Tips for Beating Transgender Depression and Suicide
Transgenderism literally breeds depression - almost by definition.
Because most forms of human depression are rooted in a sense of “loss of control" in one or several phases of life. Could their be any process that causes a sense of being more “out of control” than changing your gender? Add to that - the common financial setbacks from transition plus isolation and withdrawal from family and old friends?
You’re staring at the perfect breeding ground for depression.
An astounding 41 percent of the transgender community attempts suicide, compared with 1.6 percent of population, according to a study called the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
I got horribly depressed shortly after I started transition in earnest. Honestly? I almost checked out: came dangerously close. Also, my lifestyle habits were very much “on the edge” - a form of social suicide - based upon no desire to live very long and little expectation of an extended life.
Finally - I developed habits that helped beat back depression and pave the way to a more joyous and fulfilling existence.
Depression Survival Methods
If you are going to survive a gender transition, you will need to become a master at beating back depression. The solution faces a classic chicken or egg paradox: you need to regain control of your life and rebuild healthy relationships - often at the exact same time you’re overwhelmed and sleeping too as a byproduct of depression.
In the face of these overwhelming challenges?
I developed tricks to improve my emotional state. Some might sound a bit strange but they worked for me, helped others and they might benefit you.
Tricks for Beating Back Depression
Of all the obstacles I faced during transition depression - both clinically and circumstantial - was perhaps my greatest challenge. I beat it - without scripts (I couldn’t afford them at that time). The tricks & methods I developed really work. However, you have to do them - not just read them!
Embracing Reality: Happiness is a decision - not a condition.
The mindset you must embrace is that happiness is a decision - not a condition. In other words? It’s a controllable result. Thus, you’ll sometimes have to depend upon the left brain to trick the right brain into thinking “everything’s okay”. In other words? It’s all in your head!
How do we trick our brain?
First off, we must become much more aware of “things we say” aloud. We never state: I’ll be happy, when…” This sets a basis for conditionalizing happiness on some future event. We can say - I’ll be more comfortable when I’m making more money. Or…I’ll have a more positive self image after I lose weight and get more fit. However, “happiness”? We never include that word in such reflections. This requires a conscious effort to maintain and succeed.
I discovered I was “happy” in the depths of my most challenging times. It was like a lightbulb went off. My close friends can confirm this miracle: I suddenly walked around with a smile on my face constantly. You can too!
Happiness is a state of mind. It helps to affirm it aloud and often. The more often you say you’re happy? The more quickly your brain will accept this as fact. The subconscious doesn’t know the difference between a fib or a fact: it only deals in data.
Put it to work for you in building positive spirit!
Managing Your Subconscious Mind
An essential component of beating depression is more actively control the data that assimilates within your subconscious mind.
Naturally, when we’re facing dire circumstances we often state aloud negative things: either when sharing our circumstances with friends or when we’re exceedingly frustrated. That’s expected.
However…it’s essential we offset these negative impulses with positive ideas immediately or shortly thereafter.
The subconscious doesn’t know the difference between a fact or a lie, good or bad, etc. It only deals in data - and it dwells upon the information it’s now receiving most prominently. Thus, if we’re espousing constant negative impulses through our conscious thoughts and words? Our subconscious will affirm this status with deep depression. It becomes a self-fulfilling paradox of negativity. However, if we actively create more positive thoughts and energy? Our subconscious can help drive us out of this dismal labyrinth.
What we say aloud? It’s a five-times more powerful affirmation than what we simply think. Our subconscious mind only deals in data - whatever its fed from daily experiences and thoughts from our conscious mind.
Within our subconscious is the capability to resolve any challenge we now face: including financial problems, relationship issues and depression. The most powerful means of feeding the subconscious is through “auto suggestion” - saying things aloud. If we say positive things aloud? The subconscious begins to explore positive outcomes to challenges or moods.
Remain vigilant in what you affirm to your subconscious. Offset negative impulses with positive statements.
This is the first step to beating depression. You can literally think your way to a more joyful circumstance.
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Edge: you might recall a profound statement by Anthony Hopkins regarding why most people die when lost in the wilderness: “They die of shame”. Based upon experience, I’m guessing such passing isn’t limited to the wild blue yonder.
As my life deteriorated: I froze. I couldn’t function. I was ashamed of people I hurt. I beat myself up over my mistakes.
I almost died…of shame.
I later discovered lots of people nearly die from this same condition.
The “Martian Method” is a great tool to utilize if you’re frozen or debilitated by past mistakes.
The “Martian Method” for Beating Back Depression
One of the most debilitating habits is “beating ourselves up” over past mistakes and errors. When we do this? We don’t think clearly, we don’t visualize positive solutions, we embrace a negative self-image - and yes: we get depressed.
