Gender issues v's other mental health issues(8 Posts)
Have posted recently about finding information that leads me to believe my daughter wants to be a boy. Finally confided in a friend about my concerns and she was very understanding and told me she would do a little research so as not to give me wrong advice. Today she emails me very angry with all the transgender info she has read. She also said something to me that has really got me thinking; when I was s teenager I was treated for body dysmorphic disorder. Very simply I believed I was extremely fat and starved myself until I was very poorly. Once my parents got involved I was referred and treated by youth mental health team at university. My friend wants to know why it is perfectly acceptable to treat such a disorder whereas believing you are a boy (when really u r biologically female) is ok and you are actively encouraged to change gender. Both my daughter and I believed our bodies were different to what they actually were yet if my parents and society had not treated my disorder I would be dead now. Why is the belief of a transgender teen about their gender acceptable whereas my teen belief about my body was classed as a MH problem to be treated???
I guess the main difference is the impact your belief had on your physical and mental wellbeing? Young people identifying as a different gender can also experience mental health problems and the distress about being in the wrong body can have significant impact on mental health. The process to transition is very gradual and starts with talking and thinking about identity. I'm not quite sure what your thinking is- are you cross with your friend or agreeing with her??
Whilst gender identity is not necessarily associated with mental health but the national gender service at Tavistock would ask local camhs are involved with young people and families due to the close impact on mental health.
Completely agreeing with my friend. Why is the treatment for those with gender dysmorphia to accept their belief that their body needs changing to be in tune with their mind? My mind felt that I was hugely grossly overweight and my body needed to be changed when I was suffering with my body dysmorphia ( eating disorder) My question is "why is body dysmorphia a mental health issue to be treated ( sufferer needs their mind changing to match their body) whereas gender dysmorphia is treated as acceptable and we chsnge the body to match the mind?
I guess true gender dysphoria has been present from early childhood and a way of life rather than it developing later in adolescence. Many families who have seen this gender preference over a period of years aren't too surprised by a teen talking about their gender. If your daughter hasn't shown this side perhaps she's just exploring herself? Either way if it's just coming out now perhaps she's benefit from meeting with a counsellor to explore herself (a counsellor would remain impartial if you'd be worrying she'd be encouraged in a way your not comfortable with).
Your friend has raised a very good point. I would share her concerns and also recommend you find a skilled psychologist who has experience of adolescent mh - anorexia etc.
I think I remember your old thread, can't find it at the moment. I replied in there about her hobbies and friends?
I agree with you. It seems to be something that starts from a very young age and I think yours has only escalated in teenage years?
I think it sounds as though she has other struggles which is very normal in teenage years, and perhaps through online influences is thinking this is the reason for how she feels overall? this is why I was questioning hobbies and her life in general.
I do think a counsellor may help her explore her mind and thoughts and get to the bottom of it what she's truly struggling with.
I'm 27, so still very much remember teenage years, I really really struggled. Now I realise I was just so insecure and lost, I couldn't find myself, and acted out, I was mean to people, rude to teachers, I was mean to my parents, I was horrid! I don't even know that person I was. Mortified looking back....
you are her mother, you live with her, you know her best, as long as you still keep mind open to it incase it is the real deal, just hang in there. You sound like you've been very supportive so far
Typical! Just found original thread. She is younger than I remember. But I still agree with my above post, I think she's really struggling with growing up, body change etc. Doesn't mean she's trans, the label may be a way of herself feeling better about what's making her unhappy
I think your friend is absolutely right, OP, and so are you. I used to be a medical author and find it near enough impossible to understand the appalling medical ethics that underpin treatment in this area. This is so out of tune when you compare normal accepted ethical norms.
Normal practice would be that the sterilisation of children and teenagers should be avoided at nearly all cost, with life-threatening situations the only exception. HCP are getting round this by telling parents that the risk of suicide is so high that they either choose transition or their child will die. The figures they quote are false. They never tell parents that even post transition transgender people have terrible MH. I suspect the lousy MH experienced by post transition people is because gender dysphoria should be treated - as you say - in the same way as ED, rather than enabled. The rage displayed by trans activists at anyone who fails to wholeheartedly endorse their gender identity is an indication of how brittle that identity is, and how can it be different? People can't change sex, however hard they wish.
A MN poster whose DC has similar gender problems told us that when doctors recommended puberty blockers she enquired about the side effects. She got such a clear impression that they were trying to brush over important information that she refused them for her DC, went home and Googled the drug. What she read convinced her that she would never OK that drug for her DC.
I can get you some links if you're interested.
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