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Mental disorders among sexual and gender minorities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2022

S. Khouadja*
Affiliation:
University Hospital of Mahdia, Tunisia, Psychiatry, Mahdia, Tunisia
F. Zaouali
Affiliation:
University Hospital of Mahdia, Tunisia, Psychiatry, Mahdia, Tunisia
M. El Echi
Affiliation:
University Hospital of Mahdia, Tunisia, Psychiatry, Mahdia, Tunisia
C. Najjar
Affiliation:
University Hospital of Mahdia, Tunisia, Psychiatry, Mahdia, Tunisia
L. Zarrouk
Affiliation:
University Hospital of Mahdia, Tunisia, Psychiatry, Mahdia, Tunisia
*
*Corresponding author.

Abstract

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Introduction

The term “Sexual and Gender Minorities” includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual populations. It was introduced in the MeSH Database in 2018. Mental health research on sexual and gender minority populations is gaining momentum.

Objectives

To describe mental disorders among sexual and gender minorities.

Methods

This is a review of the literature via Medline. The database was searched using the keyword combination “sexual gender minorities” OR “homosexuality” OR “bisexuality” OR “transgender persons” OR “intersex persons” AND “mental disorders”. The filters applied were Full text, Meta-Analysis, Systematic Review and in the last 5 years.

Results

A total of 59 articles were included. The lowest rates of depression and anxiety were reported among heterosexual people. Depressive symptoms, suicidality, interpersonal trauma exposure, substance use disorders, anxiety, and general distress have been consistently elevated among transgender and gender non-conforming people. Among transgender people, the prevalence of binge drinking ranged from 7%-61%. Depression was the most frequent mental disorder among sexual minority men (43.2%) followed by anxiety (32.2%), suicidal ideation (21.2%), suicide plans (6.2%) and suicide attempts (7.3%). Eating disorders were more frequent among sexual minority women compared with heterosexual peers. Compared with heterosexual youth, sexual minority youth had 123% to 623% higher odds of lifetime substance use, 82% to 317% higher odds of depressive symptoms and suicidality and 20% to 280% higher odds of violence victimization.

Conclusions

The prevalence of mental disorders is high among sexual and gender minorities for whom mental health prevention and treatment programs are needed.

Disclosure

No significant relationships.

Type
Abstract
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the European Psychiatric Association
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