Some people don’t like their gender and they want to be the other gender. They think that their gender biology is a mismatch with their gender identity. Today, we’ll discuss what is gender dysphoria; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.
What is Gender Dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria outlines your sense of who you are and how you would perceive yourself in terms of your gender identity. Often people identify as “men” or a “women” and sometimes there is another identity that goes by the name of “binary.” However, some people feel that their biological sex doesn’t explain their gender identity.
For instance, some people don’t feel masculine or identify as a man by having facial hairs and male genitals. Some people don’t feel feminine or identify as a woman by having breast and female genitals. However, some people don’t want to identify themselves as “binary” in terms of identity. It’s because gender identity is irrelevant to them.
For those who think that gender is irrelevant; when it comes to describing their identity, they use the terms like gender non-conforming, gender diverse, or agender. “Non-binary” is the term for them as a group.
Gender Dysphoria & Gender Identity
People with gender dysphoria condition have got intense desire to live a life that is relevant to their gender identity. In order to achieve this, they act, behave, and look how they like and want to be. Some people with this condition, employ surgery and hormones to describe their gender identity.
Gender dysphoria doesn’t fall under the diagnosis of mental health illness, but it can cause you to develop other mental health problems.
Symptoms of Gender Dysphoria
People with gender dysphoric conditions change their interests, behavior, or appearance. Some of the main of their distress and discomfort are as follows;
- Avoiding themselves
- Unnecessary risks
- Anxiety or depression
- Socially isolated and becoming withdrawn
Some of the other signs of a person with a gender dysphoric condition are as follows;
- Putting on clothes of the other gender that the person wants to be
- Rejecting games, toys, and other things that have an association with the specific gender
- Cross-sex roles preferences
- Insisting that their gender is different from the assigned sex by birth
- Want to have the first and the second sexual characteristics of their desired gender identity
- The desire for the treatment of the opposite gender
- Don’t have an interest in the sexual characteristics of their assigned gender by birth
People with gender dysphoric conditions frequently talk about that they want to be the opposite gender. They don’t feel comfortable with their assigned gender expression and gender roles by birth. However, it manifests in the form of such behaviors as rejecting gender-associated stereotypical behaviors, playing with the toys of the opposite gender, and wearing the dress of the opposite gender.
People with gender dysphoric conditions could be bisexual, lesbian, gay, or straight; and they would also be transgender and gender non-conforming. It’s important to mention here that not every gender non-conforming or transgender person would experience the symptoms of gender dysphoria.
Causes of Gender Dysphoria
Researchers don’t know the exact reason that can cause gender dysphoric condition. Various factors play their part in developing this condition like;
- Environmental factors
- Hormonal influences while parental development
For instance, the exposure of parents to certain types of chemicals disrupts the normal development of the sex determination stage before the birth of the child. Researchers have found the genetic link that the share prevalence is higher between identical twins than fraternal twins.
Gender dysphoria happens in early childhood when the exact mechanism isn’t clear. As we know that parents and doctors assign the gender of the child based upon one’s physical anatomy. However, the assigned gender by birth determines how others interact and how you raise the child. When children grow up, they feel the mismatch between their gender identity and the assigned gender. Sometimes, this mismatch can cause feelings of gender dysphoria.
Treatment of Gender Dysphoria
The treatment plan for gender dysphoric condition depends on the unique needs of the person. Usually, it focuses on assisting the person to explore their gender identity by allowing them to express their gender identity the way they want to. It comprises using different pronouns and names, dressing up relevant to their desired gender identity, and employing medical and surgical procedures to change their physical body.
Some people with gender dysphoric conditions go through gender-affirming and cross-sex hormone medical procedures. The procedure comprises modifying the person’s body and aligning it with the person’s inner identity.
However, surgical procedures and hormone therapy are the two main options, and the treatment plan depends on the needs of the person. For instance, some people want to change their gender fully and become the desired gender physically. The other types of people simply want to reduce the sexual traits of their 2nd identity like breast or facial hairs that aren’t relevant to their gender identity.
It’s important to mention here that not every person with a gender dysphoric condition would choose the surgical procedure of gender affirmation. It’s because not everyone wants to reassign their gender completely, and the surgical procedure is expensive. Some people have benefited from hormone therapy, and others only want to express their inner gender identity and what they like and want to be.
The goal of psychotherapeutic treatment for gender dysphoric conditions is not to change their gender identity. Instead, it focuses on assisting a person to express and be more comfortable with their identity. However, the purpose is to decrease the feelings of dysphoria and improve the quality of living. Some of the main ways to do so are as follows;
- Improving relationships
- Helping them to decide about the transition option
- Establishing a support network
- Self-acceptance practice
- Finding ways to manage stress
- Expressing and exploring their gender identity
Conclusion: What is Gender Dysphoria? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
After an in-depth study of what is gender dysphoria; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that gender-dysphoric condition causes a lot of stress and dissatisfaction. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should discuss it with your therapist.
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