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Mental Health Problems Plague Transgender Kids
Kids whoِ areِ distressed becauseِ they feel theirِ physical body doesn’tِ match theirِ gender suffer fromِ high rates ofِ psychiatric symptoms, suchِ asِ depression andِ suicide attempts, a newِ study finds.
In a sample ofِ children andِ adolescents treated atِ the Endocrine Division atِ Children’s Hospital Boston, young people whoِ experienced distress aboutِ the mismatch betweenِ their body’s sex andِ their mental gender hadِ high rates ofِ psychiatric complications (before anyِ gender treatment).
Kids whoِ don’tِ get treatment, whetherِ forِ financial reasons orِ becauseِ their parents aren’t supportive, likelyِ haveِ higher rates ofِ psychiatric problems, saidِ study researcher Scott Leibowitz, a psychiatrist atِ Children’s Hospital Boston.
Transgender people — people whoِ feel thatِ their biological sex doesِ not reflect theirِ true gender — haveِ astonishingly high rates ofِ mental health problems: A 2010 survey foundِ that 41 percent ofِ transgender people inِ the U.S.
5 Myths About Gay People] But theِ mismatch betweenِ mind andِ body alone canِ beِ a major source ofِ psychological pain, Leibowitz said.
Of 97 patients whoِ cameِ to theِ Endocrine Division forِ hormones andِ other treatments related toِ gender identity disorder betweenِ January 1998 andِ February 2010, 44.3 percent hadِ significant mental health histories.
Treating gender identity
Growing up, manyِ children experiment withِ cross-gender behaviors, butِ very fewِ of themِ will grow upِ toِ experience distress aboutِ their biological sex.
Persistent gender identity disorder isِ rare: In theِ Netherlands, whereِ gender-treatment programs areِ well- established, onlyِ aboutِ 1 inِ everyِ 10,000 toِ 30,000 people seeks treatment.
When young people start puberty andِ experience seriousِ distress aboutِ their bodies developing intoِ a gender theyِ don’tِ identify with, thereِ areِ solutions, Leibowitz said.