A study published in The Lancet Public Health looks at long term mental health conditions in transgender, non binary and gender diverse people.
Prof Michael Bloomfield, Head of Translational Psychiatry Research Group and Consultant Psychiatrist, University College London, said:
“This is an important and high quality study that used GP survey data. The press release accurately reflects the science and the conclusions are backed by solid data. This work fits with existing evidence. Speak to LGBTQ+ people, and trans people in particular, and you will hear first-hand of the difficulties faced by members of this community.
“LGBTQ+ people are at increased risk of a range of mental health difficulties including depression and anxiety. Likely reasons underlying this include long-term exposure to systemic prejudice, discrimination, family rejection, bullying, abuse and violence which cause stress and can reach internationally recognised thresholds for psychological trauma for some people. This stress exposure can understandably negatively affect coping and resilience. Exposure to LGBTQ+ stigma also can understandably result in LGBTQ+ people having negative beliefs about themselves through internalised LGBTQ+ phobia, which can also result in overly self-critical thinking. It is no wonder that the ongoing threats that many in the LGBTQ+ community experience including, further discrimination and systemised LGBTQ+ phobia, for example in parts of the media, and threatened or actual violence including homicide, will also be having a negative effect on people’s mental health.
“Within the LGBTQ+ community trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people may be at particular risk of negative health outcomes due to ongoing transphobia. Whilst progress has been made in society to overcome transphobia, trans people have reported to me feeling that they are living in “dangerous times”. Within health systems, there is evidence that tailored psychological therapies to help LGBTQ+ people can be helpful and clearly there is more that health systems can do to support trans patients experiencing mental health difficulties. Nonetheless, prevention is better than cure. Until LGBTQ+ stigma, and transphobia in particular, ends one day and we can all just get along with each other, the reality is that trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people will likely continue to experience adverse mental health outcomes.”
‘Gender-related self-reported mental health inequalities in primary care in England: a cross-sectional analysis using the GP Patient Survey’ by Ruth Elizabeth Watkinson et al. was published in The Lancet Public Health at 23.30 UK time on Wednesday 31 January 2024.
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