Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Suicide, depression & substance abuse highest in gay & lesbian teens with rejecting parents

I was tempted to title this post, "Suicide, depression & substance abuse highest in gay & lesbian teens with rejecting parents...No shit!" We've known for a while that gay and lesbian teens and young adults are more likely to kill themselves. According to a recently released study in the journal Pediatrics, we now know that gay and lesbian teens and young adults with unaccepting or unsupportive parents are 8.5 times more likely to attempt suicide. The following is from National Public Radio:

They found that kids who, by Ryan's measure, experienced high levels of rejection were nearly 8.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. They were nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and almost 3.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in unprotected sex. That was compared with adolescents whose families may have felt uncomfortable with a gay kid, but were neutral or only mildly rejecting.

"A little bit of change in rejecting behavior, being a little bit more accepting," says lead researcher Caitlin Ryan, "can make a significant difference in the child's health and mental health."

Parents out there, please take note...please. Shaming or rejecting behavior, whether in regard to sexuality, mental health, or substance abuse, will not change your children. It may, however, cost them their lives.

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