Informative Essay on LGBT Risk Factors: Mental and Physical Health

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A recent study on adolescents that incorporated sexual orientation as one of the significant variables found suicidal ideations and character to be more prevalent in the youth who recognized themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (Zhao, Montoro, Igartua, & Thombs, 2010). According to Bostwick, Hughes, & McCabe (2010), the critical risk factors for such suicidal ideations were more linked to their LGBT identity, rather than their attraction to the opposite gender.

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LGBT Health Issues

According to Hafeez et al. (2017), LGBT youth are at very high risk 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, inadequate awareness by the healthcare providers, and a lack of sensitivity to their unique needs by their community. These problems faced by the LGBT youth spark awareness about the disparities to the physicians to enable them to provide more comprehensive and humane medical care to the community.

Russel & Fish (2016), while studying the mental health of LGBT youth highlighted that the American Psychiatric Associations (APAs) diagnostic manual for mental disorders (DSM) listed homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance. According to the study, in addition to the everyday and universal stressors, mental 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. It is therefore clear that in relation to mental health, the prevalence of depression among the LGBT youth who died by suicide is elevated compared to the non-LGBT suicides (Skerrett & Leo, 2015). In this case, normal 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 to those suffering from mental health and related disorders.

Risk Factors That Play a Role in LGBT Youth Suicide

Among the risk factors associated with LBGT youth suicidal behavior whose information is negligible and results in an increase in suicidal behavior include:

Demographic Factors Influencing LGBT

According to Goldsmith et al. (2002), most of the suicidal attempts in western countries were attributed to adolescents and specifically the LGBT youth. However, understanding the age-related suicidal pattern attempts has been cumbersome due to inadequate information on the population-based surveys with regards to the times of reporting the suicide attempts.

Mental Disorders in LGBT

Studies have shown a robust correlation between mental disorders and attempts of suicide among LGBT youth. The high rates of attempts of suicide among the LGBT youth were linked to significant increments of the rates of depression, conduct disorders, and generalized anxiety disorders (Haas et al., 2011). Most of the research conducted on mental disorders has shown a correlation between mental disorders and suicide among LGBT youth respondents. This indicates a significant milestone towards understanding the mental health of the LGBT youth which can come in handy when establishing solutions to the problem.

Stigma, Prejudice, and Discrimination

A lot of research that has been done over the past decade has indicated social stigma, prejudice, and discrimination as significant contributors to the increasing suicidal attempts by LGBT youth.

The group experiences child maltreatment from their families and discrimination which results in other problems such as antisocial personality disorders, depression, and drug abuse which are cognitive factors that contribute to the high suicide rates among the LGBT (Schreiber, 2017).

Social Perspective of Psychology on Suicide by LGBT Youth

The community is facing depression, sexual provocativeness, increased substance abuse, peer victimization, family and community rejection, increased risks of physical and health problems, office-based care for the LGBT youth, and inadequate gender-specific health care which contributes significantly to the high suicide rates among the LGBT youth. Others include social stress, stigmatization, peer victimization, and family rejection which are vital issues that need to be addressed.


Therefore, all the stakeholders in the entire society need to establish a cohesive plan that will be able to deal with the challenges that are faced by the LGBT youth Russel, S. & Fish, J. (2016). However, these challenges can only be addressed when the community has adequate information about their relationship and impact on the LGBT youth community as well as enough resources to cater to them humanely, i.e. enough healthcare providers with proper training on the needs of this community.

A positive relationship with the families should also be enhanced to help them feel positively connected to the community, school setting as well as be involved in the activities of their peers (Brent et al., 2009). It also involves family cohesion, community, and school safety and the perception of being cared for by adults outside their nuclear families form part of the human resources that have been found to lower the risk of suicide and suicidal ideations among the LGBT youth (Schreiber, 2017).


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

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

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Lesbian, a. (2011). Childhood/Adolescence. National Academies Press (US).

Katherine, S. (2017). Why Are Suicide Rates Higher Among LGBTQ Youth?. Psychology Today. Retrieved 21 April 2018

Leo, D., Kolves, K., & Skerrett, D. (2015). Griffith University.

LGBTQ | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2018). Retrieved 5 March 2018

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

Russel, S., & Fish, J. (2016). Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth. PMC. Retrieved 5 March 2018

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

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