A new study is showing that mental health in transgender individuals is stronger if they started hormones when they were a teenager. The LGBTQ community has come a long way in making sure that their rights are protected, but there is still a long way to go. Due to awareness and inclusion, youth are starting to realize who they are at a younger age, and we are seeing more youth coming out as transgender than in previous decades. While this can be a challenging transitional time for the whole family, transgender youth are usually interested in hormone therapy to help them feel comfortable in their own skin.Hormones continue to be a controversial issue, especially when it comes to youth starting them. According to Medical Xpress, a new study is showing that starting hormones as a transgender teenager may protect their mental health when they are older. This study was done by Stanford University Medical Center, and it can be read in full here.RELATED: Transgender Youth Who Socially Transition Are Pyschologically Doing Just As Well As Their Cisgender PeersThe study found that starting gender-affirming hormone treatment during youth years is linked to better mental health rather than waiting until they are an adult. This information can be a great tool when advocating for transgender rights.To complete the study, researchers looked at data from the largest survey ever done on US transgender adults.This was from 2015, and it included more than 27,000 participants. The study found that transgender individuals who had started hormone treatment as teenagers reported fewer thoughts of suicide and were less likely to suffer from serious mental health illnesses. They were also less likely to engage in substance abuse issues. They also showed a general improvement in mental health when compared to the other participants in the study.

Studies like this are a great tool that medical professionals and parents can use to advocate for the rights of their transgender child and patient, that if the need is there, they should not be denied hormone treatment. Hormone treatment, of either estrogen or testosterone, can help bring a person’s physical appearance more in line with how they identify inside, and this can alleviate a lot of the inner struggles they face. Researchers state that this study is important right now, as many states start to introduce bills and laws about transgender youth and hormone treatments.

Studies like this will likely continue to look at the benefits of various treatments for youth, and why they should not be restricted.

Sources: Medical Xpress, Stanford