It’s nearly a year after the suicide of Josh Alcorn (who called himself Leelah), the 17-year-old Ohio transgender who stood in front of a moving tractor-trailer. Alcorn’s death was a tragic failure on so many levels.
Who knows what caused the teenager such deep depression? According to Suicide.org, untreated mental illness is the key factor in 90 percent of all suicides, with depression being the leading cause.
The findings of two recent studies help to explain the cause of transgender gender depression, known as gender dysphoria. The findings offer a reason why transgenders claim their cross-gender thoughts and emotions cannot be controlled and why they feel the need for cross-gender behavior and social interactions.
As Debra Soh wrote on Monday in the Wall Street Journal, “Of the boys and girls seen in clinics like Dr. Zucker’s, a high percentage—up to 80% in a study of 44 gender-dysphoric boys—grow up to be not transgender, but bisexual, gay or lesbian adults. Thus, helping prepubescent children feel comfortable in their birth sex makes more sense than starting a lifetime of hormonal treatments and surgeries that will in all likelihood turn out to be unnecessary and unwanted.”
Politics, Soh says, is keeping doctors like Kenneth Zucker from carrying out the best-known treatments for those afflicted with transgender thoughts. This means activists are inflicting more suffering on afflicted people, including children, rather than acknowledging all the available research and experience that can help alleviate their pain.
Links to Mental Disorders, Not Cross-Sex Attributes
A December 2015 study suggests transgender brains have a marker for the existence of mental illness. The researchers attempted to find support for the idea that transsexuals have a brain that corresponds to their wished-for gender, but they found no evidence of cross-gender brains. Instead, they found an abnormality that suggests a link to psychological and behavioral dysfunction and mental disorders in the brains of transgenders.
These findings support the results of another study released in August 2014 that found 62.7 percent of those diagnosed with gender dysphoria suffer from psychiatric axis 1 comorbid disorders, or mental illness.
The presence of mental disorders has monumental implications for transgender treatment and should be taken seriously because of the link between some mental disorders and suicide. How can transgenders be properly treated when the transgender power brokers deny that psychological disorders may be a contributing factor?
Failure to provide psychotherapy for co-existing mental issues will keep the transgender suicides on the front page. With the backing of the White House, states and cities are criminalizing psychotherapy that explores and treats comorbid disorders in transgender and homosexual youth. The advocates have used the tragic death of a teen transgender to pass unnecessary laws to keep youngsters from getting sound psychotherapy that could prevent suicide.
Please Help Us, Don’t Enable Us
I was a young person who had an undiagnosed comorbid disorder that drove me to unnecessary gender reassignment surgery, a surgery authorized by a homosexual activist. I lived as a transgender female for eight years, but gender reassignment wasn’t the answer for me. I was still suicidal. I recovered through psychotherapy to uncover the underlying disorder and through my faith that gave me hope for the journey.
It’s been 30 years since my surgery, and unfortunately the treatment protocol hasn’t changed: gender dysphoric individuals continue to be shuttled toward hormones and surgery with no concern for detecting and treating comorbid disorders. If anything, opposition to the notion that psychological illness might exist in transgenders has become more strident, with a heaping dose of political correctness added in.
Powerful activists, lawmakers, and school administrators should use Alcorn’s death to push for psychotherapy guidelines to uncover the mental disorders that lead to the depression that leads to suicide. Instead, denial has reached new heights and lawmakers are taking steps to outlaw therapy.
Therapy Outlawed in Four States
California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, and the District of Columbia have banned conversion therapy. In Ohio, openly gay Cincinnati city councilman Chris Seelbach proposed an ordinance at the city council’s law and public safety committee in December that would make it illegal for licensed counselors working with minors struggling with same-sex attraction or gender confusion to provide therapy whose goal is to overcome it, even if the teenager requests the therapy.
The city council passed the ordinance to levy a $200-a-day, $6,000-a-month fine on any counselor who tries to help a sexually confused teen. A family group has asked the council to overturn the ordinance, the first in the country of its kind at the city level.
Lawmakers in four states, with others likely to follow, have made it illegal to provide youth with therapy that would uncover and treat co-existing illness. Even if the teenager wants therapy and the parents agree, therapy is not allowed to treat their gender confusion.
The government is overstepping. No one with common sense can look at the evidence of mental illness and the high suicide attempt rate and not see a link between the two, much less go ahead and pass laws to make it illegal to provide treatment that could save lives.
Do We Want More Suicides?
Assemble the evidence and it’s easy to see that the laws barring therapy are a recipe for more transgender youth suicide. Here are results from a survey of 6,450 transgenders conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and a World Health Organization report compiled from 15 countries:
- 50 percent of transgender youth attempt suicide
- The core cause of suicide is untreated mental illness
- Studies point to the existence of mental disorders in transgenders
- Transgenders themselves report their “wonderful” confused life includes extreme poverty; misuse of drugs and alcohol; incomes four times lower than non-transgenders; unemployment twice the rate of the general population; homelessness at twice the rate of the general population
- Transgender women are 49 times more likely to contract HIV/AIDS than the general population
Suicides are the direct result of untreated psychological disorders, and transgenders need treatment to help reduce the staggering number of suicides. Lawmakers are interfering with recovery by withholding sound psychotherapies from a population in dire need of effective treatment.
My transgender life could be described using the list above. Thanks to effective psychotherapy, I recovered from a transgender life, ill-advised gender reassignment surgery, gender dysphoria, and from the childhood comorbid disorder that was ultimately diagnosed. I have lived free from the transgender madness for more than 20 years. Today’s transgenders must have open and free access to any and all psychotherapies at any age.