A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health supports the correlation between institutionalized discrimination (such as same-sex marriage being illegal in most states including New York) and mental health disparities among LGBT communities.
GLMA reports: The researchers found a significant increase in the prevalence of mood disorders, generalized anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders among lesbians, gays and bisexuals after the states banned gay marriage. The greatest increase -- more than 200 percent -- was seen in generalized anxiety disorder. "Before this study, little was known about the impact of institutional discrimination toward lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals in our society," senior author Deborah Hasin, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, said in a university news release. "The study highlights the importance of abolishing institutional forms of discrimination, including those leading to disparities in the mental health and well-being of LGB individuals."
LGBT Health Awareness Month is definitely an appropriate time to reflect on the ways in which discrimination and homophobia (particularly when institutionally enforced, deprive us of rights we deserve, and send a very damaging message to us and to the world that there is something inherently wrong with us and our relationships) affect our health and well-being as individuals and as the larger communities we are part of.
To read more about these issues and this study, click here.