Harboring negative beliefs and discrimination against people belonging to differing sexual orientation has been prevalent since ages. This unfair treatment affects the mental health and the state of well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as a whole. Timely availability of quality mental health services for the LGBT people also has a major impact on their emotional condition.
The considerable stigma that the LGBT community faces depicting them as “mentally unhealthy” or “sexually greedy” only adds to the inaccurate views people have about them. The United Nations (UN) has designated March 1 of every year as the Zero Discrimination Day, thus calling upon people of all communities, irrespective of their gender, to come forward in transforming worldview regarding inequalities of any kind. The right to health must be available for all and further commitment is required to ensure proper health care services to all.
A research by a group of scientists from the University of California, Berkeley indicated how transgender adolescents and gender-fluid teenagers, especially those born male, are thrice more likely to be afflicted with both physical and mental abuse at school, home and the internet compared with their cisgender peers. The authors of the study titled “Social Ecological Correlates of Polyvictimization among a National Sample of Transgender, Genderqueer, and Cisgender Sexual Minority Adolescents” stressed on how teenagers belonging to the sexual minority group face myriad forms of discrimination, including unjust treatment.
Discrimination and violence results in distressed psychological state
The study published online in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect in February 2017 furthers the findings of previous researches that talked about the kinds of victimization faced by the LGBT community. These included intimidation, child abuse, physical and sexual attacks which, in turn, increased mental health problems amongst the LGBT increasing the rate of incidence of depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the inclination of self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
The researchers, for study purposes, collected and collated details from roughly 1,200 adolescents aged between 14 and 19. The respondents identified themselves as transgender, gender-fluid and cisgenders. The respondents, apart from sharing the torment they face in their daily lives, also talked about their day-to-day experiences sharing the more than 40 differing kinds of violence they are commonly afflicted with. The respondents also self-reported their socio-economic status and mental health problems.
The authors of the study noted that roughly 69.2 percent of the participants reported school-based bullying as the commonest way of victimization. Bullying online was prevalent against transgender girls while gender-fluid adolescents, born male, were more subject to rape. Elaborating on the number of many forms of violence transgender adolescents faced in schools, communities and social networking sites, Paul Sterzing, the lead author of the study, said, “Boys who don’t conform to their assigned gender role were the most vulnerable subgroup of kids in our study.”
Depression owing to constant subjugation and resulting humiliation is common among the transgender community, which in turn aggravates the risk of suicide among them. According to figures by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, nearly 41 percent transgenders attempt to end their lives at some point in their lives. The pervasiveness of suicidal tendencies as per statistics shared by the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) carried out by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality is in steep contrast to the 4.6 percent of suicidal attempts by the entire American population.
Accepting transgender people as one among us
A prior research titled “How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?” indicated that there are nearly 700,000 transgender Americans that form around 0.3 percent of the entire U.S. population. It is necessary to have a healthy outlook toward the growing transgender community as subject to unwarranted bullying or victimization will increase the rates of depression and other mental illnesses in the country. The vulnerable sexually differing teenagers need to be protected against myriad forms of discrimination, stigma and social exclusion to ensure a psychologically healthy environment.
Sovereign Health supports the UN’s initiative and believes in “zero discrimination.” We believe that everybody has a right to live a full life with dignity, even if the person is suffering from a mental illness. We offer mental health care services to all without any discrimination.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental health condition, contact the Sovereign Health to know about our various mental treatment programs. Call our 24/7 helpline number (866) 954-0529 or chat online with our representatives to know about our mental health facilities in Los Angeles or mental health facilities in California.