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Harassment of Black Gay and Bisexual Men Tied to Anxiety

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Discrimination, harassment and shame experienced by black gay and bisexual men can contribute to depression and anxiety, a new study says.

University of Michigan researchers used online surveys to ask 54 black gay or bisexual men about depression and anxiety symptoms and prejudicial incidences in the community and at work.

Anxiety was reported by 33 percent of the men, and depression by 30 percent. Those rates are higher than in the general population, the study authors noted.

The researchers also found that 95 percent of the men reported discrimination and harassment at least once within the previous year, and 11 percent said they experience those problems weekly.

Men with higher levels of feelings of shame or disapproval about their sexual orientation were more likely to feel depressed or anxious.

The study was published in the latest issue of the journal Depression Research and Treatment.

"If we think about a whole pie that represents factors that may cause depression and anxiety among this population, findings suggest that discrimination and internalized homo-negativity make up over 50 percent of the pie," lead author Louis F. Graham, of the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said in a Center for Advancing Health news release.

More information

The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association has more about depression.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Center for Advancing Health, news release, Aug. 30, 2011

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