Gay men are half as likely to suffer from depression if they live with a boyfriend, a new study has found.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has found that gay and bisexual men living with a male partner can half the odds of depression and three quarters the odds of anxiety.
It can even third the odds of a suicide attempt and you are two-fifths less likely to self-harm if you are a gay man living with a boyfriend compared to living alone.
Of course, it all depends on the boyfriend.
But still, the researchers used nearly 6,000 responses to the Stonewall Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health Survey to look into the mental health of the LGBTI community.
They found the ‘protective effects’ of living with a partner isn’t replicated when you’re living with a roommate or living alone.
Researchers also discovered nearly 6% of gay and bisexual men aged 26 and under reported a suicide attempt in the last year compared to their 45 and over counterparts at just 1%.
Black gay and bisexual men were five times more likely to attempt suicide than their white peers and twice as likely to suffer from depression.
Bisexual men were more likely to have mental health issues than gay men. Asian gay and bisexual men were more likely to suffer from depression than their white counterparts, but less likely to self-harm or commit suicide.
Dr Ford Hickson, a public health professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it is likely that men are more likely to have more coping strategies at dealing with homophobia as they get older compared to when they are younger.
‘Minority groups are usually thought to be more homogeneous then they actually are, when, in fact, there is great variation in health and life situations among this group,’ he said. ‘What’s clear is that health inequalities among gay and bisexual men mirror those in the broader society.’
He added: ‘Poor mental health is not evenly distributed across race, income, or education. We must ensure that access to life-changing support services are targeted to where they are needed most.’