When it comes to mental illnesses, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) community is no exception. In fact, due to the prevalent prejudice and discrimination, the community is prone to more negative mental health outcomes. When troubled by a mental health problem, youth generally choose the path of self-medication through alcohol and other substances. It becomes a vicious cycle when one’s mental health gets to feed his/her substance addiction, which further deteriorates the mental health condition. Such a situation gives rise to the need for an integrated mental health and drug abuse therapy at certified drug abuse rehab centers.
According to a new research by Kaiser Permanente, transgender and/or gender-nonconforming (TGNC) youth were found to be more prone to mental disorders. TGNC youth were more frequently diagnosed with mental health problems, three to 13 times, compared to cisgender youth, those who identify with genders assigned at birth. According to lead author of the study Tracy A. Becerra-Culqui, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation, among TGNC youth, children (aged 3 to 9 years) were more prone to attention-deficit disorders (ADD) and adolescents (aged 10 to 19 years) were more prone to depressive disorders. Researchers also highlighted the prevalence of anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts and self-inflicted injuries among the targeted youth.
TGNC youth more prone to ADD and depressive disorders
For the study, the researchers analyzed electronic medical records of 1,333 TGNC youth aged 3 to 17 years (588 trans-feminine and 745 trans-masculine) as well as adolescents (10–17 years old) enrolled in a comprehensive care system at Kaiser Permanente sites in Northern California, Southern California and Georgia. The TGNC youth data was matched with 13,151 cisgender males and 13,149 cisgender females. According to the results, ADD was found to be three to seven times higher in TGNC group with 15 percent ADD rates in trans-feminine youth (with male birth gender) and 16 percent in trans-masculine youth (with female birth gender). Additionally, depressive disorders were found to be four to seven times higher in TGNC group than the matched cisgender group with 49 percent prevalence rates in trans-feminine people and 62 percent prevalence rates in trans-masculine youth. As per the authors, the prevalence of mental illnesses in TGNC youth may be related to gender dysphoria or due to stress experienced from discrimination.
The authors concluded that mental health of TGNC youth may require immediate evaluation and execution of social, clinical and educational gender identity support measures.
Unique treatment for adolescents with dual diagnosis
Commonly used to refer to simultaneous existence of mental health and substance use problem, dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders is a complex condition that is best treated through an integrated approach targeting both the problems at the same time. If any one problem remains unaddressed, undertreated or untreated, it can worsen the other condition and diminish the chances of recovery.
Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is a leading mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders treatment provider that offers comprehensive treatment to adolescents (aged 12 to 17 years) in a safe and youth-friendly environment. Treatment for teen co-occurring disorders at our state-of-the-art facilities combines clinical treatment methodologies with behavioral and experiential therapies, nutritional counseling and life skills training. Our adolescent treatment program also provides services specifically designed to support youth with nonconforming gender identity and/or gender dysphoria by promoting self-esteem, self-acceptance and recovery of adolescents with gender dysphoria. To get information on our teen dual diagnosis rehab centers, call our 24/7 helpline and speak to an admission specialist. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.