Depression and its correlates in men who have sex with men attending a community based organization
Rajat M. Oswal1*, Falguni M. Patel2, Dinesh M. Rathor 3, Kamlesh R. Dave4, Ritambhara Y. Mehta5
1Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical College Baroda, Vadodara
2Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, SMIMER Medical College, Surat
3Associate Professor and Medical Superintendent, Institute of Mental Health and Hospital, Agra, U.P
4Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College Surat
5Professor & Head, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College Surat
BACKGROUND: Men who have sex with men (MSM) is a sexual minority population which is discriminated against, victimized and faces stigma. Risk for mental health problems especially depression is higher in this population. This study was carried to study the prevalence of depression and its correlates in MSM. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty MSM were studied who attended a community based organization for MSM. Sexual orientation was assessed using Kinsey Scale and depression was assessed using Hamilton rating scale for depression. RESULTS: Prevalence of depression in this study is 28 % which is very high. Suicide related symptoms were present in 22% of subjects. Depression is associated with the belief that homosexuality is abnormal, and longstanding guilt about having sex with a person of the same sex. CONCLUSION: Mental health needs of marginalized and victimized population deserve special attention but sadly among MSM it is a highly ignored area in our country. This study emphasizes the need of paying attention to the mental health needs of MSM, looking at the high rates of depression among them found in our study. Alot of work needs to be done to bring about attitudinal change in the society towards MSM, which will go in a long way in improving the mental health of MSM as a community.