Transgender veterans have high rates of mental health problems

Posted on April 2, 2016

Photo: flickr

Among military veterans identifying as transgender, 90 percent have at least one mental health diagnosis, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, and nearly 50 percent had a hospitalization after a suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts.

The researchers then searched the medical records for mental health conditions that coexisted with the gender dysphoria. They found that PTSD was the most commonly identified mental health diagnosis, affecting 46 percent of these veterans, followed by depression in 41 percent. Tobacco use disorder reportedly occurred in one-third, and anxiety was present in 15 percent. Nine patients (23 percent) had other substance abuse, bipolar disorder or schizotypal personality disorder.

Eighteen patients (46 percent) carried two or more mental health diagnoses, according to the researchers. Only four patients (10 percent) with gender dysphoria had no additional mental health problem.

Probably multiple reasons exist for the increased rates of mental health disorders they observed in transgender veterans. Grotzke said that traumatic brain injuries sustained in combat, military sexual abuse, and stigma related to gender struggles are common in this population.


Category(s):LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender) Issues

Source material from The Endocrine Society


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