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Gay bashing might cause mental illness

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LONDON, Nov 30, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- British researchers say there's evidence serious discrimination against gay men, lesbians and bisexuals may lead to mental illness.

In a report published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers from Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Brighton found the chances of mental disorder increased with incidence of bullying and physical attacks.

"The results of this research show that there is a likely link between levels of discrimination and an increased risk of mental health problems," said Dr. James Warner from Imperial College London, and one of the paper's authors. "It seems that high levels of discrimination, including physical attack or verbal insults and previous school bullying, can lead to an increased risk of mental health problems."

The researchers studied 1,285 gay men, lesbians and bisexuals and found 42 percent of the gay men, 43 percent of the lesbians and 49 percent of the bisexuals suffered from a variety of problems, including fatigue, problems with memory and/or concentration, sleep disturbance, depressed mood and elevated anxiety.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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