Since the ’80s and ’90s, conversion therapy has been condemned by most psychiatrists and psychologists, and the Canadian Psychological Association formally opposed its techniques in a statement released in 2015—due not only to the lack of scientific research supporting its efficacy, but more importantly because of the documented mental health consequences, including anxiety, distress, depression, difficulty sustaining relationships and sexual dysfunction.
Gajdics eventually stopped therapy in 1995, but it left him with a number of severe mental health issues. “On top of the slow process of recovering from the addiction to the debilitating medication, I had insomnia, panic attacks and a fear of the doctor stalking me, because it was a small town and I lived close to where his office was,” he says. To heal from the six-year ordeal, Gajdics began writing as a way of making sense of what he had experienced. “I had to get over the shame not only from the childhood sexual abuse, but also from the lie that it made me gay.”
Why has conversion therapy not been outlawed at the federal level?