Despite Religious Opinion, Transgender is Not a Mental Illness
According to researchers at the National Institute of Psychiatry, being transgender has nothing to do with mental disease.
Because of the stigma surrounding transgender brought on by governing bodies such as the World Health Organization International classification of Diseases (ICD), decades have etched the notion that transgender is the result of mental illness into the public’s collective consciousness.
However, many medical establishments and institutions are distancing themselves from this stereotype; as well as the movement of the general public to social reject this concept to further the protection of this class of people and how they are viewed in society.
Professor Geoffrey Reed of the University of Mexico and lead author of this study explained : “Stigma associated with both mental disorder and transgender identity has contributed to the precarious legal status, human rights violations and barriers to appropriate care among transgender people.”
Reed added: “The definition of transgender identity as a mental disorder has been misused to justify denial of health care and contributed to the perception that transgender people must be treated by psychiatric specialists, creating barriers to health care services. The definition has even been misused by some governments to deny self-determination and decision-making authority to transgender people in matters ranging from changing legal documents to child custody and reproduction.”
The study finds that having a perception that transgender people are mentally ill forces them to get psychiatric help, instead of medical care they need. The stigma also gives license for oppositional forces within the religious community to refuse “decision-making authority to transgender people in matters ranging from changing legal documents to child custody and reproduction” thanks to their influence over governing bodies such as the US Congress.
Issues highlighted in this research include:
• Social rejection related to gender identity
• Victim of violence
• Prone to suicide
Researchers note that reclassifying transgender as a condition related to sexual health would help current social relations.
This move would improve the lives of millions of people across the globe. As the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Williams Institute points out , there are nearly million Americans who identify as transgender which encompasses 0.6% of the US population.
Previous studies have shown that 57% of transgender teens attempted or committed suicide in 2012 because of their parent’s disapproval. For contrast, only 4% of those teenagers reported having supportive parents.