Psychological consultation of individuals with different gender identities.

As a physician I come across many individuals who wish to understand their true gender. The ones assigned to us at birth may be different from the ones we feel connected with.

Mostly its parents whose children are closet gay or identifying them selves as a gender different from the one assigned to them. Some wish us to brainwash their child with counseling or mediations so their child remains on the path deemed correct by the society.

A select few individuals Mostly from the higher socioeconomic status come for advice on how to settle into the new gender identity they so strongly feel about. Many are accompanied by friends and a few by their parents. 

Reasons for psychological consult and evaluation:

  1. LGB’s have a greater incidence of mental health disorders than heterosexuals(1)
  2. Fear of rejection, prejudices, loss of job or failure of relationships 
  3. Stress doubles the impact of each of these factors that perpetuate the cycle.

Another source of evidence comes from psychological research that has shown that expressing emotions and sharing important aspects of one’s self with others—through confessions and disclosures involved in interpersonal or therapeutic relationships, for example—are important factors in maintaining physical and mental health Pennebacker 1995

Best ways to support an individual with LGBTQAI identity:

As evidenced by research and multiple studies, a non judgmental listening, even if you come from non medical background.

Lack of support can be a huge cause of feelings of frustration, depression and consequent stress that can initiate a vicious cycle of aggravating mental health disorders.

If you are a parent in this situation here’s what you can do:

  • Irrespective of your thoughts on LGBTQAI, be there for your child.
  • Don’t panic, and make visits to doctors, babas, or relatives who you think can cure your child.
  • Whether you agree with your child’s decisions, sexual orientation and identity is up to you, but supporting your child by being there for him, providing a listening ear and a shoulder can dramatically transform the situation for you and your child.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2072932/

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