In honor of pride month, I’m reviewing key research findings on mental health in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community.
Despite many advances in acceptance and support, LGBTQ folks continue to face many challenges, which is particularly evident when we take a look at mental health. LGBTQ people are twice as likely as their straight and cisgender counterparts to suffer from a mental disorder, such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. So, I’m contributing to the pride month celebrations, by sharing information about mental health. Specifically: 1) discussing prevalence rates of mental disorders in the LGBTQ population (including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), 2) reviewing recent research identifying potential drivers and mechanisms of this higher prevalence, and 3) sharing findings from a randomized control trial (RCT) adapting a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) protocol to the specific challenges encountered by gay and bisexual men. I wrap it up by providing a series of tips on how everyone can help and support their LGBTQ friends, family members, coworkers, etc.
Below, you can find the links to the original sources and research articles I discuss.
Prevalence statistics on mental health disorders in the LGBTQ population:
Trevor Project survey on LGBTQ youth: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/LGBTQYouthMentalHealth
Meyer (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2072932/
Lehavot & Simoni (2011). The impact of minority stress on mental health and substance use among sexual minority women: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21341888
Reisner et al. (2015). Gender minority social stress in adolescence: Disparities in adolescent bullying and substance use by gender identity: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4201643/
Hatzenbuehler et al. (2011). Emotion regulation and internalizing symptoms in a longitudinal study of sexual minority and heterosexual adolescents: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881586/
Eldahan et al. (2016). Daily minority stress and affect among gay and bisexual men: A 30-day diary study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26625095
Pachankis et al. (2015). LGB-affirmative cognitive behavioral therapy for young adult gay and bisexual men: A randomized controlled trial of a transdiagnostic minority stress approach: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-30204-001
• Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
• It gets better: https://itgetsbetter.org/
• LGBT helpline: https://www.glbthotline.org/hotline.html
• PFLAG has a list of helplines: https://pflag.org/hotlines
• NAMI has a list of helplines: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/LGBTQ
I’m the Director of Together CBT, a clinic specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy groups for anxiety in NYC (www.togethercbt.com)
Follow me on Twitter (@DrAmeliaAldao) and Instagram (@Together_CBT)