Study: Anxiety And Depression Higher In Men Who Are 'On The Down Low'

In the first study of its kind in this specific patient population, researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found higher rates of anxiety and depression among bisexual men who conceal their homosexual behavior and who aren't as likely to disclose their sexuality compared to openly gay men.

The findings appear in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Being 'On The Down Low' Affects Mental Health

The population of men looked at in this study are those bisexual men who are, according to the terminology, "on the down low," meaning that they are bisexual but live heterosexual lives and tell no one of their homosexual behavior.

Columbia researchers surveyed more than 200 nongay-identified males in New York City who self-reported being behaviorally bisexual but who had not told their female partners about their homosexual behavior.

Said Eric Schrimshaw, PhD, assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences and the study's lead author:

"Our research provides information on the factors that might contribute to greater concealment among this group of behaviorally bisexual men. Such information is critical to understanding which of these bisexual men may be at greatest risk for mental health problems."

About 40 percent of the men said they hadn't told anybody about their bisexual behaviors, while another 40 percent said they told only one other person.

The greater the concealment, according to researchers, the greater the symptoms of depression and anxiety—and the lower the positive emotions experienced. Unfortunately, in confiding to close friends or family, men did not get any relief from this; rather it contributed to their depression and anxiety.

Acceptance More Important Than 'Coming Out'

Co-author Karolynn Siegel, PhD, professor of Sociomedical Sciences, said:

"The fact that concealment, but not disclosure, was associated with the mental health of these bisexual men is critically important for the way therapeutic interventions are conducted in this population. Although disclosure may result in acceptance from family and friends, in other cases -- particularly with female partners -- disclosure may also result in rejecting reactions, which are adversely associated with mental health."

The research suggests that disclosure among these men does not necessarily mean improved mental health unless they have the psychosocial and familial support around them to cope with it.

They suggest that mental health professionals work less on getting these men to disclose their behaviors and work more on helping them accept their sexual behaviors and orientation.

Source: MNT
Photo: Pixabay

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

A study published in the journal Archives of Psychiatry has found that anxiety and mood disorders are more common in people with low incomes....

How should this anxiety medication be used?

Xanax or Alprazolam, comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken two or...

Everyone suffers symptoms of anxiety now and then, and for many people anxiety is a chronic problem. But not all who suffer from anxiety...

Panic is real, and panic disorder is considered to be an illness. A panic attack is very painful and feelings of depression and helplessness may...

Anxiety develops after an extended period of stress, usually six months or longer. When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can severely...

More Articles

Although people typically think of anxiety as a mental condition, it causes a number of physical symptoms. Severe anxiety, particularly...

Self-help books for anxiety are very popular--so popular that the sheer number of books available can be overwhelming. All those choices mean that...

For college students, spring brings both warmer weather and something less pleasant - finals week. Colleges and universities know that this can be...

Inderal, known generically as propranolol, is a beta blocker that has been in use since the 1960s. Like other beta blockers, it was developed to...

When we give to others, more so than receive, we are happier and more fulfilled, which can help treat anxiety and depression. A recent study,...

Joggers, firefighters and endurance athletes are warned to always make sure they're getting enough water, but the truth is that most people are...

Postpartum depression and anxiety are real, debilitating disorders that affect some women after they give birth.

Brought on by hormone...

Beta-blockers are a class of drugs most commonly used to treat heart conditions, although they are useful in the treatment of a variety of other...

Food for Thought

Scientists, nutritionists, and accountants agree that creative and clear thinking depends on having a well-nourished...

Tenormin (known generically as atenolol) is a beta blocker often used to control the physical symptoms of anxiety. Beta blockers are quite...

Although it seems improbable, Robert S. Wilson, Ph.D., of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and his colleagues say that they found a...

When you struggle to fall asleep night after night due to severe anxiety, you may find your symptoms getting worse; lack of sleep is one of the...

Risperidone, an atypical antipsychotic sold under the brand name Risperdal, is a medication typically used to treat schizophrenia, manic...

We are aware of which foods to avoid when struggling with generalized anxiety disorder, but knowing which items can actually help reduce your...

Yet another study has confirmed that yoga can assist in the treatment of a wide range of psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety,...