Effective Transgender Teen Treatment

Adolescents can have a difficult time developing a general identity, especially during puberty.  Sometimes, teens question what gender they best identify with.  As outlined by psychologist Jung, all people have a masculine and feminine side to their personalities.  Whereas many teens find it easy to identify with the gender they were born with, others find it more challenging.  Transgender teen treatment can help transgender teens and their families cope with common issues seen among the transgender teen community such as depression, bullying, and self-loathing.

One important thing for transgender teens to understand before fully transitioning to the opposite gender is the amount of discrimination and various types of pain often faced.  Hormonal treatments, surgical treatments, and plastic surgery can all be physically painful in addition to financially burdensome.  Many people are not welcoming to transgender and transsexual individuals. Most teenagers struggle to find a sense of identity.  This common “coming of age” struggle can be much more difficult for transgender teens.  Transgender teen treatment focuses on helping teens and their families understand the full ramifications of what transitioning to the opposite sex will be like in addition to helping teens and families find strategies to address current issues.

Transgender teens often suffer from higher rates of depression and trauma than their peers. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular type of talk therapy that is often used to address depression by identifying thinking errors.  Humanistic therapy is also a popular type of talk therapy that is typically used to address trauma.  In addition, bibliotherapy is a quality way to help teens and families understand more about gender identity issues.  Bibliotherapy basically involves reading recommended books at home and later discussing any issues with a mental health professional after taking the time to process the reading and think of any pertinent questions or ways the reading related to a certain situation.  Many psychologists and counselors identify with a combination of different therapeutic philosophies and can effectively guide transgender teens and families through an often difficult time.  However, it is ideal to find a licensed mental health professional that specializes in transgender teen treatment.

Transgender teen treatment goals are typically developed in the first or second therapy session.  Different individuals almost always have different goals that can be readily attainable.  Whereas some transgender teens might be primarily interested in exploring their identity, other transgender teens might be primarily interested in finding ways to cope with bullying and depression.  In the end, treatment is meant to be a helpful source of information and coping techniques tailored to meet individual needs.

Family Support and Transgender Teens

On the road to adulthood, the way that your family supports each other can play an irreplaceable role in the manner in which teens handle different situations. When your teen is facing something emotional and confusing, like being transgender, providing a solid support system is absolutely crucial. Here are some suggestions that may help you balance the needs of transgender teens and the family.

First, it is important to be ever supporting and loving. While it is not expected for you to always completely understand what your teen faces, they need to know that they can come to you with fears or concerns with the confidence that they will be heard. Without that connection, they may become more distant and communication may stop completely.

Another suggestion is to go the extra mile to make all members of the home feel that they belong and play a daily part in the structure of the family. Weekly activities can promote the growth of continuing bonds that often become frayed during adolescence, but a few minutes each day around the dinner table counts too. The key element that must exist is a household that remains unified regardless of what challenges each family member faces.

In order to give your teen what they need during the more chaotic years of being young, you should strive to make your home a sanctuary. Free from outside judgments or pressures to be something they are not, transgender teens and the family members of the home can work to combat the stresses that are associated with being a transgender teen.

Transgender Teens May Suffer From Depression

As more is being understood about transgender teens and depression, it has become increasingly important for parents and guardians to watch out for the signs that separate true depression, and mere feelings of sadness. Here is some information that may help parents identify when their teen is not merely “going through a phase”.

Especially for teens going through some kind of emotional battle, depression can wreak havoc on their social and personal lives. Watching out for the symptoms of depression can play a key role in helping them work through low points so they can better enjoy the high ones.

Some things that parents should look for include a sudden loss of interest in things that the child very recently loved. From sports, to personal hobbies, depression can rob the individual of their ability to enjoy their own interests. In addition to a dramatic shift in their personal and social activities, being aware of emotional turmoil can help parents identify when their teen is going through a difficult time, and when it is an ongoing problem. Just about every teen will lose control of their emotions from time to time, but when they appear to be living at the mercy of severe highs and lows, seeking a medical opinion may help clarify the situation.

In order to combat the chaos that can be associated with undiagnosed depression, parents and guardians should take it upon themselves to be vigilant. By taking an active role in watching for signs of an emotional struggle being more than a mere phase, more progress can be made in understanding and transgender teens and depression.

