables of family rejection, social isolation, and loneliness were significant predictors of both transgender and cisgender adolescents’ reported levels of depression, suicidal thinking, and sexual risk behaviors. The implications of these findings are discussed.

  10. Installment 2.

    We used the 20-item CES-D scale designed to measure depressive symptomatology in the general population. The presence of depressive symptoms (CES-D16) was significantly related to whether trans youth had parents supportive of their gender identity and expression. A clear difference emerged with depressive symptoms reported by only 23% percent of those with supportive parents in contrast with 75% of those whose parents were not strongly supportive.

    In multivariate logistic regression analysis younger age (<25 years), depression, a history of substance abuse treatment, a history of forced sex, gender-based discrimination, and gender-based victimization were independently associated with attempted suicide.

  11. Installment 3.

    Gender-related abuse (psychological and physical), suicidality, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text revision) major depression were retrospectively measured across five stages of the life course using the Life Chart Interview. Among younger respondents (current age of 19-39), the impact of both types of abuse on major depression was extremely strong during adolescence and then markedly declined during later stages of life. Among older respondents (current age of 40-59), the impact of both types of abuse on major depression was strong during adolescence and then marginally declined during later stages of life. The effects of both types of abuse on suicidality were weaker but more consistently observed across the life course among both the younger and older respondents.

    Respondents who experienced rejection by family and friends, discrimination, victimization, or violence had elevated prevalence of suicide attempts, such as those who experienced the following:
    Family chose not to speak/spend time with them: 57%
    Discrimination, victimization, or violence at school, at work, and when accessing health care
    • Harassed or bullied at school (any level): 50-54%
    • Experienced discrimination or harassment at work: 50-59%
    • Doctor or health care provider refused to treat them: 60%
    • Suffered physical or sexual violence: — At work: 64-65% — At school (any level): 63-78%

  12. Installment 4.

    Mental health-related quality of life was statistically diminished (P < 0.05) in transgendered women without surgical intervention compared to the general female population and transwomen who had gender reassignment surgery (GRS), facial feminization surgery (FFS), or both. There was no statistically significant difference in the mental health-related quality of life among transgendered women who had GRS, FFS, or both. Participants who had FFS scored statistically higher (P < 0.01) than those who did not in the FFS outcomes evaluation.

    This study assessed individual (ie, internalized transphobia) and structural forms of stigma as risk factors for suicide attempts among transgender adults. Internalized transphobia was assessed through a 26-item scale including four dimensions: pride, passing, alienation, and shame. State-level structural stigma was operationalized as a composite index, including density of same-sex couples; proportion of Gay–Straight Alliances per public high school; 5 policies related to sexual orientation discrimination; and aggregated public opinion toward homosexuality. Multivariable logistic generalized estimating equation models assessed associations of interest among an online sample of transgender adults (N = 1,229) representing 48 states and the District of Columbia. Lower levels of structural stigma were associated with fewer lifetime suicide attempts (AOR 0.96, 95% CI 0.92–0.997), and a higher score on the internalized transphobia scale was associated with greater lifetime suicide attempts (AOR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04–1.33).

    Happy to help. 🙂

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