“The Problem With Psych Meds and LGBT People”

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In an Op-Ed for The Advocate, activist Ally Nugent relates her experience of post-acute withdrawal syndrome and says that our mental health institutions disproportionately affect those who deviate from the cultural norm.  “The ghost of the past lingers on in,” she writes, in “psychiatry’s continued failure to recognize the humanity in emotional responses to extraordinary adversity — evident in its swift diagnoses of those of us who face it.”

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I hope this doesn’t sound offensive, but I do believe psych meds such as SSRIs, SNRIs, etc. exposure could be contributing to (not all) the increase we are seeing in the LGBT population. Especially the asexual population. SSRI antidepressants have been shown to have a lasting impact on one’s sexual interest and pleasure. They are so mind altering they can alter one’s own personality and sexual identity long term.

    Article on antidepressant exposure causing asexuality:

    http://wp.rxisk.org/asexuality-a-curious-parallel/

    Rodent studies showing when pregnant rats were exposed to an SSRI antidepressants they showed no more sexual interest and neither did their offspring into their adulthood.

    Here’s a few interesting studies:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3118509/
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091305708001093
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899306029787
    http://www.europeanneuropsychopharmacology.com/article/S0924-977X%2805%2900099-4/abstract

    • The RxISK article is not talking about sexual orientation; it is talking about reduced or non-existent sexual functioning.

      The defining characteristic of members of the asexual community is that they do not experience sexual attraction. Some, not all, engage in relationships and form romantic couplings, but without the desire for sex. Those who experience romantic attraction are often attracted to a particular gender, and in that sense they conform to the traditional profiles of straight, gay and bi.

      And wouldn’t a perceived increase in the number of LGBT people be more easily explained by the fact that mainstream society is somewhat less oppressive toward them than it used to be?

      • I believe some asexual individuals could mistakenly identify themselves as LGBT. Sounds odd, but let me explain.

        It could be possible for an asexual person to interpret their lack of desire for the opposite sex as signs they are gay/bi sexual. Like, lets say a child is exposed to an SSRI antidepressant in their youth or in the womb and then he/she hits puberty with no sexual interest. They have no reference point on what sexual pleasure and interest feels like. They may feel as if since they are not attracted to the opposite sex like most others they might think they are gay/bi.

        You’re right it could be easier to explain the rise of LGBT people due to there being less oppression, but it could also be because of environmental factors in a child’s development. I believe this because my own sexual interest/pleasure (sexuality) was stolen from me at age 22 by briefly exposing myself to an SSRI antidepressant. I can’t imagine coming of age the way I am now without a libido. I would assume I would be very confused in my own sexual preference.

  2. Blows my mind how we “explain” ourselves. In reality, there is really no need to do so. Just be happy with who you are, and if you’re not, it’s a good idea to figure out how to become so, as this brings clarity, grounding, inner peace, well-being, and all good things in life. Going through life self-hating/self-stigmatizing is self-sabotage and causes suffering.