Mental Health: The Trans Question

Trans People Are Facing Mental Health Issues

Chelsea Manning posted a tweet simply saying, “I’m sorry,” with a picture of her standing atop a tall building. The connotations of the tweet are clear and are evidence of a far broader problem that is not being dealt with at the moment. Mental health issues that trans people of today are facing, in both their decision and their adjusting to society from a different gender.

Internationally statistics show a trend of attempts to commit suicide by transgender individuals. 41 percent of transgender persons in the United States attempt suicide at least once in their lives, and the U.S. is on the low end of the spectrum, with countries like the UK and Australia at nearly 50 percent.

This is a developing issue that shows the state of mental health amongst transgender individuals being looked at reactively, at which point it is too late as some individuals might have acted on these feelings. The root cause of these problems needs to be looked at in order to start addressing them.

The prevalence of suicide remains high among transgender persons irrespective of disclosing their transgender status to others and undergoing sex reassignment surgery. Within a social interaction scene, there is little discrimination towards transgender persons due to their gender. This suggests the possibility of internalized problems stemming from social interaction on a deeper level that affects the individual mentally. Perceptions might also play a part in this, which is not helped by the media exacerbating the issue.

Analyzing the Cause

The psychological autopsy of the completed suicides among transgender persons has revealed increased suicide pertaining to many different factors. For example, factors and the number of suicides associated with it include the break-up of a love relationship initiated by the partner at 64.3%, serious altercations with family members at 14.3%, refusal of gender/sex reassignment by the family members at 9.5%, financial problems 9.5% and a small minority of other problems are directly related to the suicide of these individuals.

Personal interaction plays a far more significant part to act as a tipping point than societal interaction. Personal rejection, by either a partner or family member(s), serves to act as the majority of reasons for completed suicides.

Amongst heterosexual suicide numbers, depression and mental illness become the main reason for completed suicides at 90%. This comes as many individuals feel isolated and that they are a burden to society, turning to suicide to alleviate both problems. There are many alternative factors to the causes of mental illness and depression stemming from more personal reasons; however, what this shows is that heterosexual suicides are the result for more social interaction reasons, whereas transgender suicides are the result for more personal interaction reasons.

Another critical factor is that research by S.A.V.E. shows transgender individuals are over twice as likely to commit suicide as a heterosexual individual if both were to receive similar verbal or physical abuse. The analysis demonstrates that mental instability is more prevalent among such individuals.

What Can Be Done?

The solutions to these problems need to start at the root, by examining the mental health of the individual prior to even undergoing gender reassignment surgery. There are both personal and mental health issues that most transgender individuals suffer from. It is not right to allow someone in this state to go through with what is a highly stressful procedure, to essentially become a different person; a different person that will find it highly stressful trying to realign themselves in society.

It is a fact that transgender sexual relations are skewed with conflicted opinions of people entering into relationships with them. This is not the fault of others. As with any relationship, the dynamics of intimacy are complicated. Throw into the equation that biological differences give new challenges a heterosexual relationship does not have. Such problems can mean that break-ups are more common, which feeds into the suicide statistics shown above.

The solution to this is awareness of the problem amongst the transgender community and amongst those wanting to transition.

Mental health at all stages of transition needs to be monitored. Assist in helping an individual find happiness without the need for transitioning, if possible, is required. In regards to relationships, fixing the problem requires more knowledgeable interaction with the community. Many enter into relationships with transgender individuals not understanding the complex relationship dynamic. Transgender-specific dating sites will go some way towards supporting this, so as to both inform and provide a safeguard against individuals going into a relationship under false pretenses.

The transgender community needs help to address the mental health issues suffered at all stages, not more blanket statements of acceptance or feel-good virtue signaling.

Ray Jones / Writer

I am a Proud Patriot. I have a degree in History and International Law with an interest in anthropology. I aim to make Americans realize their greatness!
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  1. It's pretty simple. Kids are inundated with rainbow sex programs, experiment while they are not fully-formed, and think they have "found themselves" when in reality they are hiding from themselves.




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