Gender Dysphoria

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Overview – Gender Dysphoria

Gender Dysphoria is new terminology. (It has been referred to as Gender Identity Disorder, Gender Incongruence, or Transgenderism.) It describes a condition where a person believes there is a mismatch between their assigned gender and who they really are. Gender Dysphoria is characterized by discomfort or distress due to a mismatch between the person’s biological sex assigned at birth and the person’s own perception of their appropriate gender. Meaning that what their brain tells them about who they are innately, does not match the gender assigned to them at birth. Gender Dysphoria has no known physical symptoms. Individuals with this condition, however, may experience and display a range of characteristic feelings and behaviors. 

The initial condition for the identification of Gender Dysphoria in both adults and teenagers is a noticeable incongruence between the gender the patients believe themselves to be, and who society perceives them to be. 

The specific cause of Gender Dysphoria is unknown. As with other conditions, it likely is a spectrum or continuum. Genes, hormones during gestation, social factors, and environmental factors (e.g., parenting) all may be contributors. Individuals who are born with ambiguous genitalia, which can raise questions about their gender, may develop Gender Dysphoria—especially if the arbitrary assignment of gender at birth does not match brain and biology. Interestingly, Gender Dysphoria is frequently seen in children, though many children do not end up with Gender Dysphoria in adulthood. It is important to recognize that not all transgender or gender diverse people experience dysphoria.

Gender Dysphoria is not identical to nor synonymous with homosexuality. Each individual goes through a unique change. Some may want a short-term change and be content with cross-dressing. Others may desire a complete change and seek gender assignment surgery. It is also important to realize that all transsexuals are not the same, and thus are not part of a uniform group.

Gender Dysphoria presents Information on four types of dysphoria, one type each day for four days. These are: 

    Gender Dysphoria in Children

    The term Gender Dysphoria in Children can be defined as a profound state of personal unease or dissatisfaction. It is the opposite of euphoria. Children who are diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria are persistent and steadfast in the belief that they are a different sex than what was assigned at birth. There is currently uncertainty about how many gender cases actually exist in children. Based on estimates of gender dysphoria in adults, however, it appears to be a somewhat uncommon condition. Currently, consensus is that the dysphoria hasn’t just suddenly become more widespread, but the rise in numbers is because more clinics for gender management are making treatment available to children. Prior to medical assistance, young people relied on themselves for transitioning.

    Children may receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria when they have a significant incompatibility between the gender each identifies with compared with the gender assigned at birth; the incompatibility lasts a minimum of six months. Each child exhibits a minimum of six of nine symptoms, which must include an intense desire to be the opposite gender or persistence that the child is the opposite gender (or is a different gender from the gender assigned at birth). Refer to Symptoms below.

    Symptoms

    • An intense desire to be the opposite gender or persistence that the child is the opposite gender (or is a different gender from the gender assigned at birth.
    • Boys who were born as males have a prevalence toward cross-dressing or wearing clothing that is seemingly more feminine. Girls who were born as females prefer dressing in what would be considered men’s clothing and are powerfully opposed to dressing in regular female apparel.
    • When it comes to creative play or making up games, has the desire to be in the opposite gender’s role.
    • Would rather play with the toys or be included in the activities that are usually deemed appropriate for the opposite sex.
    • Chooses to play with children of the opposite sex.
    • Boys will refuse to play with toys that are considered those that are usual for boys. Girls will rebuff games and toys that are generally meant for females.
    • An intense dismay with sexual body parts.
    • Want to have the primary/secondary sex features that are equal to the experienced or preferred gender
    • Extreme anxiety and stress
    • Problems with functioning in social circles, school and other situations
    • Emotional and behavioral problems, including anxiety and depression
    Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Adults

    The term Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Adultscan be defined as a profound state of personal unease or dissatisfaction. It is the opposite of euphoria. The initial condition for the identification of Gender Dysphoria in both adults and teenagers is a noticeable incongruence between the gender the patients believe themselves to be, and what society assigned them to be and perceives them to be. Although Gender Dysphoria remains a relatively uncommon diagnosis, evidence suggests that it has increased in the past couple of decades. Perhaps this reflects the large increase in referral rates to specialized gender-identity clinics rather than an increase in the syndrome itself. 

    Adolescents and/or adults may receive a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria when the incongruence or disparity is ongoing for at least 6 months and consists of two or more of the criteria symptoms. 

    Gender Dysphoria Other Specified

    The term Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Adultscan be defined as a profound state of personal unease or dissatisfaction. It is the opposite of euphoria. The initial condition for the identification of Gender Dysphoria in both adults and teenagers is a noticeable incongruence between the gender the patients believe themselves to be, and what society assigned them to be and perceives them to be. Although Gender Dysphoria remains a relatively uncommon diagnosis, evidence suggests that it has increased in the past couple of decades. Perhaps this reflects the large increase in referral rates to specialized gender-identity clinics rather than an increase in the syndrome itself. 

    Adolescents and/or adults may receive a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria when the incongruence or disparity is ongoing for at least 6 months and consists of two or more of the criteria symptoms. 

    Gender Dysphoria Unspecified

    The term Gender Dysphoria Unspecified can be defined as a profound state of personal unease or dissatisfaction. It is the opposite of euphoria. A diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria Unspecified may be used when characteristics of gender dysphoria cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. They do not, however, meet the full criteria for Gender Dysphoria. The clinician chooses not to specify the reason that the criteria are not met for Gender Dysphoria. It includes presentations in which there is insufficient information to make a more specific diagnosis.

    A group of individuals is emerging that are objecting to and rejecting a requirement that they must identify either as binary: male or female. Instead, they are choosing to refer to themselves as nonbinary.

    Research on the role of biological factors involved in the development of Gender Dysphoria has mainly focused on genetic factors including the role of (prenatal) sex hormones and differences in the brain. Genetic contribution in the development of Gender Dysphoria has been demonstrated in twin studies, showing a high concordance of Gender Dysphoria in monozygotic (one-egg) twin pairs and discordance of Gender Dysphoria in dizygotic (two-egg) twin pairs. True candidate genes have not yet been identified as stand-alone causes.

    Brain imaging studies have found support for the role of prenatal hormone (androgen) exposure in the development of Gender Dysphoria. Various studies, in which a variety of measures have been used, have shown that the brains of people with Gender Dysphoria do show a resemblance to the brains of the gender they identify with and show differences from the brains of the gender they were assigned at birth.

    Who can apply for these mental health programs?

    Individuals diagnosed with anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, or schizophrenia can apply for help. These mental health services are covered by Medicare and some healthcare insurance.

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