Transgender Youth & Mental Health
Transgender youth are more at risk for mental illness than their non-transgender peers, according to a study by the Journal of Adolescent Health. In other words, those who identify as transgender struggle more with depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and attempts.
Dr. Reisner, the lead researcher from the study, examined data on 180 transgender patients’ ages 12-29 years. He compared them to non-transgender patients who were seen at the Boston’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center. Compared to non-transgender peers, transgender youth have an elevated risk of developing depression (50.6% vs. 20.6%); suffer from anxiety (26.7% vs. 10%); had attempted suicide (17.2% vs. 6.1%); and had engaged in self-harming activities without lethal intent (16.7% vs. 4.4%).
The study’s findings support what teen mental health professionals have long asserted:
Transgender teens are at risk for serious mental health issues.
WHY TRANSGENDER TEENS NEED COMPETENT MENTAL HEALTH CARE
The study shows the deep need for gender-affirming mental health services. There needs to be more interventions to support transgender youth, Reisner wrote. The study, coupled with recent headlines, have pushed the issues of transgender mental health care to the forefront. If your child is transgender, it is critical they have the right support system in place as they make the transition. This includes support and understanding from family and friends. They also need the proper mental health support to deal with any issues that may arise during the transition.
IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORTING YOUR TEEN
The most important thing parents can do to help their transgender teen is to listen, love, and support them. They should stay aware of any struggles they have when seeking acceptance from their peers. Being a teenager can be hard enough as it is. Being transgender can magnify normal teenage issues. This includes feeling isolated, misunderstood, or out of place. Many transgender teens struggle with depression and anxiety. They can be a target of cruel comments and bullying by uneducated peers. Staying on top of issues is critical for parents of transgender children and teens.
HELP IN THE TRANSITIONING PROCESS
Transitioning genders can be a long journey. It involves a lot of work for both the child and parents. This includes social transitioning (changing name, pronoun, style of dress, etc.) as well as medical transitioning (puberty blockers, hormones, surgery, etc.). Transgender teens need friends and family to support them through the transitioning process. Many benefit from the help of professionals with experience treating transgender individuals. A comprehensive support plan for a transgender child should include:
– Medical support from experts who have experience with transgender youth.
– Mental health support from experts who have experience with transgender youth.
– Social support groups or group therapy for both parents and teens. Groups are a great way to share feelings, information and in allowing teens and parents to feel less alone.
– Family support from parents, siblings, extended family and friends.
– Support from school officials to ensure your child’s safety.
TRANSGENDER ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT: LOS ANGELES
Transgender people identify as the opposite gender they were assigned at birth. If you have a transgender teen or pre-teen who suffers from gender dysphoria, seek treatment from Polaris Teen Center. Our experts have lots of experience working with teen transgenders. We can help them navigate the often difficult transition process, as well as assist with any mental health issues.
Transgender & LGBTQ Teens – Mental Health Statistics
In the U.S., nearly 1 percent of youth (150,000) between 13 and 17 years old are transgender.
THE RIGHT HELP FOR TRANSGENDER TEENS
If you are seeking help for your child who is questioning their gender identity, please contact the admissions staff at our residential teen treatment center.
Polaris provides comprehensive care to teens suffering from a variety of mental health and secondary substance abuse disorders.
To learn more about our youth programs, or to schedule a tour, visit our website or confidentially contact our admission staff below.
Changes made now can last a lifetime. Get the help your loved one deserves – call today.