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Thu Nov 25, 2021, 06:32 AM

The mental health establishment is failing trans kids

At 13, Patricia told her parents she was a transgender boy. She had never experienced any gender dysphoria — distress at a disconnect between gender identity and the sex assigned at birth — she said. But a year earlier, she’d been sexually assaulted by an older girl. Soon after this trauma, she met another older girl who used they/them pronouns and introduced her to drugs, violent pornography and the notion of dissociation from her body. Her lingering psychic wounds, coinciding with a raft of new and unsettling ideas, plunged her into depression and anxiety. Patricia’s parents took her to a therapist so she could talk through her shifting identity and acute mood swings.

The job of a mental health provider here should have been clear: Perform an assessment, ask how long she’d experienced dysphoria and investigate how mental health issues and any other changes in her life might be contributing to it. Instead, on first meeting, the therapist simply affirmed her new identity, a step that can lead to hormonal and eventually surgical treatments. Was Patricia ready for these next steps — or, her parents wondered, was this a normal bout of teenage confusion stemming from a recent trauma? The therapist instructed them to “support” their child’s trans self-diagnosis and to socially transition her. If they didn’t, Patricia might end her own life: 41 percent of unsupported children commit suicide, they were told. Would Patricia’s parents rather have a dead child or a trans one?

They sought another therapist, one who was more curious and less certain, one who listened closely. After a year of exploring who she was, Patricia no longer felt she was a boy. She decided to stop binding her breasts and wearing boys’ clothes.

But the number of adolescents requesting medical care is skyrocketing: Now 1.8 percent of people under 18 identify as transgender, double the figure from five years earlier, according to the Trevor Project. A flood of referrals to mental health providers and gender medical clinics, combined with a political climate that sees the treatment of each individual patient as a litmus test of social tolerance, is spurring many providers into sloppy, dangerous care. Often from a place of genuine concern, they are hastily dispensing medicine or recommending medical doctors prescribe it — without following the strict guidelines that govern this treatment. Canada, too, is following our lead: A study of 10 pediatric gender clinics there found that half do not require psychological assessment before initiating puberty blockers or hormones.


The authors of the article are both psychologists. One was the founding psychologist in 2007 of the first pediatric gender clinic in the United States; the other is a transgender woman. Both have held recent leadership positions in the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which writes the standards of care for transgender people worldwide. They have helped hundreds of people transition their genders.

The authors also dispute that 41 percent 'will kill themselves'. It seems that figure is neither reliable nor valid - from a scientific perspective.

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Reply The mental health establishment is failing trans kids (Original post)
janterry Thursday OP
OldBaldy1701E Thursday #1

Response to janterry (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 05:33 PM

1. Yes indeed.

However, the mental health establishment has failed pretty much everyone not earning over six figures. But, this is just my opinion.

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