ADELAIDE, Australia (ChurchMilitant.com) - In Australia, a 14-year-old boy has decided against living as a girl.
Patrick Mitchell began "transitioning" when he was just 12 years old with the encouragement of his mother.
"When he was young he would dress up in girls' clothes," his mother Alison told 60 Minutes Australia.
"You wish you could just change everything about you," Mitchell said, describing his gender confusion. "You just see any girl, and you say, I'd kill to be like that."
"I'd seen a story on TV about transgender people," Alison recalled. "I said to Patrick, 'I'm not saying this is you but I think we should speak to somebody about it.'"
The pair sought advice from doctors, who diagnosed Mitchell as "gender dysphoric." Their solution to his confusion was to prescribe the boy estrogen.
Mitchell began to develop breasts. He grew his hair long and began living like a female. "I felt like I was on the right track to becoming a girl," he recalled.
But in early 2017 something inside him changed when school teacher referred to Mitchell as a girl. It didn't feel right to him.
"I'm just not sure that I am a girl," he told his mother.
"I began to realize I was actually comfortable in my body," said Mitchell, reflecting on his shifting perspective. "Every day I just felt better."
Mitchell began the process of detransitioning. He dropped his estrogen regimen and had the added breast tissue removed.
According to Stephen Stathis, a child psychologist practicing in the Australian state of Queensland, Mitchell's story is common.
As director of a Brisbane gender clinic, Stathis warns that many children come to him mistakenly viewing gender reassignment as a solution to deep-rooted psychological and emotional problems. It is common, he notes, for girls who have suffered sexual abuse to identify as transgender. "The girls say, 'If only I had been a male I wouldn't have been abused.'"
Stathis estimates that "about 75 percent of boys and girls who present with gender variant interests and behaviors" decide not to transition after puberty has begun.
In July, Church Militant interviewed Walt Heyer, a former transgender "woman" about the realities behind "gender dysphoria" diagnoses.
The founder of SexChangeRegret.com and author of the books A Transgender's Faith and Genders, Lies and Suicide, Heyer observed that "Medically speaking, there is no such thing as gender dysphoria." He pointed to the fact that disordered "feelings" are subjective and subject to change over time. "There is no way to objectively test or prove gender dysphoria," he maintained.
Dr. Joseph Berger, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, agrees. He maintains that from "a scientific perspective," people identifying as "transgendered" are suffering from a psychological crisis rooted in "emotional unhappiness."
"[C]osmetic surgery," he warns, is not a "proper treatment."
Heyer argues that a person struggling with gender confusion can pinpoint the exact moment when they began having disordered feelings "100 percent of the time." An exploration of personal history reveals "usually traumatic, stressful, uncommon events that create deep emotional and psychological wounds," he said. These "horrific events," he affirms, are a task for mental health professionals — surgery and hormone regimens offer no solution.