Older and younger lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) veterans have different mental health challenges, according to a recent study. Younger LGB veterans are more vulnerable to mental health problems than their older LGB peers. Older LGB veterans are resilient, but they may be at greater risk of social isolation than their younger LGB peers. Researchers examined a nationally representative sample of 3,095 US veterans (aged 21 to 96 years), measuring data on demographics, military characteristics, sexual orientation, social support, trauma, and mental health indicators (lifetime and present depression and posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]; lifetime anxiety and suicidal ideation). They found:
- Younger LGB veterans were most likely to report lifetime depression and/or PTSD and current depression compared to older LGB and younger and older heterosexual veterans.
- Older LGB veterans had low levels of mental health problems, but they reported the smallest social support networks.
Monin JK, Mota N, Levy B, Pachankis J, Pietrzak RH. Older age associated with mental health resiliency in sexual minority US veterans. [Published online ahead of print September 23, 2016]. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2016.09.006.
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