Pediatrician Recommends Hysterectomy for Depressed 16-Year-Old Girl
Two years ago, my 16-year-old daughter came to me one night after I was in bed and handed me a letter. I got up and read what was the most devastating news I've ever been given. My daughter had self-diagnosed as transgender after watching a YouTube video. She had been having a very tough year in high school and had been spending a lot of time isolated in her room, tired, angsty, and experiencing what looked like typical teenage moodiness. This was completely out of the blue.
Little did I know, there was a dark undercurrent fed by social media, molding my brilliant, quirky, gifted, witty daughter into a self-loathing, self-harming, and confused young girl.
I consulted various therapists, psychiatrists, and doctors, and found little support of my belief that indeed my daughter was born in the right body. Even her pediatrician, after prescribing her an antidepressant, said she could refer her to get a hysterectomy. She was 16 at the time and it was the FIRST conversation she had about her feelings with this doctor. It was like a punch in the gut. Who besides me is concerned for the well-being of my daughter?
The summer after she turned 18, she took off to Michigan with her savings to have her breasts removed. She claimed this would make her happier with herself. Informed consent was the only requirement. She had only had phone and email correspondence with the surgeon prior to the surgery.
As she continued therapy sessions, it seemed the only thing they were doing was agreeing with her fantasy. They did not question why she hates herself, her body, her personality, her face, her hair... they didn't look into why she was cutting, or seem concerned with her weight obsession, OCD, ADD, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
She spent a week in the hospital her freshman year of college under suicide watch. They sent her home with an antidepressant and two anti-anxiety medications. Again, not addressing the root of the problem.
She started on testosterone a month ago. She thinks this is going to make her lose weight and build muscle. She says this will make her happier with herself. She calls herself ugly. She won't even send me a picture of herself. What does this behavior and mindset say about her mental health? When this doesn't meet her lofty expectations, what will be next??
Occasionally when she is home on break, I catch a glimpse of the happy, funny, confident girl I raised. I miss my daughter.