English 131 BC
9 January 2013
Depression is a medical condition that can affect a person’s ability to work, study, interact with people or take care of themselves. Not everyone with depression reacts the same way. Some may act reserved and unhappy, while some may act aggressive and self-destructive. People with depression could feel sad and not know why, while others could be depressed over a specific problem. Sometimes, people could even appear to be okay around family and friends. The first episode of depression will usually appear in young adult or college years.
Gay and lesbian youth are more likely to deal with depression and attempt suicide than heterosexual youth. They may comprise up to 30 percent of completed youth suicides annually. The earlier youth are aware of their orientation and identify themselves as gay, the greater the conflicts they have. Gay youth face problems in accepting themselves due to internalization of a negative self-image and the lack of accurate information about homosexuality during adolescence. Gay youth face extreme physical and verbal abuse, rejection and isolation from family and peers. They often feel totally alone and socially withdrawn out of fear of adverse consequences. As a result of these pressures, lesbian and gay youth are more vulnerable than other youth to psychosocial problems including substance abuse, chronic depression, school failure, early relationship conflicts, being forced to leave their families, and having to survive on their own prematurely. Each of these problems presents a risk factor for suicidal feelings and behavior among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual youth. Male teenagers self-described as gay or bisexual, most moved away from home because of conflict with family members over sexual orientation. Almost half had run away from home at least once.
Many youth are aware of their gay or lesbian identity but decide not to be...