Mental Health Issues in Transgender Females Defining Transgender In the past decade, the term transgender has rapidly come to be used to describe a range of social identities, a political movement, and a community that had no name until the early 1990s.
Transgender women identify themselves as being a man either by feeling as if they are men or by having both genitalia at birth and the penis being removed leaving only a vagina. They are uncomfortable being identified as a woman and choose to dress and act like men.They can continue to be sexually attracted to men, can be attracted to women or attracted to both sexes. Unfortunately, this identity confusion can cause a great deal of psychological problems for the person. (Clark, 2008) Risks Associated with Transgenderism Transgender people have a different and unique set of health issues.
They have greater risks for mental health issues due to the internal conflict and stigmatism of being transgender and have a higher risk for anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, post traumatic stress disorder, and drug addiction. NAMI, 2007) People that live this lifestyle deal with negative societal attitudes. Some may find that their employers are not accepting of their decision to live as a man and are fired from their jobs.
Others may have family members who do not understand their reasoning for wanting to dress and act the way they do and are disowned. (Transgender Health, 2010) Unfortunately, with today’s lack of understanding for these individuals, they have a higher risk for violence.The incidences of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse are greater among this population then in the mainstream population. (Bostwick, 2007) Other Health Issues for Transgender Females Transgender women face many of the same problems in the healthcare system as the rest of the populations, including barriers to care and general prejudice. They should seek a healthcare provider that is sensitive to their unique set of health issues. Routine screenings for breast cancer are a must even if they have had reconstruction surgery.
Pap smears also must be done f they have not undergone a hysterectomy. The high levels of testosterone increase the risks for cancer. (Sweirzewski, 2005) Community Health Nursing Role The community health nurse for the transgender community should strive to have open, honest communication with their client, to build a trusting relationship, and to be nonjudgmental to provide quality healthcare. Always include their significant other in the healthcare decisions and be knowledgeable about any conditions they may have. (Huygen, 2006) Prevention is just as important in this population as it is in others.Routine screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, and mental health issues is important for early detection and treatment of any health problems. Be aware of any subtle changes in behavior in the client, such as, cleanliness, mood changes, or increased self destructive behavior. (Huygen, 2006) Acceptance of the client is the most important key to being a quality advocate for your patient.
References Clark, M. J. (2008).
Community Health Nursing: Advocacy for Population Health (5th ed. ). New Jersey: Pearson.Bostwick, W. (2007). Mental Health Issues among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) People.
Retrieved November 5, 2010, from http://www. nami. org/ Huygen, C. (2006). Understanding the Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People Living with Mental Illness.
Retrieved November 6, 2010, from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih.
gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785208/ No author. (2010). Transgender Health. Retrieved November 6, 2010, from http://www. kingcounty. gov/healthservices/health/personal/glbt/transgender