Mental disorders in children: it's an epidemic. In parallel with the boom of "gender dysphoria"
An American study reveals that psychological distress in adolescents has been at a peak of growth since 2012 with different symptoms between males and females. And that the idea of wanting to "change sex" is almost always accompanied by other problems. Loneliness, social networks, pornography: how wild marketing is destroying a generation

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The silence on puberty blockers has finally been broken in Italy too prescribed to girls and boys with gender non-conforming behavior. It broke mostly thanks to the efforts of radical feminists, parents' groups and Italian psychoanalysts who wrote to the government (see here).

The debate has also arrived on TV, with two recent episodes of Fourth Republic with interventions by Italian and foreign experts, from the feminists Marina Terragni (here, 1'46”) and Monica Ricci Sargentini, to the oncologist Maura Massimino, who directs the Pediatric Oncology Division of the Cancer Institute of Milan (here).

Among the main problems of "gender dysphoria" diagnoses is that of comorbidities, or psychological disorders - very frequently theautism– and the traumas that in most cases accompany this sudden sense of "incongruity" with respect to one's sex. The whole aggravated by the influence of social networks, on which the trans industry works a lot.

The American psychologist Jon Haidt, who has been studying the effect of social networks on the mental health of children and adolescents for years, published the results of his research in a document entitled «Mood disorders in adolescents since 2010: A collaborative review» (full text here), with the collaboration of Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego University, and Zach Rausch, researcher.

Table 1: American adolescents with depression.

The study highlights how around 2012 in the United States and Great Britain there was a sharp increase in mental disorders in adolescents, starting with depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but also self-harm and attempted suicides.

More or less in the same period, there was also a sharp increase in minors - especially girls - turning to clinics for alleged "gender dysphoria". (the phenomenon has also been noticed in Holland, see here).

Table 2: Hospitalizations for self-harm among American adolescents, in the 10-14 and 15-19 age groups.

Scholars have also highlighted the variations based on sex: LGirls suffer more than boys from internalized disorders such as anxiety and depression and they have more frequently self-harming behaviors not fatal. Young people, on the other hand, tend to externalize their disorders with criminal, violent behavior, drug use, etc., and have a higher suicide rate.

Table 3: Suicides in American adolescents, in the 10-14 and 15-19 age groups.

It can therefore be hypothesized that the increase in gender dysphoria in girls may be linked to the internalization of discomfort towards their maturing female body, a discomfort that is emphasized today more than in the past by social networks that promote hyper-sexualized and unnatural bodies as models, often modified by surgery and filters.

The imagery behind these models is undoubtedly that of pornography -also available to girls and boys, always and everywhere thanks to the Internet- which shows the female body inevitably subjected to male domination. Faced with this seemingly unique destiny the girls try to escape as if from a house on fire, and the same social networks offer them the "solution" of the transition (Marina Terragni explained the two sides of the FtoM and MtoF transition here).

The document states that also American boys today have different problems than girls, which «seem to be linked to being sucked into their screens: video games, porn, online radicalization, with terrible outcomes that seem more linked to failure to grow than to internalized disorders».

The data also shows that It is the youngest adolescents, those in the age group from 10 to 14, who suffer most from the effects of social networks: rates of self-harm and suicide are highest among the youngest.

Likewise The increase in requests for treatment for alleged "gender dysphoria" can also be traced back to the effects of social media which in most cases would resolve itself once puberty is over, as shown by the data and testimonies of detransitioner.

This generation pays the price of having been hit first, at an early stage of its development, by unsustainable models and the deceptive and wild marketing of social media.

The problem must be addressed with solutions that preserve the health and bodies of girls and boys, who must not be consigned to a future of lifelong medicalization.

Maria Celeste

Here the text by Jon Haidt


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