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Gender Dysphoria - Gender Identity and Symptoms

When an individual's biological sex differs from their gender identity, it is termed gender dysphoria. In other words, it's an uncomfortable feeling associated with gender identity and biological sex that causes mental stress and anxiety.


Definition of Gender Dysphoria

It is possible to define gender dysphoria in different ways. It refers to a variety of ways that a person defines themselves in terms of their gender. Below are a few examples.

Many people identify as "male" or "female". These are known as "BINARY" identities.

Individuals sometimes identify themselves as feminine and sometimes as masculine, regardless of their biological sex. These individuals are classified as "Non-Binary" or "Non-conforming".

There are some people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. They are known as "Transgender" people. Example: someone who was born with male genitalia but identifies as a female person.


Gender Dysphoria Causes

Gendered differences aren't clearly defined anywhere. There has been a great deal of research done, but it is still unknown why gender dysphoria occurs. Multiple psychiatrists believe that it can be caused by genetics, hormonal imbalances, and environmental influences. However, there is not sufficient evidence to say for sure.

As early as childhood, people who identify as transgender may find they prefer to wear clothing and accessories typically worn by the opposite gender. 

An example would be a person assigned female at birth, growing up prefering boys' clothing, and haircuts. They may feel out of place because of their biological gender. 

Kids usually begin to know themselves at the age of six. Researchers estimate that transgender individuals begin to learn about their gender identity when they are 6-8 years old. It sometimes takes much more time to accept the truth.


Gender Dysphoria Symptoms

Gender identity must be distinguished from biological sex or secondary sex traits, such as breast size, facial hair, voice, and lower complications. 

There are numerous behavioural attributes. There is no evidence that it only happens to trans people. Example: A girl may wear short hair, play with boys, and so on. However, as she gets older, she starts wearing makeup and longer hair. She never considered herself transgender. Every person is different.

Using research and psychology, we talk about some symptoms of gender dysphoria.


For Transwomen ( Male to Female Transgender)

  • Likes feminine clothes.
  • Prefers larger breasts.
  • Long hair.
  • Chest Dysphoria


For Transmen (Female to male transgender)

  • May prefer a short haircut.
  • Prefers a flat chest.
  • Chest Dysphoria during adulthood.


When is gender dysphoria most common?

Gender Dysphoria history: According to a study, 75% of LGBTQ+ people experience gender dysphoria by the age of 7. Transgender people were treated unfairly before this era. Science has made many breakthroughs since then. Today transgender people are free to live their lives as they choose. Several medical and surgical techniques continue to be improved upon by science. 


Transgender And Gender Dysphoria

Transgender is a term used to refer to a person whose assigned sex (that is the sex assigned by birth, i.e the external genitalia) does not correspond with their gender identity (their psychological characteristics). Example: Trans-man, Trans-women.


Gender Terminology:

Cis-gender: Describes a person whose biological gender identity is the same as their genitala, or who is related in the traditional sense of the word to their assigned biological sex.

Gender Dysphoria: In the DSM-5, this condition is defined as distress or impairment caused by an intense desire to be another gender or primary/secondary sex. This condition is not experienced by all transgender people.

Gender Identity: The internal sense that a person is female or male, or that they combine attributes from both sexes, or that they have no gender at all. Gender identity is not determined by their birth gender.

Gender Diverse: An individual who does not identify as female or male or doesn't conform to their assigned gender identity.

Non-Binary: A term that is not gender-confirmed by itself. In this case, the individual may either identify as a male, or a female, or both, or neither.  

Transgender: Refers to a mismatch between gender identity and the person's assigned sex at birth. The person might desire to have attributes or characteristics of the opposite sex.

Sexual Orientation: It refers to a person’s interest or desire in physical, emotional, or romantic attachments. A person may be attracted to any gender, regardless of their own gender identity.


Do all transgender people have gender dysphoria?

Transgender people do not all suffer from gender dysphoria, but many do!


Gender Dysphoria and Gender Identity

Mental illness isn't linked to gender dysphoria. This was declared by the World Health Organization some years ago. The term gender identity disorder was used earlier. Mental health problems, distress, etc., may be experienced by people with GD.

Gender dysphoria is common among transgender people. This is caused by the mismatch between gender identity and biological sex. It is common for transgender people to experience distress and mental trauma due to this.

People with gender dysphoria are driven by a strong desire or a lasting desire to live lives that align with their gender identities. This is reflected in the way they dress and behave.


Treatment of Gender Dysphoria

It is very important to treat gender dysphoria. There is a greater rate of distress and mental health issues among transgender people. Those who identify as transgender are often subjected to discrimination, stigmatization, victimization, contributing to a negative self-image that can lead to mental health issues.

Mental health professionals can help with treatment for gender dysphoria. After they have been under the care of a psychiatrist for 6 months, they can begin hormonal replacement therapy if desired.

