In 2007 a survey was carried out by Dr. Apu Chakraborty of University College London. 7403 people were surveyed. Rates of depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobia, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and alcohol and drug dependence were significantly higher in homosexual respondents. This tends to back up what I have always believed as a homosexual man. Four percent of those gay adults questioned, said they had had a 'depressive episode' in the last week, this is compared to two percent, from the hetrosexual community! Alcohol Dependency was ten percent versus five percent, and for self harming it was nine percent versus five percent. On average the statistics were showing a 100% increase in mental health disorders!
Dr Chakraborty believed the findings were worrying. Despite the fact, that discrimination was lower than at any time for homosexuals, it was still significantly higher than it was among the hetrosexual community! It would seem that those discriminated against are suffering what is called 'external stressors'. Growing up gay was one of the factors discussed as a cause for an increase in various disorders and it was particulary interesting to note that suicides among gay men were especially high! Social stigma and negative stereotypes were also influencing factors!
In another survey, partly carried out by The NHS, with researchers from Cambridge University, more than two million people were questioned, for The English General Practice Survey, 27,000 described themselves as homosexual. This made the survey one of the largest of its kind!
Discrimination, external factors, including hostile and stressful environments and prejudice were high. As the reason for mental health contributory factors. They also experience poorer help when trying to access Primary Mental Health Care, as well as discrimination from health professionals and first contact staff!
Once again this research confirmed that there was a 100% increase in difficulties experienced from the LGBT community, compared to those from a hetrosexual background.
This is not about saying gay people are mentally ill, far from it. It is about saying that gay people face extra challenges. They face discrimination and harassment, they face environmental problems. Even today, when many battles have been won, Gay people are still the subject of abuse and something has to be done about it.
You life suddenly become a secret and you hide your real self from people. I remember telling my friends, I had a girlfriend called Louisa. Of course I didn't at all, at the time I was seeing many different guys, but one in particular. I have just got in contact with him again after so many years. Luckily he is doing fine and hasn't suffered the indignities I have done.
At the time, I clearly had Bipolar, which was hard enough as it was, but having to suffer the official discrimination and anti gay propaganda spouted by not only people I went to College and worked with, but also those in authority was disturbing and yes it caused mental health issues. Anyone who is the subject of abuse is bound to suffer from issues. Children and teenagers are very vulnerable and impressionable. At a time when they need help, they were given nothing but. I would go to bed often as a kid, crying and upset. It hurts even today writing about it!
So where have we got too. A child who feels disgusting and different, unable to communicate with anyone. Bullied and harassed, victimised and sounded out for different treatment. We have got to a stage where I have no self worth, none at all. You regard yourself lower than anyone else and you believe you are the scum of the Earth. On top of this you have an AIDS epidemic. Adverts of TV, falling grave stones, and impressionable young gay men like me, more scared than you'll ever know. As someone with no self worth, you tend to do the things that hurt you most. Unprotected sex with older men, abusing your body through alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Self harming, thoughts of suicide and feelings of hate and anger. All of these things bought about through 'SECTION 28'. Part of an Act, that made happy, normal children like me feel unhappy, abnormal and worthless!
GAY and Proud!