Published on 19 April 2024 at 09:40

If the solutions to mental disorders were non-invasive, non-medicinal and in single doses of time, who would still make money off the treatment?

If there were a mental and not physical treatment to successfully treat or significantly diminish gender dysphoria, would anyone opt in? 

I find it strange how little information (or research) there is about what causes gender or body dysphoria. It seems as if the entire psychological and medical industry has unanimously decided that the only way to solve this problem is from the outside. Surgeries and body modification. I recently, partially listened to the podcast of a very young male-to-female transitioner (around 17 years-old) who'd started their physiological (meaning puberty blockers followed by estrogen) transition at the age of about 14. She looked and talked like a girl (not a woman yet by age though she referred to herself as one!). The only giveaway was a pretty strong jawline for a girl. However, there are many girls and women who have very pronounced jawlines without being trans. Nevertheless, the more I listened the more it horrified me. I was shocked that this was started so early. With so little research into the long-term effects of changing the body morphology artificially so early in life, I ask myself how the medical practitioners justify their treatments. 

The more I listened the more it frightened me. I thought of my own kids and felt a chill thinking: What if?

What disturbed me per se, wasn't the radical medicalisation of this child but the way she talked about her own body. Sometimes she liked her face, although sometimes she hated it. She wished she could have a slimmer, more feminine waistline. She compared her small bust size to those of naturally small-breasted women and yet, she wasn't very happy with them. Nothing to be proud of, was her description. And the comparisons continued. Yes but no. I like it but I hate it. I'm not unhappy but I'm not happy either. 

I couldn't watch or listen till then end.

As a rather under-qualified (just a Bachelor's in Psychology) graduate I couldn't help but wonder whether this boy, had really suffered from gender dysphoria. What qualifiers are used to determine that it's that and not something else? Is there really, absolutely no other treatment besides body modification...permanently? 

The key words I picked up from her podcast screamed UNCERTAINTY. Shouldn't the psychological industry consider a PHYSICAL DYSPHORIA before actually pin-pointing it to GENDER? And then eventually find the root of the dysphoria without the presence of another mental comorbidity before going the trans route!

So many people, young and old, with and without specific mental disorders, have a massive disconnect between their bodies and their minds. Hating or at the very least disliking various body parts (nose, hips, thighs, lips, ears, buttocks, breasts, chins...). The majority of plastic surgeries are truly unnecessary, purely aesthetically enhancing procedures. All to get the desired result which is a simple phrase: "I feel better about myself!"

What do I know?

I know some. I've undergone a total of 6 surgical interventions within an expanse of 8 years. One of those interventions was an abdominal reconstructive surgery which also served to aesthetically improve a postpartum anomaly. Otherwise known as a tummy-tuck. I don't refer to it as just that because the surgery was complicated and designed to repair the abdominal wall and ensure that the intestinal and digestive organs would once again be protected by muscle. I've joked that after giving birth to two over-sized babies, I was like a Teddy Bear with the stuffing hanging out. 

TMI (Too Much Info) trigger warning!

Moments after the emergency C-section, back in my room, I'd had a number of midwives gathered around me faffing with bandages (I'd lost a lot of blood). They all stared at me wide-eyed and one of them commented rather crudely:

"Wow! We could do an entire anatomy lesson on you!" As she looked at my torso. I didn't realise the damage at the time. I thought it was oddly humorous in a mildly insulting kind of way. I have pretty thick skin when it comes to people's opinions and feelings about me. Pun intended.

That's what I mean when I say a Teddy Bear with its stuffing hanging out.

It was a pretty dangerous way to live life after rounding off my procreative role of birthing two kids. Hence I'd taken the horse by the reigns and through much ado, finally came across one surgeon who was confident she could fix it. Several had said no.

Long story short, such a surgery cost me two years of recovery time. It was unbearably painful. I have a distaste for morphine and anesthetic. Scars are difficult to treat and some take long to heal. Going under the knife is butchery on the body and hard on the mind. Not to mention the complications...which there were...from several different, yet overlapping reasons.

On the internet there are many testimonials from the trans group about how good it feels afterwards, on the brain. They often omit the lifelong, medical struggles and very often complications that come with the surgical butchery of an otherwise healthy body. All for the sake of a glitch in the mental matrix - that we, as yet, are completely clueless about.

Is it genetic? Is it trauma-triggered? Is it hormonal? Is it social? Is it a combination of factors? And the answer should carry with it several forms of therapy that at first DO NOT involve body modification.

I'm a proponent of first understanding the problem before taking up the chainsaw to it.

It may very well be that some or radical surgical modification is the only solution to this kind of mental anguish. And it may not.

Can you trust what you see and what you hear all over the various social platforms? 

Some of it yes and some of it no. 

The rest? It's dubious and factually maleficent: meaning facts twisted to suit the message.

The cherry on top of this layered cake is that now, there is the added psychological pressure of conforming to various types of endorsed non-conformity. Agreeing simply to please. Double-talking simply to avoid being labelled. We arrive at a situation where critical thinking isn't defined by questioning everything, but by questioning "only some things". 

I have to be careful around social justice sensitivities when talking about what I find attractive and what not, and about whom I would want in my life and around my kids and whom I would not. Though it is my right to choose (a right granted by the free and democratic society in which I reside), it is far safer to stay SILENT. 

In the meantime, back at the ranch as one would say, the wheel keeps turning and profits keeping pouring in. Of course it's largely financially driven. It always is to a smaller or greater extent. If the solutions to mental disorders were non-invasive, non-medicinal and in single doses of time, who would still make money off the treatment? Who would benefit besides the patient?

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