Due to the lower testing frequency for STIs, bisexual men and women are less likely to get tested. As a result, they have less access to information about preventing an STI or the risks associated with being in a same-sex relationship. They also experience higher levels of depression and anxiety than their gay, lesbian, or straight peers. Bisexuals experience alarmingly high rates of adverse health outcomes, including cancer, obesity, STDs, and mental health issues. Community organizers, medical professionals, and researchers rarely discuss or understand the experiences of bisexual people in healthcare settings.
What Is Bisexuality?
Being bisexual means having romantic and sexual feelings for more than one gender. Bisexuality is a sexual identity, not sexual behavior. Bisexual people may also identify as pansexual or omnisexual. Bisexuality often gets mistaken for other things, including being greedy or promiscuous.
How do STIs Affect Bisexual People?
Bisexual men have more chances of contracting STIs (sexually transmitted infections) than gay and straight men. This is because STIs like HPV (human papillomavirus) can affect the anus and the mouth and are, therefore, harder to prevent. It is, therefore, essential that bisexual men practice safe oral and anal sex to reduce the risk of contracting STIs. Most STIs can be prevented through safe sex practices, regular STI testing, and vaccination. The risk of contracting an STI can be reduced by using barrier methods such as condoms and dental dams and regularly undergoing STI tests. STIs are treatable, but some can lead to serious health complications such as infertility and certain cancers.
How does HBV Affect Bisexual People?
HBV, or hepatitis B, is a virus that can cause serious long-term health complications such as liver damage and liver failure. Women are at higher risk than men of contracting HBV, and bisexual women are the group that faces the highest risk. Bisexual women must vaccinate against HBV, especially if they engage in oral sex with multiple partners. The risk of contracting HBV can be reduced by regularly getting tested for STIs and hepatitis, practicing safe sex, and using condoms. Some STIs, such as HPV, can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact and prevented through safe sex practices.
Are Bisexual People Affected With Smoking and Alcohol?
Bisexual people are more likely to smoke regularly than other sexual minorities with comparable drinking rates. The rates of smoking and alcohol abuse among bisexual people are high, but the reasons behind them are still poorly understood. But whatever the reasons are, bisexual people need to realize that smoking and alcohol abuse are harmful to their health. Both smoking and alcohol abuse increases the risk of contracting a range of diseases, including heart diseases and certain types of cancers. Moreover, smoking and alcohol abuse may also worsen the symptoms of mood disorders such as depression.
How do Depression and Anxiety Affect Bisexual People?
Bisexual people are more often diagnosed with a mood disorder than any other group. People who identify as bisexuals experience higher rates of depression and anxiety and a lot of that has to do with being a member of a minority group. They are often referred to as “ renegade heterosexuals” by the gay community, and the straight community also rejects them due to misconceptions about bisexuality. This makes it extremely difficult for bisexual people to access support, which is something that mental health professionals need to consider.
Being bisexual is linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety, higher rates of suicidality and self-harm, and lower rates of positive mental health. Bisexual people also have higher rates of eating disorders, substance use disorders, and PTSD than other sexualities. While mental health issues are more likely to affect bisexual people, it is important to note that the link is not casual. In other words, being bisexual does not cause these issues, but bisexual people are more likely to struggle with them. The reason for this link is complex, including a lack of support for bisexuality, bisexual people experiencing more discrimination, and the stigma against mental illness.
What Are the Ways to Improve Mental Health Among Bisexual People?
If you identify as bisexual, there are things you can do to improve your mental health.
Find a mental health professional to assist you with any mental health issues you are experiencing. Many therapists who work with bisexual people specialize in helping them through issues related to sexuality, discrimination, and other challenges they face.
Find a support group of other bisexual people. Support groups are a great way to discuss your feelings with others going through similar things.
You can also try practicing self-care, such as spending time with people you care about, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
You can also learn about being bisexual by reading books, articles, or other materials written by bisexual people.
How to Prevent Bisexual People From Suicidal Thoughts?
Bisexual people are at an increased risk for suicide compared to the general population. This is due to several factors, including discrimination, isolation, and mental health issues.
Things that can be done to prevent suicide among bisexual people are:
First, it is important to create an inclusive and supportive environment. This supportive environment can be created by learning and educating others about bisexuality and speaking out against discrimination.
To provide support and resources for bisexual people. This can be done by connecting them with community resources and providing mental health support.
Each person is unique, and no solution fits everybody for suicide prevention. See if you can reach out to someone you are worried about and see how they are doing.
The key to staying healthy as a bisexual person is understanding your increased risk of contracting certain STIs. You should be especially careful about practicing safe sex, vaccinating, and getting tested regularly for STIs and hepatitis. Moreover, you should also be mindful of your mental health and seek support if you feel anxious or depressed.