Homosexuality Is Not A Mental Illness, Says The Indian Psychiatric Society—Finally!

Mental Illness (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

In what seems to be a ray of light on an otherwise rainy day, the Indian Psychiatric Society or IPS just declared that homosexuality is a sexual variation and not a mental illness. For those of you who are wondering why this is big news, here’s a quick recap. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the plea against Section 377, an archaic law that criminalises homosexuality. For way too long this law has been held against members of the LGBTQIA community and used in order to harass and exploit them.

The #IndianPsychiatricSociety (#IPS), the foremost body of #MentalHealth practitioners in #India, just released the following official statement in support of decriminalizing same-sex sexual activity: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “In the opinion of the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS), homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is in line with the position of American Psychiatric Association and the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization which removed homosexuality from the list of psychiatric disorders in 1973 and 1992, respectively. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The IPS recognizes same-sex sexuality as a normal variant of human sexuality much like heterosexuality and bisexuality. There is no scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be altered by any treatment and that any such attempts may in fact lead to low self-esteem and stigmatization of the person. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The Indian Psychiatric Society further supports decriminalization of homosexual behavior.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #homosexuality #LGBT #LGBTRights #gay #lesbian #SexualOrientation #homophobia #HumanRights #Section377 #Asia #progress

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This new declaration by the IPS finally acts as proof that homosexuality is, in fact, a natural phenomenon and not a psychiatric disorder. The reason why this statement is also important is that many times, people think they can cure homosexuality with the help of counselling. The people or counsellors who suggest this are nothing but quacks and this can finally put a stop to the exploitation and mental trauma many people have had to face in order to get cured. Hopefully, this statement also helps parents realise that there is nothing wrong with their child and it isn’t a sickness that needs to be cured. This can help elevate many of the mental health issues that plague members of the community. It could help many people come to terms with their sexuality and also give them the courage to come out and accept who they are.

While the plea hearing to abolish Section 377 is still underway, this statement marks a significant step forward for the LGBTQIA community. While it doesn’t really change any laws in itself, this declaration by the IPS makes it so that no psychiatrist can treat homosexuality as a mental disorder. They have to abide by the body and the norm and consider this as a natural preference.

This statement is a ray of hope for members of the community. It’s not the end of the fight but we’re sure this will play a significant role in bridging the gap of equality and understanding. The fight isn’t over by any means and we sincerely hope that this time around, it goes in the favour of humanity.

What are your thoughts on this statement? Let us know in the comments below.

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