Why Transgender Teens Struggle With Anxiety

For many teens, surviving high school can be the challenge of a lifetime. But there are a number of young people who suffer from extreme anxiety in silence. While a substantial majority of their parents and friends may be unaware of their struggle, many transgender teens battle strong feelings of anxiety and fear each day. Here is some information that may help shed some light on why transgender teens and anxiety can be a difficult combination.

What about being transgender such a hot point for teens? Part of being a teenager is discovering what they think and feel about the world around them. Especially in regards to what they think of themselves, it is a time of metamorphosis. When a teen is transgender, that process of internal analysis can be much more difficult, because they often do not understand why they feel out of place in their own skin.

Feelings of anxiety can be a response to the confusion that is often associated with being transgender. On top of trying to fit in at school and to plan for their futures, transgender teens must also address their struggle between the gender they were born with, and the one that they identify with most. Like other teens, they fear how they will be accepted by their peers, and may feel ashamed or even fearful of others knowing.

If any parent wonders why transgender teens and anxiety can go hand-in-hand, they need to look closely at the path of the individual. With a better understanding of what their teen struggles with each day, and by being willing to understand what it means to be transgender, more parents can offer the support that their child needs during that important part of their life.

Seeking the Proper Substance Abuse Treatments for Your Transgender Teen

Having a teenager often means dealing with some extreme ups and down. But when a teen is transgender, or is struggling with their sexual identity, knowing what is best for them can be even more difficult. It is not uncommon for teens under a lot of stress to turn to substances that can be dangerous, and even deadly. For this reason, seeking substance abuse treatment for transgender teens early is absolutely crucial.

While many parents may feel adamantly against the thought that their teen would ever turn to drugs, a personal or sexual identity crisis can change all of the rules very quickly. Especially in areas where being transgender is not understood or discussed, teens may be extremely reluctant to open up to friends or family members. Unfortunately, the result can very easily turn into substance abuse.

For many struggling youth, substances can be a source of relief that they feel they lack in daily life. Of course, the risks associated with the use of both legal and illegal substances can be severe. When a parent suspects that their teen may be involved with a substance, the best course of action is to seek professional help. With a combination of medications and emotional support, many individuals are able to identify what their triggers are, and how to get control of them.

If a teen seems isolated, depressed, or unlike their normal selves, talking to them about substance abuse may be the right decision. While it may not be an easy road, finding the right substance abuse treatment for transgender teens is key to giving them a chance for a better future.

Social Conflict Resolution for Transgendered Teens

When your adolescent child feels he or she is “transgendered” –that is, he or she does not identify with the sex or gender that was assigned to them at the time of birth—it adds an entirely new layer of complexity to an already well-known tumultuous period of time for most young individuals. Adolescence is, by its very nature, a time of awakening; a time of exploring yourself and others, a time to determine exactly who it is that you are and what you want out of life. Social conflicts for transgender teens are arguably far more challenging than those of their heterosexual peers. At a time when common “conflicts” often include somewhat inconsequential matters in the broad scheme of things, not knowing how to cope with feelings of being “born in the wrong body”—or simply not identifying with any particular sex, gender, or sexuality whatsoever—can feel completely overwhelming, and with good reason.

Social conflicts for transgender teens may well be inevitable, but deciding to involve counseling professionals who are experienced with, and compassionate about, assisting teens in this situation can be a huge step forward for both you and your child. It is likely that your teen will need to develop much better social conflict resolution skills than many other teens of his or her age, in order to be able to more effectively work through the significantly more difficult personal and interpersonal challenges he or she faces on a day-to-day basis—as well as new challenges that will be faced in the coming years.

Note to Parents of Transgender Teens

Human sexuality is incredibly complex. For many of us, coming fully to terms with who we are, as well as what we find attractive or sexually desirable about others, can take a very long time to fully come to terms with. The majority of us are “born in the right body”—that is to say, most women feel like they are supposed to be female, and most men feel they were correctly born in a male body. However, this doesn’t always happen automatically for everyone. Some people are born feeling that they are “different” when it comes to sexual identity; a girl could be born feeling she should have been male, while boys feel they should have wound up female. Some people are born feeling like they have elements of both male and female inside them, while others believe have no particular association with or attachment to any sex or gender, including their own. These beliefs may shift slightly over time, but more often than not, or they stay exactly as they are for a lifetime.

