Health & Beauty

Five Ways You Can Look After Bi Mental Health

mental-health-2019924_960_720Bisexual Mental Health Month (BMHM) may feel long over, but that doesn’t mean you need to wait another year to discuss the sweeping mental health issues facing the bi+ community, or to feel guilt-free about focusing on your own mental health troubles. Here are a few things bi+ people and our allies can do to help safeguard the mental health of the bi+ community.

BMHM is an American campaign that runs throughout March to raise awareness of the mental health issues facing the bisexual community. Due to its online presence, it’s beginning to become internationally observed. But mental health doesn’t isn’t just an issue once a year. Here’s how you can look after yours, and others, all year round.

Find bi+ friendly support

Unfortunately, many bisexual people have difficulty getting support for their mental health issues, despite having some of the worse mental health stats in the LGBT+ community.… Continue reading

Research Round-up: Why Is Bisexual Mental Health So Poor?

MPOTY_2014_Helping_someone_get_treatment_for_mental_health_issuesBisexuals face many problems, including higher than average rates of interpersonal violence (IPV) and homelessness, but at top of that list is mental health. In a Biscuit poll in February 88% of respondents reported having had mental health problems at some point, with 37% reporting saying that theirs were severe.

But this is only just scratching the surface, as a 2010 study conducted by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission found bisexuals to be around six times more likely to have mental health problems than heterosexuals. The study also incorporated data from a 2002 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, which reported that rates of mental health issues amongst bisexual people were significantly higher than those amongst lesbians and gay men.

My partners and I constantly argue over whether our mental health is a function of our bisexuality, vice versa, or unrelated. – Phil

A YouGov poll from… Continue reading

Being Bi – Borderline Personality Disorder

118HUsually when we talk about sexual behaviour as a symptom, it’s metaphorical, but when you’re bi and living with Borderline Personality Disorder your sexuality really is seen as a symptom, representing emotional and social instability, promiscuity and volatility.  Friend of Biscuit Cat shares her experience navigating the way.

“I’m bisexual and I have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behaviour, and relationships that has been in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders since 1980.

Mental health issues are prevalent in the bi community, with a higher than average number of bisexuals having suffered from mental health problems at some point when compared to the general population. Bisexual women in particular are more likely to suffer (in a Biscuit poll earlier this year only 12% of respondents said they had never suffered from… Continue reading

“Sell-Bi Date”: UK Study Will Look At Poor Health Amongst Older Bisexuals

imageedit_1_5866484131We often hear that Britain has an ageing population. General practice is being encouraged to do more to support older patients, and to provide more services out in the community, away from hospitals. Tackling inequalities which contribute to poor health is an important component in responding to the needs of an ageing population. Despite this, there is very little research which considers how to support older LGBT people within general practice healthcare, and even less which considers the specific needs of bisexual people. “LGBT” research often includes relatively few bisexual people, and frequently doesn’t consider ways in which bi people’s needs might differ from lesbian and gay people’s needs.

This is despite the fact that analysis of general practice survey data and household survey data suggests that bisexual people, particularly women report worse health than lesbian, gay and straight people. The report “Complicated?” produced by the Equality Network, suggested that… Continue reading

WATCH: #StillBisexual Celebrates Bi Youth For Bisexual Health Awareness Month

Out Of Mind: Let’s Talk About Bi Women And Mental Health…

worried-girl-413690_1920Another day, another grim story about budget cuts. In the last four years, benefit sanctions against people with mental illnesses have increased six hundred times. Nearly 20,000 people have had their disability benefits stopped, sometimes for weeks at a time, in an attempt to force compliance with schemes such as Welfare to Work which tries to help people back into employment. But as the charity Mind has pointed out, forcing people into financial difficulties is not exactly conducive to good mental health.

This counter-intuitive approach to recovery and work is hardly an anomaly. Mental health services in the UK are in crisis. Budgets are plummeting, and care professionals are increasingly depending upon unproven services to make severe cuts. Short term financial problems are compounding a longer standing issue – the fact that mental health has so often been the poor relative of physical health when it comes to treatment… Continue reading

Mental Health Awareness Day

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Human Rights Commission Report: “Bisexuals Are At Greater Risk Of Health Problems.”

depression-824998_1280The “Health Disparities Among Bisexual People” report shows that bisexuals experience worse health than people of any other sexual orientation, including gay men and lesbians.

Bisexual women were found to have higher rates of cancer, heart disease, obesity and mental health problems than any other group of women. Bisexuals of all genders were found to have higher rates of depression and display the most incidences of binge drinking, self-harming and suicidal behaviours.

“Bisexual people are the largest single group within the LGBT community, but we’re not addressing their specific healthcare needs,” said Tari Hanneman, Deputy Director of the Health and Aging Program at the HRC Foundation.“The reality is that bisexual people face discrimination not only outside of our community, but also from within. And that can discourage them from engaging in and benefiting from the work that LGBT advocates are doing to address our mental, physical and sexual health.”… Continue reading

The Happiness Factor: Bisexuality, Wellbeing and Being Well

800px-Happy_face_high_resIt’s hard to be bisexual, but we can learn to be happy

So much of our experience as bisexual people is characterised by struggle: the struggle for recognition and acceptance in an unwelcoming culture, the struggle against biphobia, and the struggle to challenge the myriad of misguided beliefs about bisexuality prevalent in our society.

It’s right that we engage with these struggles, and it’s right that so much bisexual writing and activism focusses on them.

But if our lives are dominated by struggle, then we risk losing sight of other important areas of bisexual life, such as thinking about how we can thrive and be happy as bisexual people, despite the society we live in.

The kind of happiness I have in mind isn’t necessarily the fabled concept described in self-help books – after all, happiness, in a general sense, means different things to different people.

The happiness I’m thinking… Continue reading

Community says gender is a spectrum, science finally agrees.

Prof._Dr._Dick_SwaabThe Medical University of Vienna this month released the results of a study that confirmed what we’ve known all along: gender is a spectrum.

The study was conducted by the Dutch Institute for Neurosciences in Amsterdam as part of a cooperation project between the Medical University of Vienna and brain researcher Prof. Dr. Dick F. Swaab, under the guidance of Rupert Lanzenberger. The study has been published in the renowned Journal of Neuroscience.

Gender is a complex concept, and certain sections of the LGBT community have been disparaging of trans identities, claiming that gender is, and can only ever be, socially constructed. This study provides evidence that gender is determined in the psyche and can be neurally represented

According to a press release:

It [is] now possible to demonstrate neural correlates (analogies) of the identity perception in the network of the brain.

It [is] furthermore possible to detect a strong relationship between the microstructure connections among these networks and the testosterone level measured in the blood. Lanzenberger: “These results suggest that the gender identity is reflected in the structure of brain networks which form under the modulating influence of sex hormones in the course of the development of the nervous system.

The study examined cisgender male and female subjects, and transgender people, revealing significant differences in the microstructure of the brain connections between male and female control subjects. Transgender persons took up a middle position between both genders.
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