EXCLUSIVE – An insider at MaineHealth, one of the largest systems in the state, who is familiar with patient care information – including adolescents – is speaking out about transgender children who are taking hormonal pharmaceuticals for chemical sex changes and subsequently showing up with serious mental health crises, including psychotic breaks from reality, in acute emergency settings.
The source made their concerns known to Do No Harm, an organization seeking to restore the medical field to science-based care.
Patients with psych emergencies are admitted to the emergency room in severe scenarios when urgent stabilization is needed. Psych-related emergency room visits are due to the patient being a danger to themselves or others, verbal threats of violence, hallucinations, cutting themselves, and attempting suicide.
“I feel like it’s kind of like [the kids’] way of screaming out, ‘Hey, look at me, I need help.’ And however, whatever issue was going on, it kind of shows itself. They could also have things like cutting behaviors or any form of like self-harm. Cutting is one of the more frequently seen ones,” the insider said.
As part of the “affirming” model, patients with gender dysphoria are treated in gender clinics where they take cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. Those drugs are considered by proponents of “affirming care” as “life-saving.” Transgender patients have a high rate of suicidality, which supporters of sex changes attribute to lack of family and societal acceptance.
The insider reported that some of those patients who are taking hormones experience serious psychiatric emergencies, including cutting and breaks with reality. The insider also said they were aware that children, mostly girls, 13 and over – who have supportive and “affirming” families – are showing up in emergency settings.
“Parents are encouraging this by talking to staff and saying, ‘You need to call her this boy name. This is how she identifies.’ Like telling staff that we should be doing this. Not the kid.”
However, they believe the “affirming model” is “cruel” and questioned why it made sense that patients taking cocktails of psychotropic medications to manage severe mental health issues would be given hormones and puberty blockers, which also have known side effects of depression and anxiety.
“There’s so many other side effects… Why would you add that to somebody who’s already struggling? It makes no sense to me. I don’t even you don’t even have to have a degree to figure that out,” the insider said.
The insider reported they believed that the culture fostered by MaineHealth’s diversity, equity and inclusion causes staff to be careful of how they speak to patients and their colleagues about the topic, even if an employee may have concerns about hormones for patients.
Families have been hinted to that they are always entitled to a second opinion, according to the insider. However, beyond that, the insider believes expressing views against chemical sex changes is not considered “respectful.”
The insider believes staff just write it off as, “Well, the previous doctor did it, so I’m just going to transcribe that. I’m just going to continue because we don’t want to change anything cold turkey… I think a lot of times they look at the previous meds, and it’s like, ‘OK, well, I guess we’re just going to continue that.’ Without really thinking about it or really like understanding what might be going on. Those things may be adding to the problem, and the fact that there’s such a social push.”
MaineHealth declined to comment.
A detransitioned 20-year-old named Kobe recently told Fox News that, at one point, cross-sex hormones caused him to lose touch with reality. Going off the hormones made him feel alive again. He currently has issues with his spine – which he believes could be from the puberty blockers. The blockers not only suppressed Kobe’s development, but according to him, “suppresses your life,” “your drive to do anything” and “your happiness.”
Kobe, in retrospect, looks back at the medical interventions as a subconscious use of “self-harm.”
The affirming model is considered a standard of care in the U.S., despite countries in Europe such as Sweden, the United Kingdom and Finland distancing themselves from its use in minors.
The affirming model also raises questions about whether patients can make informed decisions about their health – to switch genders – while they are simultaneously experiencing mental health crises.
“One of the truly unfortunate concepts that corrupts so-called gender affirming care is the notion that the reason these young children are in such psychological distress find is because they have not had the opportunity to undergo gender transformation,” said Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of Do No Harm. “Rather, they are seeking gender transformation as a way of avoiding the psychological distress that they unfortunately are dealing with. The right treatment for these children is psychotherapy, not drugs and not surgery. It is a real shame that the world of gender transformation has failed these children by denying the reality of their psychological distress. “
A study conducted by the Department of Defense doctor showed that even patients taking heavy anti-psychotic medications are placed into a “gender-affirming” pipeline in the medical field. It also found no significant mental health improvement before and after “gender-affirming” treatment.
In fact, “psychotropic medications increased following gender-affirming pharmaceutical initiation,” the study said.
The commissioner of the study, Dr. David Klein, later distanced himself from the results, stating that he believed that with more hormones and surgeries – when treatments are “optimized” – psychotic conditions like schizophrenia could “melt away.”
“I think by looking at the rates, you know, psychotic disorders, it’s easy to make assumptions [that] this is something inherent to transgender and gender diverse people. I don’t think that we know that. And I think that more likely it’s that when treatments are optimized, these diagnoses start to melt away over time,” Dr. Klein said.
In addition to questions about the effectiveness of the affirming model, as it is raised by critics, proponents of “gender-affirming are” often fail to articulate the potential for physical side effects.
Striking data from a 2018 study – “Cross-sex Hormones and Acute Cardiovascular Events in Transgender Persons” – showed the likelihood of strokes soaring towards an exponential trend closer to the 10-year mark of taking the drugs.
Puberty blockers used on children as young as nine, which are also used to chemically castrate cancer patients, have been linked to sexual dysfunction, a condition that can cause brain swelling, and issues with bone mineral density. Long-term use has also been linked to osteoporosis.
In other cases, practitioners have drastically reversed course after sounding the alarm on the use of the medicines – such as puberty blockers.
Notably, Dr. Marci Bowers, who has performed thousands of genital surgeries, once warned that blockers can cause permanent sexual dysfunction.
“Every single child who was or adolescent who was truly blocked at [early puberty stages] has never experienced orgasm. I mean, it’s really about zero,” said Dr. Bowers in 2021.
However, after becoming president of WPATH, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, Bowers now endorses its use.
WPATH sets global standards of care for minors and adults which are used by leading health providers including the Department of Defense and Boston Children’s Hospital.
The MaineHealth insider said the number of transgender kids presenting with emergency situations is growing.
MaineHealth has a gender clinic. The source was asked about whether patients from the gender clinic may present in emergency contexts, and the source answered they did not know.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.
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