WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A recent study finds that lesbian women are prone to alcoholism, and suggests that gay women can stop symptoms of depression by having children of their own.

The University of Melbourne studied the correlation between excessive drinking, recreational drug use and mental health among lesbians over the age of eighteen. Professor Ruth McNair found lesbian, bisexual and transgender women are nearly two to three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety, Australian News reports.

“On average the gap between realizing your sexuality and coming out to friends and family is between five and seven years,” McNair told Australian News. “How members of this community are treated by their families during this time has a big impact on their wellbeing through life.”

These years, writes McNair, are a “high risk” time period that are often not managed properly and can lead to serious mental health problems that bring on alcohol binges for many. She said: “This is a very vulnerable time and can create huge problems, with many in this community feeling lost as a result of their treatment.”

A recent UK study finds that gay and bisexual men are more likely to smoke, drink, take drugs, self-harm, attempt suicide and be depressed – and they’re often overlooked by health services. It found 3 percent of gay men and 5 percent of bisexual men have attempted suicide in 2011. This is in contrast to to just 0.4 percent of men as a whole.

McNair said if women have children, then they are less likely to fall into depression, and childbearing “builds a woman’s resilience.”

A Department of Health spokesperson told Gay Star News: “All patients, irrespective of their sexual orientation, should expect the best care. Anything less is unacceptable.”


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