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PSYCHIATRIC MORBIDITIES IN TRANSGENDER AND CISGENDER PEOPLE OF MANIPUR, INDIA: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

Niranjan Hebbar YR, Sahana Nagaraj, Rajkumar Lenin Singh

Abstract


Objective: Psychiatric morbidities seem to be one of the major concerns among the transgender people. Lack of knowledge and ignorance was associated with growing abuse over these sexual minority groups and makes them vulnerable for mental health morbidity. The objective of this study is to identify and compare the psychiatric morbidities of transgender with the cisgender (persons who contend to remain in the gender assigned at birth) people of Manipur, India. Methods: From September 2015 and December 2016, a cross-sectional study was conducted in the outpatient department (OPD) of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Manipur, India. Using a non-probability convenient sampling, the transgenders and comparative group of cisgenders (both N=32) matched for age, literacy, socio economic class were recruited in this study. A standardised survey questionnaire, i.e. Mini‑International Neuropsychiatry Interview‑Plus (MINI-PLUS) scale was employed to assess the presence of psychiatric illnesses like depression, phobia, anxiety and etc.  A descriptive statistic and chi- square test were used to analyse the data. Result: A total of 6.25% of transgenders were found to be suffering from at least one psychiatric diagnosis. Substance abuse was seen in majority of cases, i.e. 59.37%. The life-time alcohol abuse was seen in 84.37%, past history of depression is 46.87%, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is 37.5% and PTSD is 9.4% respectively, which were higher when compared to cisgender group. Suicidal risk was also higher in the transgender persons with 37.5% of them have previous suicidal attempts when compared to cisgender population (p = 0.0001). Conclusion: Transgenders were found to be suffering from a higher psychiatric morbidity compared to the cisgender people. High level of suspicion and timely intervention for psychiatric illness should be part of the multidisciplinary care for the transgender persons.

Keywords


Transgender, Cisgender, substance abuse, depression, generalized anxiety Disorder, Suicidal risk, DSM-5

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