St. John Paul II once said: “…the Gospel speaks clearly. Christ not only took pity on the sick and healed many of them, restoring health to both their-bodies and their minds, his compassion also led him to identify with them. He declares: ‘I was sick and you visited me’ (Mt 25:36). The disciples of the Lord, precisely because they were able to see the image of the ‘suffering’ Christ in all people marked by sickness, opened their hearts to them, spending themselves in various forms of assistance.
Well, Christ took all human suffering on himself, even mental illness. Yes even this affliction, which perhaps seems the most absurd and incomprehensible, configures the sick person to Christ and gives him a share in his redeeming passion.”
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The American Psychological Association Council of Representatives followed in 1975. Thereafter other major mental health organizations followed, including the World Health Organization in 1990. Yet, before and since, evidence continues to determine that homosexuality is indeed a mental illness. The way in which most contemporary researches get around this fact is by blaming the high rates of psychiatric morbidity in homosexuals to social and cultural homophobia, internalized homophobia, and overall that homosexuality and mental illnesses are unrelated with the unusual rates of serious psychological conditions seen in homosexuals as “possibly linked with discrimination.” Only, this supposition is categorically false, for in the Netherlands, the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, in particular, gay men continue to exhibit a plethora of various mental disorders.*
Part and parcel along with any authentic program of healing from same-sex attraction, there must be at least a cursory examination of any childhood trauma, neglect, or abuse that was experienced by the person now dealing with same-sex attraction. Because some have survived particularly intense or violent abuse as children, professional therapy is highly advised; others, with a different story, perhaps therapy is not as necessary. Here, it is not that mental illness causes homosexuality, but that the oftentimes extreme difficulties which some men experienced as children, who later become same-sex attracted, will eventually exhibit various mental illnesses because homosexuality never fully resolves the unattended wounds; Dr. Joseph Nicolosi put it this way: homosexuality is a “symptomatic failure to integrate self-identity. Symptoms will always emerge to indicate its incompatibility with a man’s true nature.” Ultimately, the decision to seek therapy is up to the individual; although it is possible, outside of a clinical environment, to naturally experience a diminishing of same-sex desires, and, henceforth, to witness an increase in attraction towards the opposite sex. Reparative therapy, while extremely beneficial to many, is not for everyone.
* “Despite the Netherlands’ reputation as a world leader with respect to gay rights, homosexual Dutch men have much higher rates of mood disorders, anxiety disorders and suicide attempts than heterosexual Dutch men. Epidemiologists report similar disparities elsewhere in Western Europe and North America.”
“Exploring a Dutch paradox: an ethnographic investigation of gay men’s mental health.”
Aggarwal S & Gerrets R
Culture, Health & Sexuality 16:105-119, 2014.
“Of the 1285 gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents who took part, 556 (43%) had mental disorder as defined by the revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R). Out of the whole sample, 361 (31%) had attempted suicide…Gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women have high levels of mental disorder…”
“Rates and predictors of mental illness in gay men, lesbians and bisexual men and women
Results from a survey based in England and Wales”
James Warner, et al.
British Journal of Psychiatry (2004), 185, 479-485.
“LGB people are at higher risk of mental disorder, suicidal ideation, substance misuse, and deliberate self-harm than heterosexual people.”
“A systematic review of mental disorder, suicide, and deliberate self-harm in lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”
Michael King, et al.
BMC Psychiatry. 2008; 8: 70.
“Self-reported identification as non-heterosexual (determined by both orientation and sexual partnership, separately) was associated with unhappiness, neurotic disorders overall, depressive episodes, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobic disorder, probable psychosis, suicidal thoughts and acts, self-harm and alcohol and drug dependence.”
“Mental health of the non-heterosexual population of England.”
Chakraborty A, et al.
Br J Psychiatry. 2011 Feb;198(2):143-8.
“Gay/lesbian and bisexual respondents had higher levels of psychopathology than heterosexuals across all outcomes. Gay/lesbian respondents had higher odds of exposure to child abuse and housing adversity, and bisexual respondents had higher odds of exposure to child abuse, housing adversity, and intimate partner violence, than heterosexuals. Greater exposure to these adversities explained between 10 and 20% of the relative excess of suicidality, depression, tobacco use, and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse among LGB youths compared to heterosexuals. Exposure to victimization and adversity experiences in childhood and adolescence significantly mediated the association of both gay/lesbian and bisexual orientation with suicidality, depressive symptoms, tobacco use, and alcohol abuse.”
“Disproportionate exposure to early-life adversity and sexual orientation disparities in psychiatric morbidity.”
McLaughlin KA, et al.
Child Abuse Negl. 2012 Sep;36(9):645-55.
“Compared with heterosexual respondents, gay/lesbian and bisexual individuals experienced increased odds of six of eight and seven of eight adverse childhood experiences, respectively. Sexual minority persons had higher rates of adverse childhood experiences compared to their heterosexual peers.”
“Disparities in adverse childhood experiences among sexual minority and heterosexual adults: results from a multi-state probability-based sample.”
Andersen JP, Blosnich J.
PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54691.
“The studies reported childhood sexual abuse (CSA), childhood physical abuse (CPA), childhood emotional abuse (CEA), childhood physical neglect, and childhood emotional neglect. Items of household dysfunction were substance abuse of caregiver, parental separation, family history of mental illness, incarceration of caregiver, and witnessing violence. Prevalence of CSA showed a median of 33.5 % for studies using non-probability sampling and 20.7 % for those with probability sampling, the rates for CPA were 23.5 % (non-probability sampling) and 28.7 % (probability sampling). For CEA, the rates were 48.5 %, non-probability sampling, and 47.5 %, probability sampling. Outcomes related to SCE in LGBT populations included psychiatric symptoms, substance abuse, revictimization, dysfunctional behavioral adjustments, and others.”
“Stressful childhood experiences and health outcomes in sexual minority populations: a systematic review.”
Schneeberger AR, et al.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2014 Sep;49(9):1427-45.
“Among 287 participants, 211 (73.5%) reported experiencing [child physical abuse] CPA before the age of 17…”
“Association between Childhood Physical Abuse, Unprotected Receptive Anal Intercourse and HIV Infection among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men in Vancouver, Canada”
Arn J. Schilder, et al.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6): e100501.
“The research results indicate that, as compared with the group of heterosexual individuals, in the group of homosexuals there occurs a worsening in psychological functioning, which may be also manifested by an increased indirect self-destructiveness index. The increased intensity of indirect self-destructiveness in homosexual individuals may be considered a manifestation of worsened psychological functioning.”
“Indirect self-destructiveness in homosexual individuals.”
Tsirigotis K, et al.
Psychiatr Pol. 2015 May-Jun;49(3):543-57.