Address the problem, not the symptom

By Ramona Goolsby

Jul 14, 2023

There is a growing awareness of truth that is beginning to rise in New Mexico. With the passage of HB 7, SB 13, & SB 397 people are beginning to see there is an agenda at play with the very soul of humanity in the balance.

Since when is it okay for people to ignore a major issue and just enable people to harm themselves or others as a solution? Why does the state feel it is important to legally protect those who could be promoting harm to the most vulnerable in our society? 

The problem I am talking about is the mental health crisis our children and young adults are experiencing. Many adults are having problems with stress, anxiety, depression, fear, and other complex behavioral issues, especially since 2020. If adults are continuing to have significant issues, what makes anyone think our children and young adults are not suffering even more? 

There has been an increasing problem over the last several years with personal identity and gender dysphoria in our children and young adults. Which begs the question why?

Have the recent COVID lockdowns caused so much fear in children that they are now suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD? Yes, PTSD is real. Has the violence that is so prevalent in our society compounded their fears? Have they felt rejected and feel the answer is to be someone else? Are they not happy with who they are for other reasons, such as loneliness or isolation?

Gender Dysphoria is considered a mental health issue. You can look it up in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition. Just like any mental health issue, there needs to be treatment and assistance for a solution, not an acceptance and accommodation of symptoms.

Children and young adults lack the world experience, critical thinking skills, and knowledge to make lifelong decisions. They need to be able to count on their parents, families, or other trusted adults to help. When we are put in a position to help, we need to do our best to help and not harm. 

During my practice as a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, I had the privilege of helping people try to maximize their health. My goal was always to help and not harm. I prescribed medications but I truly preferred to use natural methods if possible. Natural methods include lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, spending more time outside, meditation, counseling, group counseling, guided imagery, biofeedback, and many other alternative treatments. 

I had many children and young adults in my practice. I witnessed the stress of just being a child. And, I had challenging conversations with many of these children while always including their parents. The most important thing to remember is if you are thinking about doing something drastic to “fix” a problem, understand permanent solutions to a temporary crisis do not end well. As adults, we have experienced this and know there are many times we do things that are regretted later. 

When children start talking about sacrificing who they are and how they were made, we as adults must take heed. We must help navigate these feelings and ideas because a decision they make today can affect the rest of their lives. I recently had a conversation with a young man who said he wished he could tell the children to stop and just wait because as an adult he has several friends who are seriously regretting what they have done to their bodies. Their lives will never be what they wanted.

Communication is the key. If you haven’t sat down with your child and let them know they can come to you with any problem, now is a good time to do that. As parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or anyone who is responsible for a child, take that responsibility seriously.

Educate yourself on the subjects that are affecting your children. Look at their textbooks and library books. Have a special time set aside for your child and ask how their day was. Make sure, if your child goes to public school, that their teachers, school counselors, and the front office personnel know who you are. Be an active part of every aspect of their life. Provide written notice to your school that you want to be notified of any referrals made for gender-affirming care or reproductive health. 

Educate yourself on hot-topic social issues such as gender dysphoria, transgenderism, abortion, homosexuality, homelessness, physical and sexual abuse, and crime just to mention a few. These are real topics that deserve honesty when talking with our children. 

Parents, you are the most important and influential person in your child’s life. Take charge and be the person they need you to be. You can go to for additional information on ways to help you start taking charge.

Ramona Goolsby (MSN, BC-FNP) is a retired medical provider.