Being a teenager is hard for more reasons than we can list. From family and friendship issues to school and planning for the future, it seems like you have the world on your shoulders. But one of the hardest parts about growing up is trying to figure out who you are and how you want to show yourself to the world.
Figuring out your identity is a long and winding road, with many roadblocks in your way. For many teenagers, their identity struggles stem from their gender and sexuality. Some people could realize that they’re attracted to the same gender, or they’re not attracted to anyone at all. For others, they may have come to the realization that they were born in the wrong body. All of these are OK and nothing to be ashamed of.
But many transgender individuals experience severe mental health distress and disorder symptoms, including suicidality.
We’re here to discuss the truth about the transgender suicide rate, the mental distress of being transgender and how to reduce the suicide rate among the transgender community.
What is the transgender suicide rate?
Being transgender means that you don’t identify with the gender that you were assigned at birth. While there isn’t a timeline for coming to terms with your identity, many transgender people have an increased awareness and realization about their gender identity when they’re a teenager.
There are millions of people in the LGBTQIA+ community across the country, with about 1.6% of U.S. adults being transgender or nonbinary. That means that if you’re transgender, you’re not alone. But you may feel like you are sometimes, which is why mental health distress and disorders are common in transgender treenagers.
Transgender individuals can struggle with severe mental health distress or disorder symptoms, which may lead to them wanting to end their life. A study showed that 82% of transgender people have thought about killing themselves, with 40% reporting at least one suicide attempt.
When we’re specifically looking at the research of transgender youth suicide rates, 86% have suicidal thoughts, or suicidality, and 56% have attempted to end their life.
What contributes to mental health disorders and suicide in the transgender community
There’s nothing more important than living unapologetically. But being yourself isn’t always easy. Being transgender can put a tremendous amount of strain on your emotional and mental health. It can cause mental health distress and disorders that are linked to:
- Gender dysphoria
- Lack of support from loved ones
- Not having a gender-affirming home
- Being bullied or isolated from peers
- Lack of access to resources
More than half of transgender youths have a high likelihood of mental health disorders, especially anxiety and depression. In the Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, approximately three-quarters of surveyed transgender and nonbinary youth reported symptoms of anxiety, and two-thirds reported symptoms of depression.
Preventing suicide in the transgender community
The key to preventing suicide in the transgender community is to make sure that everyone has access to the support and resources they need to feel loved and validated. With the right care and support, you can alleviate your mental health distress and disorder symptoms so that you can be proud of who you are and how bright your future can be.
How to reduce the transgender suicide rate:
- Find a support system — You may think that no one will understand or accept who you truly are. But by confiding in the right people, you can feel seen in a way that can do wonders for your mental and emotional health. Your support system can be a big group of people, like a local support group, or just one person, like an adult in your school whom you trust. Finding support shows that someone sees you, and they care.
- Seek gender-affirming health care — The power of accessible gender-affirming health care for transgender youths shouldn’t be underestimated, especially if you want to undergo hormone therapy or gender affirmation surgery. Studies show that gender-affirming hormone therapy for transgender or nonbinary youths can significantly decrease suicidality and depression symptoms.
- Seek mental health treatment — Depression and anxiety symptoms can interfere with every facet of your life. By seeing a mental health provider, you can receive the treatment you need to continue on your journey toward self acceptance. They can provide medication to reduce your symptoms along with talk therapy to develop the skills and coping mechanisms you need to work toward a fulfilling future as your authentic self.
Lightfully Behavioral Health wants to help reduce the transgender suicide rate
Being transgender can lead to more roadblocks in your life than many cisgender individuals have to encounter, but suicide is never the answer. With the right care and treatment, you can be proud of who you are by taking control of your mental well-being. We’re here to be that support system for you.
Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.