It is an unfortunate fact that somewhere around 5% of Americans have attempted suicide at some point – but for transgender Americans, that number is closer to 41%. In fact, it is estimated that over 41% of transgender men and women have attempted suicide, and that number doesn’t appear to be growing any smaller. Many people who seek transgender therapy services do so after attempting suicide themselves. Why is it that this link is so strong?
Discrimination, Abuse, and Stigma on a Regular Basis
A study from 2016, published in The Lancet, by the American Psychological Association, showed that the issue may not necessarily be discrimination and abuse themselves, but rather the constant – nearly daily – basis on which these things occur for those who are transgender. Living with a lack of acceptance and dangerous abuse every day causes significant distress and impairment that is equivalent to the type of impairment suffered by those with significant mental disorders. (That isn’t to say that those who are transgender are mentally disordered – simply that they suffer similar symptoms due to the discrimination they face.)
Stress Levels in Transgender Adults
Another thing that the study showed was that adults who are LBGTQ experienced a significantly higher stress level compared to non-LGBTQ adults. Whereas non-LGBTQ adults have an average stress level around 5.0 on a scale determined by the APA, those who are LGBQ have an average stress level of 6.0, and those who are transgender have a stress level around an average of 6.4.
Living with such a high stress level can cause people to engage in behaviors considered risky, and be more likely to experience accelerated brain aging and cognitive decline.
How Transgender Therapy Helps
Because of the stigma and discrimination experienced by transgender people, many do not seek out the proper health care they need to help them avoid suicidal attempts. Therefore, with no medical care, and higher instances of risk-taking behavior due to stress, transgender people are unfortunately at higher risk for suicide. Transgender therapy, whether chemical, holistic, or surgical, can help transgender people get the care they need to manage the behaviors and symptoms causing suicidal ideology. This is why this therapy, in any form, is vital.
If you or a loved one is feeling depressed or suicidal and is in need of transgender therapy, contact us for a consultation at 469-429-7557.