Essay on The Mental Health of Individuals in the LGBT community

3244 Words 13 Pages
The mental health of individuals in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community is something that is a serious problem. For most of the history of the United States and many different parts of the world LGBT people faced much persecution and in some cases even death. This constant fear of discovery and the pressure that one feels on oneself when “in the closet” can lead to major mental distress. Research has shown that people who identify as LGBT are twice as likely to develop lifetime mood and anxiety disorders (Bostwick 468). This is extremely noticeable the past couple years in the suicides of bullied teens on the basis of sexual identity and expression. The stigma on simply being perceived as LGBT is strong enough to …show more content…
It is also worth noting that research into the mental health of the LGBT community is lacking (then and now) and that discrimination is legal in many cases (Luckstead 3). Some of the ways that discrimination is legal would be the banning of marriage rights in some states, the absence of sexuality and sexual expression in the working on discrimination clauses around the nation, the ability for a person to be fires or evicted simply because they are LGBT. All of these things can cause stress in the life of members of the LGBT community and in te cause of stress you find causes and additives to mental distress and illness. One could surmise that with the turning tide on the issue of gay rights in the US that the mental health risk here is not work looking into. This would be incorrect and the suicides of LGBT youth in the past couple years confirms this.
The causes of these mental illnesses can be attributed heavily to discrimination on almost all fronts. The impact of institutional discrimination, that is discrimination that is passed through laws or amendments in a state or federal level, has been shown. It had been shown that the prevalence of mental illness is higher in states that do not provide protection from discrimination such as in the work place and in marriage (the bans of the time of