a commitment and progress in the care of trans people in Puerto Rico

Academic preparation has been key in caring for this population.

Dra. Yaritza Bartolomey, clinical psychologist. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Glorianys Valentine.

“Not always a person of trans experience has gender dysphoria. Dysphoria can be divided into two criteria. The first is that the person identifies with the gender which is biologically assigned. The second is that it creates discomfort in the individual,” explained Dr. Yaritza Bartolomey, a clinical psychologist, in an exclusive interview with the Journal of Medicine and Public Health.

If a person is constantly being rejected and stigmatized, there is increased stress and greater anguish. “So it is very likely that you have symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress. In such a way that safe spaces must be provided, because the affirmative therapeutic approach seeks to validate experiences and make patients feel heard.”

The specialist highlighted that transgender people and people with a diverse gender identity may present gender dysphoria at some point in their lives. Nevertheless, some people transgender and gender diverse are comfortable with their bodies, with or without medical intervention.

On the other hand, he explained that the health mental health of trans patients and the LGBTIQ+ community, on the island, is an aspect that has become relevant, since now health professionals must carry out studies and present before the Department of Health your certificates.

“Regarding public policies, it is established that all health professionals have the competence to serve diverse populations,” explained the specialist, who added that now there are more information resources that allow better treatment and care to this population.

At a clinical level, we must make much more visible, “this is a continuous process of educationconscience and personal introspection, also to recognize prejudices, not only with the gender identity issuebut in different aspects as a human being,” he explained.

Many health problems faced by transgender people are due to minority stresscharacterized by the following:

*Negative social attitudes and disapproval (social stigma) towards transgender people

*Abuse, harassment, neglect, rejection or unfair treatment (discrimination) towards transgender people

*Internalization of social stigmawhich leads to having negative attitudes and thoughts about oneself (internalized stigma).

It should start by generating care spaces for all those patients who need it, knocking down stigmas, discrimination and reducing those traumas or estrangements that are generated in the trans community due to lack of care.

Since many professionals do not attend to them, since they are blamed for not complying or they are part of the binarism -man, woman- that has been imposed within the collective imagination, generating even more discrimination and disability.

For his part, Dr. Rafael E. Bredy-Domínguez, Associate Director of Clinical Affairs at Hospital Damas, highlighted another important aspect of mental health, since due to rejection, transgender people think of suicide as an alternative to their suffering.

The most important thing, in the opinion of the model and activist Danna Sultana, is that if she had not made her change, the mental health problem would have been much greater, because now she feels comfortable with her perception of herself.

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