Gay is Good: Coming out Improves Mental Health, Say Researchers

International Business Times
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January 29, 2013
Issues: 

Lesbians, gays and bisexuals who are out have lower stress hormones than those who hide their sexuality. Researchers at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) at the Louis H Lafontaine Hospital in Montreal found that LGBs who had come out as gay had fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression and burnout. Lead author Robert-Paul Juster said: "Our goals were to determine if the mental and physical health of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals differs from heterosexuals and, if so, whether being out of the closet makes a difference. "We used measures of psychiatric symptoms, cortisol levels throughout the day, and a battery of over twenty biological markers to assess allostatic load." Allostatic load refers to the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol contributes to wear and tear exerted on our bodies and combined with stress is a person's allostatic load.