Those looking for good news in the last few weeks of 2016 may want to set their alarm clocks to snooze for another twenty-three days.
A sweeping new study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness indicates that people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender are three times as likely to suffer from certain mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Here’s a chart provided by Mentalhelp breaking down the data:
“I think coming out to myself and to (select) others really helped,” says “Andrew,” a 54-year-old bisexual cisgender man. “It was like a weight lifted off me — keeping all those contradictions bottled up must have been a tremendous source of stress itself.”
“It was rare to make it to the end of the hallway of people without hearing at least three homophobic or transphobic slurs,” says Jessica, a pansexual transgender woman, age 22. “A classmate of mine came out of the closet as gay and was harassed regularly to the point of dropping out of high school.”
“Since coming out as trans, I have lost nearly every friend I have ever had, most of my family no longer speaks to me,” says Laura, a 35-year-old transgender woman.
One of the most surprising takeaways from the study is the fact that young people still face the highest risk for developing psychological problems, which goes against the notion of younger generations being more tolerant than those who have come before.
Their increased risk of depression directly connects to whether or not the youth is being bullied, the CDC reveals.
As for substance abuse, there are significantly higher rates of binge drinking and heavy drinking than those of heterosexual people (19.2% verses 12.1%).