An insider at MaineHealth, one of the largest healthcare systems in Maine, has expressed concerns about transgender children taking hormonal pharmaceuticals for chemical sex changes and subsequently experiencing serious mental health crises. The insider claims that some of these children end up in acute emergency settings with issues like psychotic breaks from reality, self-harm, and suicidal tendencies.
MaineHealth follows the “affirming model” of gender-affirming care, where patients with gender dysphoria are treated with cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. The use of these drugs is considered “life-saving” by proponents of the model, as transgender patients have a high rate of suicidality attributed to lack of family and societal acceptance.
The insider argues that the “affirming model” is “cruel” and questions why patients with severe mental health issues are given hormones and puberty blockers, which can also have side effects of depression and anxiety. They believe that the hospital’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion causes staff to be cautious about discussing concerns regarding hormonal treatments for patients.
Critics of the affirming model believe that these children are seeking gender transformation as a way to cope with psychological distress, rather than it being the solution to their distress. They argue that psychotherapy should be the primary treatment for such cases, not drugs and surgeries.
A study conducted by a Department of Defense doctor showed that even patients taking heavy anti-psychotic medications are put into the gender-affirming pipeline. It also found no significant improvement in mental health after gender-affirming treatment, and psychotropic medications actually increased following initiation of gender-affirming pharmaceuticals.
Critics also raise questions about the potential physical side effects of gender-affirming treatments, including a higher risk of strokes, sexual dysfunction, brain swelling, issues with bone density, and osteoporosis.
The insider reports that the number of transgender children presenting with emergency mental health issues is growing, but it’s unclear whether these cases are directly related to patients from the gender clinic.
Overall, the insider’s concerns raise questions about the approach to gender-affirming care for children and the potential risks associated with hormonal treatments for young individuals experiencing severe mental health challenges.