Gender dysphoria is an intense and persistent feeling of distress about one’s gender. Gender dysphoria can cause a person to question their assigned sex, which may lead them to identify as transgender. Gender dysphoria has many symptoms that affect mental health and well-being, such as depression and anxiety.
There are treatments available for those with gender dysphoria including counseling, hormone therapy, and surgery (if desired). Here we will discuss the signs of this disorder as well as different treatment options that might be helpful in alleviating some of the discomfort associated with it.
Transgender individuals may have a variety of goals in regard to gender affirmation, ranging from interpersonal relationships to societal status. Gender affirmation is achieved through the use of personal appearance, social interactions, medical procedures and legal actions.
Gender dysphoria can result in anxiety or depression for someone who desires to be transgender but does not want to pursue hormone therapy or surgery. Often time’s individuals are able to get by with minor changes such as clothing choices until they feel comfortable enough to transition.
It is critical not to confuse gender identity with gender expression. Gender expression is the presentation of oneself to others, often through mannerisms or physical characteristics.
Gender identity is someone’s sense of their own gender and how it aligns with one’ birth sex. There are some who state that they have dysphoria but do not want any treatment because they don’t fit into either category; in these cases it could be considered a sexual identity crisis or conflict.
Symptoms of gender dysphoria
Symptoms of gender dysphoria can vary greatly depending on the individual, but there are some common signs to look for in someone who may have this disorder. Some classic symptoms include depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and suicidal thoughts. One should also be aware that adolescents with gender dysphoria often display psychological problems such as mood disorders, self-harm and other forms of acting out behavior.
The distress felt by individuals with gender dysphoria can reach the point where they feel like they cannot go on any longer; it is important to recognize these signs before life becomes too unbearable for them. Treatment should be sought as soon as possible in order to prevent serious damage or even death.
The DSM-5 describes gender dysphoria in children as a significant mismatch between one’s feelings and the gender assigned at birth. The DSM-IV required that a child be persistently uncomfortable with his or her gender and exclude other mental health issues in order to diagnose this condition. The latest version of the manual, however, no longer requires children to express any discomfort and instead focuses on their feelings about what they see as their true selves.
Treatments of gender dysphoria
There are many treatment options available for those who suffer from gender dysphoria, each with their own benefits and risks associated with it. Some may choose to live as the opposite sex in order to alleviate some of the distress they feel about their sexual identity. In this case hormone therapy is often used as part of a strategy called “real life experience”, in which the individual lives as their true gender for a certain amount of time before surgery.
Patients are required to live as their true gender for a period of time in order to see if surgery will be effective.
Counseling is often recommended for those who have gender dysphoria and it can help them cope with some difficult emotions, such as anger or depression. Individuals may also find relief from the discomfort they feel when taking hormones that match their true gender. Some of the side effects associated with hormones include hot flashes, mood swings and weight gain; these can be alleviated to some extent by hormone blockers that inhibit testosterone or estrogen production.
It is important for people who are transgender to find a therapist they feel comfortable talking too about their feelings surrounding their sexual identity. The first step in treatment is to find a good therapist and begin the psychological work needed in order to better understand their own thoughts and emotions.
The two major treatment options for those who have gender dysphoria are hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery, but some may choose not pursue either of these paths. Some people do not feel as though they should change anything about themselves, while others would like to physically transition but are unable due to financial limitations.
Hormone therapy and sexual reassignment surgery
People with gender dysphoria who seek treatment may be able to alleviate some of their distress by using hormone therapy or undergoing a sex change operation. Not everyone is interested in going through these procedures, however, which can also help them better understand themselves and how they feel about the opposite biological sex. Some people simply do not want to change their bodies and prefer to live as the gender they feel most comfortable in.
Challenges and complications associated
with hormone therapy.
Gender dysphoria can be a very difficult condition to live with and there are many challenges that people must face in order to treat it effectively. Some individuals may not like the way their body looks or feel as though they were meant to be born into another gender; others might want treatment but do not have access due to financial reasons.
Even after undergoing hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery, many people who are transgender still struggle with feelings of dysphoria and may experience psychological distress even though they have changed their physical appearance. There can be significant social stigma surrounding gender dysphoria that makes it difficult for some to find the help they need in order to cope with these kinds of emotions.
People with gender dysphoria may want to undergo hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery, but this is not always an option due to financial limitations or other factors that might prevent them from making these kinds of changes. Even after undergoing treatment for their condition they are likely to experience psychological distress surrounding it because there can be significant social stigma attached to gender dysphoria.
Some of the most common side effects associated with hormone therapy include hot flashes, mood swings and weight gain; these can be alleviated to some extent by taking hormones that block testosterone or estrogen production.
Conclusion: If you are struggling with gender dysphoria, it is important to speak with your doctor. There are many treatments available for this disorder including counseling, hormone therapy, and surgery (if desired).
To learn more about how our doctors can help you or someone who may be experiencing symptoms of gender dysphoria please contact us today.