LOS ANGELES — New research indicates that service members and veterans who identify as bisexual may be at higher risk for mental health issues including PTSD and depression than their gay, lesbian or straight peers, MedicalXPress reports.
Today, there are an estimated 1 million LGB veterans in the United States. Bisexual individuals represent the largest segment of the LGBT community and interestingly, both bi men and women are overrepresented among those who have served in the military, MedicalXPress reports.
In terms of active duty service members, 2 percent of men identify as gay and 2 percent identify as bisexual, while 7 percent of women identify as lesbian and 9 percent identify as bisexual. This is likely an incomplete picture, as bi people are less likely to be out than gays and lesbians and not everyone attracted to men and women identifies as bi, one of the researchers told MedicalXPress.
Researchers found that bisexual veterans are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from severe depression and 2.3 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than their straight peers. The research broke new ground by confirming that bisexuals are three times more likely to suffer from severe depression and nearly twice as likely to suffer from PTSD than their gay and lesbian peers, MedicalXPress reports.
While further research is needed to evaluate the causal factors that may contribute to bisexual veterans’ increased risk for depression and PTSD, a large body of existing research suggests that both depression and PTSD are often linked to trauma, MedicalXPress reports.