The existing literature review shows a significant relationship between substance abuse and sexual provocation among the LGBT youth and its contribution to depression and the high suicidal rates experienced by the group. According to Hafeez et al. (2017), the LGBT youth experience a lot of substance abuse, cancers, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), bullying, isolation, obesity, depression, anxiety and suicidal attempts among others. As a result, they receive inadequate quality care associated with stigma. The health care providers lack adequate awareness of their health requirements while the community fails to provide for their unique needs. A study by Dane County Youth Assessment Surveys (2008-2009) identified multiple factors that accounted for the increased sexual provocation among the LGBT youth. Some of them include the increased number of known and unknown sexual partners, testing, and perceptions of STDs acquisitions and inadequate education on safe sex practices among others. According to the American Journal of Public Health, the LGBT are at an increased risk for recreational substance abuse and sexually related infections that increase the rates of depression and ultimately suicide.
Russel & Fish (2016), while studying the mental health of LGBT youth highlighted that the American Psychiatric Association's (APA's) diagnostic manual for mental disorders (DSM) listed homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance. According to the study, in addition to the everyday universal stressors, psychological health contributes significantly to the high suicidal rates of the LGBT youth as well as the limited information with regards to understanding the social determinants of LGBT mental health. The prevalence of depression among the LGBT youth who died by suicide is elevated compared to the non-LGBT deaths (Skerrett & Leo, 2015). In this case, the ordinary people should be made aware of the interrelationship between other everyday universal stressors and mental health. Enough resources should also be set aside to cater for those suffering from mental health and the related disorders.
Peer Victimization and Family Rejection
Prior studies have indicated the effect of peer victimization and family rejection and their contribution to the high emotional distress and suicidal rates among the LGBT youth. A longitudinal study reported that gays are more likely to be victimized than the heterosexual boys while recording an odds ratio of 1.78. According to Hafeez et al. (2016), emotional distress and early victimization account for 50% of the disparities between the LGBT and heterosexual youth in emotional distress affecting both boys and girls.
A survey done by the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in 2016 indicates that an estimated 34% of LGBT teens were bullied in school while 18% were forced into sex. 23% were victims of sexual violence while 18% struggled with physical abuse. Another research indicated the same findings with regards to peer victimization. A study of ten states and ten urban schools in the US revealed that the sexual minority students stood a higher risk of being harassed, injured by a weapon and even bullied by the other heterosexual students. This kind of both verbal and physical harassment alongside other factors such as family rejection and substance abuse contribute significantly to the increased risks of suicidal ideations.
Stigma, Prejudice, and Discrimination
Prior research by NAMI (2017) indicates that disparities in the LGBT community arise from a myriad of factors that include discrimination, denial of human and civil rights, prejudice, social stigma, harassment, victimization, family rejection and social exclusion among others. This results in mental health challenges that significantly contributes to depression and suicidal ideations.
The group also experiences child maltreatment from their families and discrimination which result in other problems such as antisocial personality disorders, depression and drug abuse which are cognitive factors that contribute to the high suicidal rates among the LGBT (Schreiber, 2017).
The LGBT Youth Perspective
This perspective studies on the good things that come along with being gay with a youth perspective. It aims at exploring the LGBT's positive perceptions with regards to their sexual identity and orientation. The core values of the LGBT youth perspective are the positive personal conceptualizations of being an LGBT youth and establishment of resilience in the face of gay-related oppression (Harper, Brodsky & Bruce, 2012). The LGBT youth perspective describes why suicidal ideations are high in the United States and the world at large and how it is associated with their health (substance abuse and sexual provocation), peer victimization and family rejection and stigma, prejudice and discrimination. It also provides the various themes that can be applied by the victims to establish positive personal conceptualizations of being a member of the LGBT. These include the themes of flexibility and connectedness (Harper, Brodsky & Bruce, 2012). Moreover, in a bid to increase resilience in the face of LGBT-related oppression, this perspective established four ways that include self-care, acceptance, activism, and rejection of stereotypes as solutions to the problem. All these work towards minimizing the suicidal rates of LGBT youths.
Haas, A., Eliason, M., Mays, V., Mathy, R., Cochran, S., & D'Augelli, A. et al. (2011). Suicide and Suicide Risk in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations: Review and Recommendations. Retrieved 5 March 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662085/
Hafeez, H., Zeshan, M., Tahir, M., Jahan, N., & Naveed, S. (2017). Health Care Disparities Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: A Literature Review. PMC. Retrieved 5 March 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478215/
Harper, G., Brodsky, A., & Bruce, D. (2012). What's Good About Being Gay? Perspectives from Youth. Journal Of LGBT Youth, 9(1), 22-41. doi:10.1080/19361653.2012.628230
Katherine, S. (2017). Why Are Suicide Rates Higher Among LGBTQ Youth?. Psychology Today. Retrieved 21 April 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-truth-about-exercise-addiction/201710/why-are-suicide-rates-higher-among-lgbtq-youth
Leo, D., Kolves, K., & Skerrett, D. (2015). Griffith University. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c882/cb7ed4d99c2c3d870ad739b53cbb0e93ead6.pdf
LGBTQ | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2018). Nami.org. Retrieved 5 March 2018, from https://www.nami.org/find-support/LGBTQ
McCabe, S., Bostwick, W., Hughes, T., West, B., & Boyd, C. (2010). The Relationship Between Discrimination and Substance Use Disorders Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in the United States. PMC. Retrieved 5 March 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20075317
Russel, S., & Fish, J. (2016). Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth. PMC. Retrieved 5 March 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4887282/
Zhao, Y., Montoro, R., Igartua, K., & Thombs, B. (2010). Suicidal ideation and attempt among adolescents reporting "unsure" sexual identity or heterosexual identity plus same-sex attraction or behavior: f... - PubMed - NCBI. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 5 March 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20215932
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