For many people, transgenderism is a fad — but today’s mental health professionals shamefully ignore the emotional disorders that are pushing this fad.
I am a mental health professional with over thirty years experience, so I have seen a lot of mental health treatment and diagnostic fads come and go. Time after time a new diagnosis catches clinical fancy. Suddenly everyone has ADHD. Now suddenly Bipolar Disorder is disproportionately diagnosed. And also Autism Spectrum Disorder. Once autism was a 1 in 10,000 disorder, then a 1 in 5,000, then 1,000, then 700, then 500, then 100, then 75. The latest I’ve seen is 1 in 39.
See where I’m going here? Broaden the diagnosis, generalize vastly, and everyone can have a label. To me it’s a bit frightening. Does anyone know what they are talking about? New labels, new diagnoses are bandied around like oracles, unquestioning professionals nodding their heads and accepting, never wondering, never challenging.
When I began practicing professionally, recovered memory was all the rage. Mostly young women in treatment supposedly suddenly recovered memory of traumatic incestuous sexual abuse or satanic rituals that had been repressed, suppressed and not remembered because of disassociation. Thousands of women abruptly cut parents out of their lives, sometimes accusing them of heinous crimes in court or denouncing them to family, friends and in media. Their recovered memories were recovered in hypnotherapy or in suggestive, leading therapies, and while there is no doubt that heinous sexual abuse occurs, there is also no doubt this became a trend, flames fanned by the media. Recent books have been written by women apologizing for the harm they did throwing around false accusations they really believed at the time when under the spell.
I recall being absolutely told that children never lie about abuse. Never. Their testimony is always accurate. Children cannot make these things up. Specialists declared the same. This culminated in the infamous McMartin Pre-School tragedy in which the innocent owners of a pre-school were convicted and sent to prison for the alleged satanic abuse of children, including sexual abuse, torturing animals, etc.
But it never happened. Suggestible children were led and cajoled by child abuse investigators, frightened parents and poor clinicians looking for confirmation. For heavens sake, they were preschoolers! When I was that age, I got a woman fired by lying as I remember guiltily now. I recall lying to my mother and telling her that a housekeeper hit me (children never lie about abuse…) all because my sister told me that she picked her nose and then cooked our food. When my mother fired her she cried and denied the offense. I didn’t speak up. I didn’t lie much as a child, but I lied terribly then, and viciously, and all I needed was a little pressure from my big sister to do so. Professionals must be wary. People, especially children and teenagers, are suggestible.
In my mental health work for a large school district we all knew about contagion. Teenagers and pre-teens desperately want to fit in. Many want to feel dramatic and to be noticed. If a popular cheerleader began cutting, her entire group of cohorts began cutting too. When a well-liked student died unexpectedly, in an accident, for example, it wasn’t just his or her friends grieving. Some kids wanted to be part of the grieving group despite only a passing connection to the deceased student, sometimes cynically to get out of class, but often to fit in, to feel like a deep, sensitive feeler responding to the emotions of those around them. Yes, again, some were stirred by their own traumatic memories, but not all.
Teens copy each other. They like to be noticed. Yet evidence that the transgender movement among youth fits this typical teenage pattern has been intentionally squelched and shut out.
So forgive me if I tell you that this transgender thing is the latest bandwagon, and professionals, pretending to be tolerant, pretending science validates this, are deeply harming the most confused and vulnerable of youth. Transgenderism is exceedingly rare. Now it’s a trend. It’s a way for kids who never fit in for a whole host of reasons, to claim that this is the reason, and to receive widespread public affirmation in the media and in certain circles for their fashionable struggle. It’s power. Everyone has to affirm the switch or be denounced as a hater. [Read more…]