Image credit: Myriam Zilles from Pixabay
Society has changed by leaps and bounds in the way it treats LGBTQ people, but that doesn’t mean that things still can’t be better This is even more urgent given a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics.
Conducted by researchers at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School using data from the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, the study found out that LGBTQ teens are twice as likely to experience depression when compared to their heterosexual counterparts.
Researchers looked at data from 1999 to 2017 and discovered that incidences of depression in heterosexual teens fell from 29.3 percent to 23.7 percent. Incidences of depression in LGBTQ tweens remained almost the same, from 51.4 percent to 51.9 percent. The study also found that there was an increase in depression rates for queer teens in same-sex relationships. Back in 1999, 48.7 percent of respondents said they experienced depression. In 2017, it increased to 53.8 percent of the respondents.
These findings are even more troubling considering another study, also published in JAMA Pediatrics. According to that study, suicide attempts are three times higher among LGBTQ teens. Especially at risk are transgender teens, who are six times as likely to attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual counterparts.
Where to Get Help
If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. You may also click here or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for more resources.
The suicide action phone numbers for other countries are:
US – Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 Available 24/7
Canada – Trans Lifeline: (877) 330-6366 Available 24/7
For the other Asian countries, click here while those who are in various countries in Europe may check here.
For Adam4Adam users from other parts of the world not mentioned above, you may click this, this, and this link.
Yes. Depression is more likely to hit gay youth, but being gay does not make it more tragic. The dysfunction is tragic PERIOD. If anything this post should have been about depression because to single out LGBTQ youth is actually a form of enabling and adding to the victimization by implying a “world is against you stance.” We must take depression seriously not just the depression of LGBTQ people. My PhD is in psychology and this issue matters to me.
Consider yourself, “schooled-woke.” As I wound-up on permanent-partial disability (03′); spine injury-additionally, psychologically diagnosed as having/suffering: “Severe Clinical depression.” That 60 something year old psychiatrist told me that “more (young black gay men) are suffering this condition, its becoming a quiet epidemic” I would add, just like Hiv/Aids in the sense that it was not spoken out loud-ignored, since at that time it was the “gay cancer/disease,” right? I think what is pointed-out here, is that it still, has a certain stigmatism, because you’re abnormal anyway, right? I mean you’re considered “other” not some straight/hetero man suffering some other source… Read more »
Part of that depression in same-sex relationships may be from subtle hatred from others. Part may also be from the fear of breakup, as teens are in a state of flux and uncertainty on many things, especially emotional issues. There will be the stress of wanting to be perfect in order to keep the boyfriend, as the pool is small and compatibility is not easy to find, anyway. There will be the stress of dependency. We really do need to emphasize to teens that they don’t have to have mate all the time, and take the pressure off themselves. We… Read more »
There is help out there. LGBThotline.org
Interesting that it hasn’t changed (according to the study), although societal acceptance has. The million dollar question is “Why?” We thought that mental health issues in the LGBT space stemmed directly from societal non-acceptance, but 20 years later we have incredible advances in LGBT acceptance, support, role models, etc etc etc… (not to mention medical advances in treatment of depression) and depression has gone UP, not down like in hetero teens. I think it’s time to start looking beyond “society” for a cause of over half of homo/trans teens being depressed. Again, hetero teen depression -fell-. This isn’t just generational.… Read more »
I wonder if in part, it has to do with such terrible scrutiny of physical-perfection (body-image) among gay men, it’s gotten worse. Because of that, the vast majority of these young gay men are not finding the psychological nurturing/fulfillment among their peers, even. I really think the largest of ‘us’ have become even more shallow, that’s possible. Yeah, we gay men are all over the media-scene, but, like black men wanting to be athletes, rappers, all of ‘us’ aren’t going there, either. It could be in part, the same kinds of scenarios. I’ve always felt, the older my generation hasn’t… Read more »
Of course depression is rampant in LGTBQwhatever youth. When they see signs they are LGTBQwhatever, they exert internal pressures on themselves to keep those signs quiet. And most often it requires much energy. When they dare to venture out and find other LGTBQwhatever and “the Community”, they are first accepted into the group with loving arms. But then the very same group they sought help/advice/guidance/love/protection from then pressures them to “Come Out!” as though it is something somehow owed to “the Community” and those who “fought the battle for acceptance.” A giant guilt trip. They are pressured to put themselves… Read more »
I’m wondering to what extent do they classify the depression I was a very unhappy teen for the most part Perhaps I felt depressed, or down, at times but it wasn’t clinical depression which is actually diagnosable It stemmed from being closeted, alone, scared of rejection if I came out, no where to turn or anybody to talk to about my feelings, horniness without an outlet, crushes on other guys which I could never express, being unpopular because I was “different”, faking heterosexuality, dreading that I wouldn’t grow up to have the ideal nuclear family which I was expected to… Read more »