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Chaz Bono, weight, stress, transgender, suicide and health risks

Chaz Bono, weight, stress, transgender, suicide and health risks
Chaz Bono, weight, stress, transgender, suicide and health risks
Chaz Bono, weight, stress, transgender, suicide and health risks

“Do you see any oversized animals anywhere in the world living a long life? We’re pretty much on our own here. ” — Tony Siragusa (340-pound NFL defensive tackle for 12 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens.)

Chaz Bono threatened to sue the National Enquirer over an article that claims that his weight, stress, and the medications and issues associated with his gender reassignment, could increase the likelihood of an early death.

Patrick Wanis PhD was cited in the article as a Human Behavior Expert (and contrary to claims by Bono’s attorney, Wanis was not cited or credited as a transgender specialist or medical doctor in the Enquirer article and no such inferences should be made.) Wanis was quoted as listing and revealing some of the obvious and not so obvious risks to Chaz Bono’s health.

Following Chaz Bono’s angry response to the article, Patrick Wanis PhD responded with a personal video message to Chaz.

In the video posted on YouTube Wanis heeds Bono to ignore the sensationalism of the Enquirer headlines such as “liver damage agony” but still take action about his health and to surround himself only with people that really care, and beware of Hollywood’s parasites. Watch that video message to Chaz Bono here:

Weight and obesity
“As a transsexual woman myself, the Enquirer is right to a point. Chaz’s weight should be a serious concern regardless of whether you are trans or not. I can’t speak for trans men but I know through my experiences on female hormone therapy, there is definitely a health risk where it comes to liver damage and blood clots. This is why I am checked out by a physician every few months as a part of my hormone replacement therapy. Chaz really needs to lose weight. This is not a transsexual/transgender issue, this is a health issue.”  – Michiko

 “The amazing athletes of the National Football League — bigger and stronger than ever before — are dying young at a rate experts find alarming, and many of the players are succumbing to ailments typically related to weight…The heaviest athletes are more than twice as likely to die before their 50th birthday than their teammates, according to a Scripps Howard News Service study of 3,850 professional-football players who have died in the last century.”

Twenty-eight percent of all pro-football players born in the last century who qualified as obese died before their 50th birthday, compared with 13 percent who were less overweight.

The dangers of being overweight and obese would seem to be obvious but the same way that an addict can be in denial, overweight people still need to beware of falling into a state of denial and thus they need to become self-aware. “If sports players need to be aware of the threat to their life, then so, too, does the average person need to be aware of the imminent threats to life because of excess weight or obesity” says Wanis.

The same ESPN article (cited above) warned of the dangers of imminent death for anyone close to 300 pounds:

“Tony Mandarich — nicknamed “The Incredible Bulk” while playing guard at 325 pounds for the Green Bay Packers — said he gained even more weight after retiring and soon was put on high-blood-pressure medicine…”My doctor asked me, ‘How many 320-pound men who are 80 years old do you see walking around?’ That’s when the lightbulb came on over my head,” Mandarich said.

Craig Title, M.D. is a weight loss expert based in New York with “NY Specialists in   Medical Weight Control.” Dr. Craig Title has been often quoted in the Enquirer, Globe, Star and other magazines and media and has speaking about actress Kirstie Alley, he warned about “abdominal fat that’s linked to certain forms of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.”

Dr. Title, said that losing weight was a huge step in saving the life of actor John Goodman:

 “I applaud his weight loss effort,” says Dr. Craig Title, a slimming and diet expert from New York.  “At his age, with a history of heart disease in the family, he’s at an increased risk of premature death by being obese.  There is no question that losing weight now is a huge step in saving his life.”

At one point, Chaz Bono weighed 270 and he’s yo-yo dieted throughout his life. “This takes an enormous toll on the organs of the body especially the heart,” says Dr. Craig Title, a weight loss specialist from New York. “Obesity and weight fluctuations increase your risk of diabetes and heart attack”.

It seems that Chaz Bono remains defiant or possibly in denial of the dangers that obesity represents to his health.  Bono was named among OUT magazine’s 100 most influential gay, lesbian and transgender men and women and a November 2011 photo reveals him with an extremely bloated and extended belly:

Stress and mental health
Patrick Wanis PhD has written extensively about the dangers of stress.

Click here for a complete list of the articles on stress by Wanis and download a special free audio to help you relieve stress:

Suggested reading and stress tests:

  1. “Stress, negative emotions & your weight” –
  2. Stress: The link between life changes and illness & injury – take the test
  3. How Stressed are you? Take the test

Patrick Wanis PhD had also told the Enquirer the following regarding Chaz Bono but those quotes were unfortunately omitted by the editor:

“I would also suggest counseling, if he isn’t already in therapy, to help him become comfortable with his transition, deal with his feelings of depression and hopefully help him deal with the difficult relationships in his life. I would also suggest that he reaches out to others and shares his experience with others in order to help them with transgender issues. This would give more meaning and purpose in his life and leads to greater happiness, mental health and peace of mind.”

“I would like to see a true connection with his mother. I’m not certain her appearance on DWTS was motivated by a genuine concern for Chaz or to improve her public image after Chaz revealed his rift with Cher. And, it would be helpful to solidify his commitment to Jennifer in a marriage ceremony, something that Chaz says he wants in 2012. These steps can help him live longer. It’s never too late to make this changes.”

Transgender and suicide
The attempted suicide rate amongst transgender people is staggering and alarming:

 “Ninety percent of transgender and gender nonconforming people report harassment, discrimination and mistreatment on the job, and the injustices they face have devastating economic and personal consequences, according to a new survey.

“A ‘staggering’ 41 percent of the more than 6,400 respondents said they had attempted suicide, compared to a rate of 1.6 percent for the general population, according to the survey (PDF) by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The respondents had double the rate of unemployment and were four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 compared to the general population.”

The Public Health Department of King County in Washington states: “Both suicide attempts and completed suicides are common in transgendered persons. Studies generally report a pre-transition suicide attempt rate of 20% or more, with MTFs relatively more likely to attempt suicide than FTMs. There is some evidence that transsexual people are less likely to attempt suicide once they have completed the transition to the other sex.

 “Another form of self-harm in transgendered persons is genital mutilation. This is most common among transsexuals, although cross-dressers have done this as well. A 1984 study of a cohort of transgendered individuals who applied for services at gender identity clinics reported genital mutilation by 9% of the biologic males and breast mutilation was attempted by 2% of the biologic females.

Mental health problems in transgendered people
While research is scant, transgendered persons appear to be at similar risk for mental health problems as other persons who experience major life changes, relationship difficulties, chronic medical conditions, or significant discrimination on the basis of minority status.

“There is some evidence that transgendered persons may be less likely to seek treatment for depression-fearing that their gender issues will be assumed to be the cause of their symptoms, and that they will be judged negatively. Because of these and other factors, depression associated with gender transition may be under-diagnosed.”

Victimization and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)
“Many transgendered persons experience some form of victimization as a direct result of their transgender identity or presentation. This victimization ranges from subtle forms of harassment and discrimination to blatant verbal, physical, and sexual assault, including beatings, rape and even homicide. The majority of assaults against transgender persons are never reported the police. A link between these experiences and mental health disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is widely suspected, but has not been adequately documented.”

Click here to watch the personal video message by Patrick Wanis PhD to Chaz Bono:

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