A method I developed was to pretend that a “Martian” just invaded and took over my body. Her mission is to create the happiest and most successful life possible for a human. However, she’s stuck with whatever starting circumstances her host faced before she took control. Obviously, this Martian didn’t cause any of these past mistakes or strained relationships. Her only goal is to make the best of what she has now.
Then - I hold that mindset - and begin coming up with a plan to deal with current problems and future opportunities. I would even sometimes chant: “I’m a Martian, I didn’t cause any of this - I’m just here to clean up the mess” - just before I headed into a stressful meeting to resolve a bad situation.
This might sound silly but if you trick your mind into embracing this newfound role within your own body and future, you might be surprised by the positive and novel ideas your Martian comes up with to resolve current issues and create a more fruitful future for both of ya.
Using the Habit of Smiling to Battle Depression
Smiling - is a cheap, simple and surprisingly effective way to battle the effects of depression.
Each time you smile - it activates neural messages that benefit your health and happiness: proven scientific fact!
Creating smile habits is crucial to beating depression. The first habit is forcing a smile exactly when you most feel despair. This is a challenging skill to develop but pays big dividends since it causes the brain to feel more positive - which means we start seeking solutions versus wallowing negativity.
The second method is to literally add smile “appointments” in your calendar: at the top of your week’s plan and at specific times during each day. We all need reminders to smile - particularly when overwhelmed. I retained this habit for life - even though I’m long since past issues with depression. I stick to three scheduled “smile appointments” in my to-do list each day. I’m a happier and friendlier person because of this method. Try it…I promise you’ll feel the results.
Need an even better reason? Women use smiles to communicate constantly. Thus, by smiling more - you’re becoming more feminine. Can’t go wrong with that argument!
Tips for Surviving Social Isolation
Without a doubt one of the worst aspects of a gender transition is the resulting isolation. Old friends pull away, family often wants nothing to do with us & new acquaintances don’t quite know what to make of us. We’re self-doubting & confused. We face the insecurity of a young teen female combined with the outcast nature of a queer culture persona.
One of the absolute worst aspects of this phase? No one holds or touches us without wanting something in return. Loving touch is such an important human condition. I forever recall during this phase when a dear friend reached over & held me as we walked through a shopping mall. The impact of that loving touch reduced me to tears. I had forgotten what it felt like to be touched without condition. Human touch is crucial. Only those who lived without such contact are acutely aware of its essential nature.
Years later, a dear friend and I did sleepovers that included simply holding one another throughout the night. It’s challenging finding a healthy “hug buddy” without complication or agenda but it’s one of the most healing & fulfilling friendships you can form.
Faith & Prayer
I can’t begin to explain the power of prayer & a basis in spirituality. I lost my connection with organized religion after being out-and-proud as transgender…but I never lost my faith in prayers to God. I owe my mother for this healthy habit: she was a devout believer in prayer.
Shorten Your Future
The trick to surviving complete chaos is to not look very far into the future & manage what you can now. At times, I my entire “future plans” included only the next two hours. On the worst days? I could only look fifteen minutes into my future. If I looked beyond that juncture? I immediately felt overwhelmed & depressed.
If you’re obsessive like myself? You live to consider the future and start playing chess with circumstances. Alas, when we’re depressed? It’s much easier to find ourselves getting checkmated in a hurry. Thus, we give up on situations before we even start them. If you’re facing this condition? Cut your “future” horizon to hours or minutes: no further. What’s beyond that horizon? It doesn’t exist!
The Sunday at 3:00PM Worry List
Another very helpful tool is to create a worry list and an assigned time to “worry” about everything on your mind: both real and perceived My worry appointment time was always Sunday at 3:00PM. At that moment? I would take out my list and “worry my ass off”.
Worry - is one of the most debilitating aspects of being overwhelmed: it hinders improved thought and positive action. To combat this issue? Keep a legal pad nearby: every time a concern pops into your head that you’re worried about? Write it on that list. Afterwards? Forget about it - you made a promise to worry intently revisit that issue on Sunday at 3:00PM. No more distractions in the now!
Of course, what you discover on Sunday at 3:00 is that 90% of the items on your worry list now seem inconsequential.
One important element to this method? You must stick to the worry appointments. Otherwise, your conscious brain will say - “Yeah, but you’re not actually doing it later” - and will keep the concern top of mind in the present. This works - if you actually review and ponder the list as promised!
Chapters in This Section include:
MTF Gender Transition Introduction
Secrets to a More Successful MTF Transition
Non-verbal Female Communication Skills
Five Keys to MTF Transition Success
Ten Most Common MTF Transition Traps
Finding an MTF Transition Mentor
Choosing Your New Name as a TS Woman
Total Stealth for MTF Transsexual
Surviving an MTF Transition
Five Mistakes Transsexual Most Often Make with Transition
Success with a Partial Transition
Transgender Depression and Suicide
Shortcuts to a Successful MTF Transition
Final Steps to MTF Gender Transition