With the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it is possible to develop unique criteria for children, adolescents, and adults under one overarching diagnosis.

In DSM 5, gender dysphoria is defined as an incongruence between secondary/primary expressed genders and the assigned gender at birth that lasts for at least six months.


Gender Dysphoria Therapy

Professionals in the field of mental health can treat gender dysphoria. You can find local gender dysphoria therapists by searching for "gender dysphoria treatment near me".

A psychiatrist according to your location will be suggested by Google. Psychiatrists sometimes assist transgender people to live a better life, but if they don't understand their diagnosis, they can demotivate them from continuing hormone therapy. You may want to find a new psychiatrist if you find this to be the case.

It is important to treat gender dysphoria with compassion and love. The issue is an emotional one for every transgender person. 


Gender Dysphoria Products

Some alternative products can help mitigate gender dysphoria. It is common for transgender people to have insecurities with their bodies, especially when they do not know how to resolve them to more closely align with their gender identity.. Some examples are given below:

Trans Women often experience body shaming because of their smaller breasts, which is known as chest dysphoria. Although surgery can fix chest dysphoria, it is expensive, making it unaffordable for many. This can be resolved with silicone breast forms, also known as "False Breast Forms." This can help augment breasts without surgery. Silicone breast forms can cost anywhere between 50-1000$ and typically last 3-5 years. 

Trans men, on the other hand, may experience bottom dysphoria, which can be mitigated through GD products. The use of "STP --Packer" can help decrease this feeling. STP packer essentially functions as a urinating device to help a user do their business standing in a public washroom. The STP packer is shaped like a penis and is made of silicone mold. STP packers are known as "Penis Prosthetics".


Gender Dysphoria in Children

A child starts learning more about themself at the age of 6-7, during which period, they connect more with their identity. At this age, they may begin to start dressing in clothes that are typically attributed to the opposite gender, mimicking their behaviour, and so on. At that age, very few transgender people accept it and realize it that is natural. A trans child should be treated with love to mitigate any dysphoria and accompanying anxiety, and depression.


How to deal with gender dysphoria without transitioning?

Did you know that there are many people dealing with gender dysphoria without transitioning? The best way to do so is by engaging with the community and interacting with people who are going through the same things as you. Here are some ways to deal with dysphoria:

  1. Build Social Community
  2. Breasts Binding
  3. Breast padding.
  4. Voice/Vocal therapy to match your voice with your gender identity.
  5. Genital Tucking.
  6. Packing For Bottom Parts.
  7. Hair removal or transplantation for long hair.

You can consult a mental health professional if you suffer from extensive dysphoria. They provide advice on how to deal with GD every day.


Is gender dysphoria real?

The difference between gender identity and assigned gender is known as gender dysphoria. One's gender identity can be defined as the way in which a person recognizes or identifies themselves as female or male, or neither. These individuals are described as transgender. The issue of gender dysphoria is very real for transgender people.


Nonbinary Gender Dysphoria

An individual who struggles with a mismatch between gender identity and sexual characteristics is called non-binary. Non-binary people also suffer from gender dysphoria. Dysphoria can last a whole day or a whole month or even years for non-binary people.


Who can diagnose gender dysphoria?

A psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist can diagnose anyone who feels that their assigned sex does not fit their gender identity. A transgender person may also choose to use hormone replacement therapy if he or she wishes to increase the expressed gender or secondary sex qualities.

One way to decrease GD is by reducing or growing the breast. It is possible to reduce a transgender person's breasts through a breast removal surgery. Moreover, a chest binder can also be used instead of medically transitioning. It is possible for trans women to have big breasts without surgery by using silicone breast forms. A trans woman can choose breast augmentation or breast development if they wish to have top surgery.

The treatment of gender dysphoria has become easier in recent years. In the past, GD was treated incorrectly. If you are looking for a psychiatrist, you can contact NHS.UK


How bad is gender dysphoria?

Daily life can be adversely affected by gender dysphoria. Approximately 40% of people with GD attempt suicide every year, according to studies. The risk of suicide increases when GD is combined with mental stress and anxiety. 


Can hormone imbalance cause gender dysphoria?

That might be the case. There might also be gender incongruence during puberty. As transgender people reach puberty, they may experience worsening symptoms related to gender dysphoria due to the growth of breasts, beards, and bottoms, etc.


Do I have gender dysphoria?

There are many types of dysphoria. Trans-friendly psychiatrists can assist with diagnosis and treatment. They are committed to understanding your inner feelings and supporting you as you are.


Disclaimer: This article discusses gender dysphoria and some related topics. The information in the article is based on research. Dysphoria can be of many types and is highly subjective, so it is hard to define what it might be like for you. It is best to meet with a mental health specialist to understand what you are going through. 

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