With our country becoming more and more open minded and the prejudices that one ruled us are slowly becoming something of the past, more and more people are feeling open to come out as whatever they are. Be it gay, bi, transsexual, or simply transgendered, it’s becoming something accepted – a thing of normalcy. And this has been confirmed to be the case for the young as well, as a study showed how parental support lowers anxiety and depression in transgender children.
Published in the March edition of the journal Pediatrics, the study was performed by a team of researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics, It looked to see whether the previous studies according to which transgendered children were a much higher risk of anxiety and depression also held up for the children of supportive parents.
Looking at 73 transgender children aged three to twelve, 73 non-transgender children, and over four dozen siblings, the study isn’t really all too expansive. Further studies will be performed in order to get a much larger research sample, but the current one does show enough evidence to look promising.
And the findings are as much expected as they are heartwarming. Indeed, some of the transgender children in the study did experience slightly more elevated levels of anxiety, but they were nowhere near close to needing professional help, and nor were they at increased risk of depression.
It’s quite obvious what the study is relaying, and doing so in a very efficient and scientific way – support coming from the parents of transgender children, regardless of age, will lead to a much higher level of adaptability and much improved quality of life later on in the child’s development.
Depression and anxiety
One the other hand, previous studies have been showing clinically relevant levels of depression and anxiety in transgender children. These are caused mostly by the stigma associated with it. And in most cases, parents don’t even have to be the cause.
Parents being parents, even some of the most conservative people out there can have a hard time rejecting their offspring because of their gender identity. They most often lie to themselves, pretending they’re not noticing the child’s behaviors and actually managing to convince themselves that they’re right.
And this is the biggest problem – children need support. Regardless of their preferences, children are the most vulnerable members of society. And if they are not supported by their parents, the beings they hold in supreme adoration, they will end up with severe emotional issues.
It doesn’t really matter if, as a parent, you agree with your child’s preferences. It doesn’t matter if you feel comfortable or not. What truly matters is that they feel like you supporting them. This way, they’ll be able to develop into mentally sound adults. Otherwise, you will create a cycle of self-loathing, anxiety and depression which will lead to no good whatsoever.
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