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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Transgender Women With Mental Health and Addiction Issues

Over the last few years there has been a lot of conversation about transgenderism. A number of television shows have transgender actors which has done a lot of good in the way of softening the stigma that has long accompanied people who identify with a gender they were not born with. New research indicates that transgender women in the United States experience mental health problems more often than the general population, Reuters reports. The findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Between 2012 and 2015, researchers interviewed 300 16 to 29 year-old transgender women in Boston and Chicago, according to the article. The researchers found that about 42 percent of those interviewed had at least one mental health or addiction diagnosis, and one-fifth had two or more diagnoses. The elevated mental health conditions rates among transgenders is likely, in part, due to their lack of acceptance in society.

"We can’t forget that trans people continue to face an onslaught of microaggressions every single day of their lives," said Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who is medical director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

The researchers determined that about one-third of the transgender interviewees had been depressed at some point, and 15 percent were currently depressed, the article reports. What’s more:
  • About 20 percent reported suicidal thoughts in the last 30 days.
  • 15 percent reported some other type of addiction.
  • About 11 percent reported alcohol dependence in the past year.
  • About 10 percent had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • About 8 percent had anxiety in the past six months.
“Although U.S. mental health services are slowly becoming more transgender inclusive, substance use treatment programs tailored to meet the needs of transgender individuals, particularly young transgender women, remain scarce,” according to the researchers.


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