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A recent study published in BMJ Mental Health has revealed that the suicide risk related to sexual anxiety in young people seeking gender identity treatment may have been overestimated. The study, led by doctoral researcher Sami-Matti Ruuska from the University of Tampere, focused on the suicide rates among young Finnish individuals who sought treatment for gender dysphoria at gender identity clinics. While suicides were rare, the study found that those who had serious mental health problems were at a slightly higher risk compared to a control group. However, psychiatric illness, rather than gender anxiety, was a significant factor in predicting suicidal mortality in young people.

The study included individuals under 23 who sought gender identity assessment between 1996 and 2019, with a total of 2,083 participants. When mental health problems requiring specialized care were taken into account, the suicide risk did not significantly differ between those with gender anxiety and the control group. Furthermore, the researchers emphasized the need to identify and treat mental health disorders in young people as a crucial step in suicide prevention. The study cautioned against rushing into transgender treatments solely based on the presence of suicidal thoughts, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach to mental health care. Overall, the findings suggest that a deeper understanding of the factors contributing to suicide risk in young people with sexual anxiety is essential for effective prevention strategies.

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