Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine

Suicide and Suicidal Behavior among Transgender Persons

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine

Suicide and Suicidal Behavior among Transgender Persons

Article excerpt

Byline: H. Virupaksha, Daliboyina. Muralidhar, Jayashree. Ramakrishna

Background: Suicide rate and suicidal tendencies among transgender persons are considerably high compared to general population. Hence, this review is an attempt to understand the issues around the suicide and suicidal behavior among transgender persons. Methodology: The literature search conducted using three sources, i.e., electronic databases (PubMed, ProQuest, Google Scholar, PsycInfo), manual search (library catalog), and gray literature (consultation with experts). Results: The suicide attempt rate among transgender persons ranges from 32% to 50% across the countries. Gender-based victimization, discrimination, bullying, violence, being rejected by the family, friends, and community; harassment by intimate partner, family members, police and public; discrimination and ill treatment at health-care system are the major risk factors that influence the suicidal behavior among transgender persons. Conclusion: In spite of facing a number of hardships in their day-to-day life, the transgender community holds a number of resiliency factors. Further, this community needs to be supported to strengthen their resiliency factors and draw culturally sensitive and transgender-inclusive suicide prevention strategies and increase protective factors to tackle this high rate of suicidality.

Introduction

Suicide is a complex behavior which results from the complicated interaction of biological, psychological, cognitive, and environmental factors.[sup][1] Suicide rate and suicidal tendencies among transgender community have been reported to be high compared to general population.[sup][2],[3],[4],[5] The suicide rate among transgender individuals in India is about 31%, and 50% of them have attempted suicide at least once before their 20[sup]th birthday and 40–50 persons commit suicide every year in Karnataka state alone.[sup][6] However, the exact prevalence of completed suicide among transgender persons remain undocumented; the gender-based discrimination has prevented them by obtaining education, livelihood, and housing because of which they are living in slums and have to resort to begging and sex work; this pitiful conditions lead them to breakdown further and end their life in suicide.[sup][6] The high prevalence of depression and suicidal tendencies among transgender persons seems to be highly influenced by societal stigma, lack of social support, HIV status and violence-related issues which require further thorough investigation and necessary mental health counseling, crisis management, addressing drug abuse, providing them livelihood opportunities, and so on as part of the intervention.[sup][7]

Methodology

The literature search was carried out mainly using three sources, namely, search in electronic databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, PsycInfo, ProQuest), manual search (library catalog) at the library of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), and gray literature (consultation with experts). To extract the related studies, the search strategies (key words) used for both electronic database and manual search are “Transgender and Suicide,” “Hijra and Suicide,” “Sexual minorities and Suicide,” transgender and Self-harm,” “Transgender and Suicide Prevention,” “Transgender and Suicide Prevention Intervention.” The author selected 21 research studies including reports and documents as part of the search in electronic databases. These studies selected based on their relevance to the current title of the review and their availability with full text freely online.

As part of the manual search (library catalog), the author could get three dissertations relevant to the title of the review, submitted to NIMHANS. All these studies and dissertations are published or submitted between 2005 and 2015. …

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