Note to parents of transgender teens: if you are new to learning about being LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender), you owe it to yourself to become educated. Bear in mind that identifying as transgendered does not indicate sexual identity in and of itself—transgendered individuals can identify as straight, bi, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual. The primary characteristic is simply that he or she does not identify with the sex and/or gender that was assigned to them at birth.

Different Types of Depression Treatment for Transgender Teens

Major depressive disorder can be an especially crushing mental illness.  Symptoms often include change in appetite, lethargy, a pervasive feeling of hopelessness, and even suicidal ideation.  Fortunately, depression is treatable.  Effective depression treatment for transgender teens can vary from different types of talk therapy to group therapy to mild pharmaceutical treatments.  Many studies suggest that a combination of talk therapy and pharmaceutical treatments such as SSRIs or SNRIs are most effective in treating major depression overall.  The best treatments for depression are almost always tailored towards each individual.

Given the individual and unique nature of different people, it only makes sense that treatment for depression is customized for each individual transgender teen.  Transgender teens are at a higher risk for depression than their peers due to ongoing issues with identity, bullying, and feelings of isolation from peers and family members.  The best depression treatment for transgender teens often is derived from a treatment plan after a needs assessment is conducted.  A needs assessment can help practitioners address specific areas of concern, areas of interest, and finally develop a comprehensive treatment plan.  For example, a transgender teen that reports strong suicidal ideation will probably need more immediate help than a transgender teen that reports lack of energy and a desire to drop out of school.  In addition, different teens might be drawn to different types of therapies such as art therapy or equine therapy based on their interests.  Depression can be a serious mental illness.  It is important to treat it just as one would treat a broken leg.

The Importance of Alcohol Treatment for Transgender Teens

Transgender teens often are at higher risk for alcohol abuse.  Many people discount teen alcohol abuse as an actual disease, but early intervention for alcoholism in teens can be the most effective way to treat substance abuse issues.  Consequences of alcoholism can be severe.  Some include injuries after drunk driving, victimization of violent crimes or sex crimes while in an inebriated state, and overall vocational impairments.  If alcoholism continues for a few decades, organ failure and Korsakoff’s syndrome can occur.  Korsakoff’s syndrome is a severe vitamin B deficiency that literally destroys the brain, and patients suffering from more advanced stages of Korsakoff’s typically cannot care for themselves due to numerous neurological problems, such as short-term memory loss.  Getting quality alcohol treatment for transgender teens before they reach adulthood has a number of benefits.

Alcohol treatment can be more effective during the teen years for a number of reasons.  First, parents are legally able to force a teen suffering from alcoholism to seek treatment if the teen is under the age of 18.  In addition, addressing the underlying issues of alcohol abuse promptly can help mitigate emotional damages later on in life.  Effective alcohol treatment for transgender teens addresses a number of issues that transgender teens typically experience.  In addition, alcohol treatment introduces transgender teens to new coping strategies and more healthy ways to experience traumatic events and internal pain such as expression through art or exercise.  Although many teens do not want to be told what to do, many teens will later be thankful that their parents took the time to find the right alcohol treatment program.

Transgender Teens in Girls

Social transition for transgender teens

While many people have heard the term “transgender” before, few seem to fully understand it. Transgender teens in girls displays as teenagers that have all of the physical body parts of girls but truly feel inside as though they are boys. Their brains literally work like those of their physically male counterparts.

The teenage years can be challenging for any child and the addition of a situation like transgender identify only exacerbates that. Parents of transgender teens can help guide their children through these years with love and support if they are fully educated and supported as well.

Allowing social transition

Transgender individuals typically have two primary ways to feel more “cohesive” in their being. One is to undergo medical transitions, often referred to as sex change operations. A medical transition process is complex and not without potential risks and the decision to opt for this path should not be made lightly.

Another, less radical and invasive, way of helping your transgender teen feel unified is through social transition. That basically means letting them dress and act as the gender that they believe and feel that they truly are. So, your teenage daughter might cut her hair into more of a “boy’s” haircut and wear male clothing and shoes. She may even opt to adjust her name if hers is a very female name. Such actions are not permanent yet can make her feel more comfortable.

Parental acceptance of the occurrence of transgender teens in girls can be difficult but is critical to a teenage girl’s ability to accept herself and to find emotional balance through her teen years.