by John Hawkins | September 30, 2014 1:50 am
If someone came to a doctor and asked him to cut off a perfectly healthy arm because it just felt “wrong” for the arm to be there, should the doctor do it? This isn’t an idle question because this does happen with a mental illness called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). People who have it feel as if they’re not supposed to have a certain body part, like an arm or leg. As a general rule, doctors won’t remove a healthy body part; so some of these poor deluded people crush, mangle, burn, or otherwise deliberately destroy their own arms or legs in order to get a surgeon to slice them off.
This raises a question: Are surgeons who refuse to remove healthy limbs from people with BIID doing them a service because they’re mentally ill or are they denying them their civil rights? MOST of us would say that a surgeon who refuses to cut off a healthy leg is doing the right thing.
Of course, not everyone would agree. In fact, there are some people who will tell you that mental illness is a “super power.”
Members of the mad pride movement do not always agree on their aims and intentions. For some, the objective is to continue the destigmatization of mental illness. A vocal, controversial wing rejects the need to treat mental afflictions with psychotropic drugs and seeks alternatives to the shifting, often inconsistent care offered by the medical establishment. Many members of the movement say they are publicly discussing their own struggles to help those with similar conditions and to inform the general public.
…Some Icarus Project members argue that their conditions are not illnesses, but rather, “dangerous gifts” that require attention, care and vigilance to contain. “I take drugs to control my super powers,” Mr. DuBrul said.
It’s easy to laugh at this silly idea. Hearing voices or thinking the CIA is using a mind control ray on you is supposed to be a super power? Seriously?
But, this is a relatively small movement that happily hasn’t gained wide societal acceptance. Meanwhile, something just as ridiculous, the idea that you can change your sex, is accepted by many people in society.
There are people demanding that we change the birth certificates of people who’ve had sex reassignment surgery to reflect the gender they now claim to be. Children are being told to use whatever bathroom they feel most comfortable using. Kids under the age of 10 are being given drugs and treatment to prepare them for sex change surgery later on.
This is what happens when you cater to a pathology instead of treating it.
If you are born a man, you can mutilate yourself and take female hormones, but you can’t become a woman. If you are born a woman, you can mutilate yourself and take male hormones, but you can’t become a man.
If you’re a man who mutilates yourself to look like a woman, you’re not going to actually be a woman. You’re also probably not going to be the attractive fantasy you imagined yourself being because you’ve had male hormones pumping through your body for a lifetime. Your relationships are probably going to be screwed up because most men are going to view you as another man. Even if you do somehow meet a guy you like who isn’t using you to fulfill some forbidden fantasy for a night, what happens when he finds out? The relationship is probably over. The sex probably isn’t going to be good either because your groin has been cut to pieces and refashioned. Additionally, your mortality rate will be 51% higher than the general population because of suicide and all the female hormones you’ve pumped into your body en masse. In fact, the suicide rate for people who are transgender is 25 times that of the general population according to the American Psychological Association.
Certainly, there are some people who are happy and successful after having gender reassignment surgery, just as there are happy and successful people in every other walk of life, but they are exceptions to the rule. What about everybody else? Imagine mutilating yourself and realizing that it didn’t make any difference or worse yet, that it was a HUGE MISTAKE. What do you do then?
When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings. Some 25% did have persisting feelings; what differentiates those individuals remains to be discerned.
We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery”—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.
There’s nothing shameful about having a mental illness. If you break your leg, you go to a doctor and get it fixed. If you have some form of mental illness, you go to a psychologist or psychiatrist and get it treated as best you can. Sometimes you can be cured. Sometimes it’s a lifetime struggle, but all of us have different challenges to deal with and that’s okay.
On the other hand, you can rant about “bigots,” “gay pride” and “civil rights” all day long, but it doesn’t change the fact that encouraging troubled people to permanently disfigure themselves instead of working through their issues with a mental health professional is a thoughtless, cruel, and monstrous act.
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