A British man battling mental illness and gender dysphoria was left with no choice but to pursue gender transition when his health care provider advised him despite his prior refusals or else, he would be discharged from getting psychiatric therapy.
Ritchie Herron, a civil servant from Newcastle, said he bravely got out of his anonymity and joined The Daily Mail in an interview to share his story of regret brought up by the irreversible effects of body and gender transitioning. According to him, his account will lead to additional claims from other detransitioners which he described as an avalanche of what's going to happen in the future.
He told the news outfit that he's planning to sue the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust for alleged irregularities in the therapy process that made his life "numb". Herron said that his life in the past four years after he transitioned from male to female became unbearable. He said his crotch became numb and emptying his bladder became slow and painful.
After suppressing his homosexuality and struggling with mental health issues, Herron admitted that he thought becoming a woman was the answer. However, despite helping him walk through his battles, he claimed that his healthcare provider rushed him to commit the worst mistake of his life and consequently became infertile, incontinent, and in constant pain.
He said that in addition to failing to consider his escalating mental health crisis, the NHS clinic also misled him about the risks. According to The Daily Mail, NHS gender clinics had risen its referrals to 1,700% for over a decade due to children and young adults that's why Herron's story raises major concerns about their gender therapy process. "In a few years, I'm sure we'll have law firms asking people if they transitioned and would like to claim compensation," he claimed.
His lawyer, Peter Harthan, emphasized the irreversible effects of gender surgery and transitioning to patients like Herron. He questioned the therapists who failed to determine indications of a possible reversal of Herron's decisions. He emphasized that patients who had certain issues like OCD, internalized homophobia, depression, drug use, sexual abuse, and childhood trauma as potential reasons for patients rejecting their sexed body need an in-depth consideration before advising them to go ahead with the gender transition.
However, according to Epoch Times, the Trust said that their healthcare decisions were all agreed upon by patients and the provider. They said that all patients were evaluated by more than one member of the team and they asked experts for an objective opinion. Furthermore, the Trust noted that their care process was thorough and external services were warranted as necessary.
Herron's Gender Transitioning Care Process
Based on what he experienced, after two 30-minute consultations from a private gender clinic, the psychiatrist diagnosed him with "transsexualism" and had been advised him to take medicine that would prevent the creation of testosterone as his first step toward gender reassignment. Despite his relative telling the doctor that he was taking a high dose of antidepressants and had several complicated problems, he has been prescribed gender treatment.
Despite being a 26-year-old man who can give informed consent, Herron admitted that during those times he was vulnerable that's why he went on to the process of gender transitioning. He went on by the name of Abby and dressed like a woman. Then his body features also developed like a woman's body because of the testosterone-suppressing medications he intakes.
In March 2015, after being referred by a psychiatrist, he started going to the NHS gender clinic in Newcastle for appointments. According to Herron, the first question that has been asked was if he wanted genital surgery. He said he wasn't sure at that time but because of the therapy being offered by the NHS clinic if he was listed for surgery, he agreed.
However, according to The Daily Mail, the clinic where Herron consulted said they do not provide mental health services to the patient.
Therapy Pushes Him To Agree
In less than six months, Herron was referred for vaginoplasty surgery which he declined and went on to receive mental health therapy. He received the second referral for surgery in 2017 that will take place at Brighton's Nuffield Health hospital but be covered by the NHS. However, according to him, he was told by his provider that he would be discharged from the therapy if he would refuse again the surgery.
Herron thought that his refusal of genital surgery would cause him to be withdrawn from his therapy which he referred to as his lifeline since he had suicidal thoughts. He said that the notice he received from the clinic caused him a nervous breakdown.
Despite his prior refusals, he consented to the genital surgery on May 23, 2018, because his therapy became at stake if he refused again. Herron said that he didn't even see the surgeon as he went into the operating room. Although he revealed that he wanted to halt the operation at that moment, he felt helpless in his mind since he was already there.
He shared that as soon as he regained consciousness after eight days, he told himself, "Oh God, what have I done?"