Hyderabad: Members of the LGBT community are found to be excessively stressed as they are not accepted by society and this becomes a major risk factor for depression, anxiety disorders and also physical illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Homosexuality is not a mental health disorder but due to the stigma, acceptance is a major issue.
With the Supreme Court order on Thursday, there will be relief from the law and order machinery but at societal level it will be a long struggle for acceptance.
Dr Naresh Vadlamani, senior consultant psychiatrist, said, “In the eighties, the medical community declared that homosexuality was not a mental health disorder. So parents who bring their children saying that their sexual orientation is different because of their mental make-up are not encouraged.”
He said that after the Supreme Court judgement, it would still take time for people to accept it. “Due to this reason, those who live in societies where they are not accepted or families which are not accepting of their children’s different sexual orientation, are under immense pressure and it is this stress which causes problems,” Dr Vadlamani said.
Experts state that with the order of the Supreme Court, it will now be possible for them to seek healthcare and deal with their problems effectively. The doctors too can now freely communicate with them as earlier there were challenges in dealing with them.
Dr Pragya Rashmi, senior psychologist, explained, “There is no difference in their physical or mental problems which are the same as heterosexuals. The stress levels are a factor and that made it difficult for them to open up. Now with this order there is going to be a relief for them.”
Mental health professionals state that the parents who come to them with their adult son or daughter are extremely upset with their orientation and often it is found that help is sought to make parents understand. Within society there are very few people willing to understand their orientation.
Experts state that for society to accept them will require awareness and understanding that their preference must not be looked upon as a problem.
It is this discrimination, labelling and also bullying which often leads to conflicts....