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Gay men half as likely to suffer from depression when living with a boyfriend

Joe Williams May 4, 2016
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Gay men are half as likely to suffer from depression if they live with a boyfriend, a new study has found.

Gay and bisexual men living with a male partner have are also less likely to suffer from anxiety or attempt suicide.

You are also less likely to self-harm if you are a gay man living with a boyfriend, rather than living alone.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used nearly 6,000 responses to the Stonewall Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health Survey to look into the mental health of the LGBT community.

They found the ‘protective effects’ of living with a partner isn’t replicated when you’re living with a roommate or living alone.

These effects reduce the chance of depression by half, the odds of a suicide attempt by a third and self-harm by two-fifths.

Researchers also discovered a stark difference in age groups, with nearly 6% of gay and bisexual men aged 26 and under reporting a suicide attempt in the last year, compared to just 1% of 45 and overs.

In addition, black gay and bisexual men were five times more likely to attempt suicide than their white peers and twice as likely to suffer from depression.

Asian men, on the other hand, were more likely to suffer from depression than their white counterparts, but less likely to self-harm or die by suicide.

Other results showed that bisexual men were more likely to have mental health issues than gay men.

Dr Ford Hickson, a public health professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the results were reflective of issues faced in “broader society”.

“Minority groups are usually thought to be more homogeneous then they actually are, when, in fact, there is great variation in health and life situations among this group,” he said.

“What’s clear is that health inequalities among gay and bisexual men mirror those in the broader society.

“Poor mental health is not evenly distributed across race, income, or education.

“We must ensure that access to life-changing support services are targeted to where they are needed most.”

Related topics: bisexual, couple, depression, Gay, LGBT

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