Mental Health and Adolescent Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy 

Growing up is hard. Teens today are under considerably more pressure than those growing up in years past. The world changed so much over time, it’s almost like we cannot even compare the past to the present. 

Adolescents who are members of the LGBTQ community, face challenges that are even greater, especially those who identify as transgender. You can imagine the pressure they face - it can be so difficult in today’s society to be your true self.

So many teens simply don’t have access to the help they need; resources that could vastly improve their mental health. A recent study, as reported by NBC News, showed that teens who had access to gender-affirming hormone therapy were emotionally healthier.

Involving over 27,000 trans people, the study was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equity.  Basically, it compared the mental health of those with access to hormones to those who did not. Not surprisingly, those who had hormone access had a much lower chance of experiencing negative mental health issues including thoughts of suicide and psychological distress.

As members and supporters of the LGBTQ community and our trans friends, this isn’t really surprising. For those who wish, these hormones help them look like who they truly are.  Their outsides better match their insides. When any of us struggle with our identity it takes a toll on our emotional health.  Imagine adding this stress to the trials and tribulations of simply being a teenager.

Those who conducted the study hope the research can help protect gender-affirming medical care for minors as it is in jeopardy in many areas across the country. Forcing teens to wait until they become adults to get the medical care they so desperately need impacts them psychologically; unfortunately, some may never recover. 

As adult members of the community, it is our responsibility to share studies like this, support their results, and encourage those who make our laws to take them into careful consideration.  As adults, we must go the extra mile to protect our children and get them the medical and emotional help they need.