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on queer mental health 

i want to shift away from surgery a little bit to cover another systemic medical issue for not just trans folks, but queer folks in general: mental health. i'm going to go much slower on this one but it's important.

on queer mental health, suicide mention 

i am at a presentation where someone is explaining that in the US:

- 20% of people have a mental health diagnosis
- 67% do not receive appropriate care (unclear)
- suicide is the 10th leading way people die

the previous presentation i attended included mention that over half of the people imprisoned in the jurisdictions the presenter worked for had a mental health problem that went unaddressed.

these statistics are for US people generally.

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on queer mental health 

some more introductory remarks on neurochemistry of stress:

"Psychological stress was elicited using mental arithmetic tasks under varying pressure. Stress in men was associated with CBF increase in the right prefrontal cortex (RPFC) and CBF reduction in the left orbitofrontal cortex (LOrF), a robust response that persisted beyond the stress task period."

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on queer mental health 

"In contrast, stress in women primarily activated the limbic system, including the ventral striatum, putamen, insula and cingulate cortex. The asymmetric prefrontal activity in males was associated with a physiological index of stress responses—salivary cortisol, whereas the female limbic activation showed a lower degree of correlations with cortisol."

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on queer mental health 

"Conjunction analyses indicated only a small degree of overlap between the stress networks in men and women at the threshold level of P < 0.01..."

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on queer mental health 

"...Men are generally more susceptible to infectious diseases, hypertension (cardiovascular disease), aggressive behavior and abuse of alcohol or drugs. Women, on the other hand, have higher rates of autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, depression and anxiety disorders compared to men (Holden, 2005; Kudielka and Kirschbaum, 2005; Lundberg, 2005; Kajantie and Phillips, 2006)."

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on queer mental health 

"Some of these gender differences emerge during women's reproductive years, and gradually diminish after menopause (e.g. depression, cardiovascular disease), suggesting that the observed gender-specific disease pattern may be partly attributed to effects of sex hormones (Otte et al., 2005)."

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on queer mental health 

"Recently, individual differences in stress reactivity have been proposed as a potentially important risk factor for gender-specific health problems in men and women, in addition to genetic, socio-cultural, hormonal and developmental factors (Hamann and Canli, 2004; Young and Altemus, 2004; Goldstein et al., 2005; Kajantie and Phillips, 2006)."

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on queer mental health 

"...In women, the phase of menstrual cycle, menopausal status and pregnancy were found to have marked effects on physiological stress responses. In particular, estrogen has been shown to buffer the sympathetic and HPA arousal (Goldstein et al., 2005; Kajantie and Phillips, 2006)."

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on queer mental health 

"Other studies, however, reported either no gender difference in stress reactivity or greater cortisol elevation in females than males, when a social rejection task was adopted as the stressor instead of achievement tasks (Stroud et al., 2002; Dickerson and Kemeny, 2004)."

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on queer mental health 

"It has been proposed that women are more likely to be negatively affected by interpersonal events than men—a tentative factor underlying the emergence of gender differences in depression (Cyranowski et al., 2000)."

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on queer mental health 

"Consistent with this model, in our prior study the RPFC—an important part of both the negative emotion and vigilance systems—is activated in response to stress, while the LOrF, which is associated with positive emotion and hedonic goals, is suppressed by stress (Wang et al., 2005a)."

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on queer mental health 

" That RPFC activation and LOrF deactivation with stress was predominately observed in the male brain is consistent with the idea that stress responses in men may be primarily characterized as ‘fight-or-flight’."

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on queer mental health 

"In contrast, the female stress response primarily involves the limbic system including ventral striatum, putamen, insula and cingulate cortex. In particular, the ventral striatum including caudate and globus pallidus are critical substrates of the reward system that possess rich receptors for oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine and endorphin (McClure et al., 2004)."

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on queer mental health 

"The striatum activation along with cingulate cortex, insula and putamen have been reported in previous fMRI studies on social attachment such as maternal and romantic love (Bartels and Zeki, 2000, 2004; Leibenluft et al., 2004), although there are also inconsistencies between our findings and previous studies (Gobbini et al., 2004; Nitschke et al., 2004)."

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on queer mental health 

"It is worth noting that considerable inconsistencies exist between the ‘tend-and-befriend’ model and our empirical data. Ventral striatum activation has been implicated in numerous processes, and is not a unique marker for involvement of the reward system (Poldrack, 2006). In our study, striatum CBF in female subjects was also associated with changes in negative emotion—perceived anxiety."

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on queer mental health 

"The isolated fMRI environment is hostile to the formation of social attachment under stress. The ‘tend-and-befriend’ theory would also predict a differential endocrine response (e.g. cortisol and oxytocin) between the two genders, which was not observed in the present study."

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on queer mental health 

"Similarly, the present finding of greater prefrontal and limbic activation in males and females, respectively should not be implicated with the sex stereotype in lay culture for the ‘emotional women’ and ‘rational men’. As suggested by several studies, the gender difference in emotionality per se may be an ill-posed question (Fischer, 1993; Barrett et al., 1998)."

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on queer mental health 

"Recent endocrine studies on the interaction between the reproductive system and the HPA axis demonstrate that females (compared to males) show resistance to negative feedback of both cortisol in the fast-feedback paradigm and dexamethasone in the standard delayed-feedback paradigm (Young and Altemus, 2004)."

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on queer mental health 

"In other words, female sex hormones, while attenuating the sympathoadrenal and HPA responsiveness, could lead to sluggish cortisol feedback on the brain and less or delayed containment of the stress response. Compromised cortisol feedback effects on HPA arousal in females has been proposed as a major neurobiological pathway mediating the tendency of women to develop depression (Young and Altemus, 2004)."

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on queer mental health, suicide mention 

@amphetamine

Over 45% of trans women have been suicidal at some point in our lives and between 22% of us and 40% have attempted suicide. The national average is below 2%. Trans people are twice as likely as other queer people to have considered suicide, and 2/3 of us have self-harmed.

on queer mental health, suicide mention 

@amphetamine

And the numbers for trans POC are higher by about 5-10%. Suicide is a leading cause of death for all of us.

on queer mental health, suicide mention 

@Eweish that reminds me that 40% of kids on the street in this country report as some member of the queer alphabet, too. all the harm is out of proportion.

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