Mental health of LGBTQ individuals who are Arab or of an Arab descent: A systematic review
El Hayek, S., Kassir, G., Cherro, M., Mourad, M., Soueidy, M., Zrour, C., & Khoury, B.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals are at a higher risk of mental illness when compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. Most research emanates from Western countries, with a paucity of studies in the Arab world. We systematically reviewed studies assessing the mental health of LGBTQ individuals who live in the Arab world or are of Arab descent. Of 261 articles, seven were eligible for analysis. Depression was the most common psychiatric disorder. Suicidal ideations and attempts were frequent in trans women. Post-traumatic stress disorder was also common, with the majority of precipitating traumatic events being related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Societal and familial stressors in the Arab culture are major contributors to the increased vulnerability of the LGBTQ community to mental health challenges. Further research is of utmost need while taking into consideration the Arab socio-cultural context.