What Triggers Dysphoria? | MTF Transgender

There are many resources on the internet discussing gender dysphoria, its symptoms and implications, and the way to manage it.

While these are undoubtedly important topics, one crucial component is often overlooked- what triggers gender dysphoria? Before we dive into this article, we must confess- there is no definitive trigger.

Like everything associated with the trans experience, it is unique for each person. However, there are some common triggers that span across the community. 


For many people, dysphoria begins when they realize that they do not associate or identify with their birth gender.

They feel disconnected from their own body, which undoubtedly leads to some discomfort. Once they are certain of their trans identity, dysphoria only deepens.

The reason is that, although you might start identifying as a woman, your physical attributes do not align with your identity. You feel this desire to be the idealized version of yourself but that takes time and effort.

At this point, it is also important that unrealistic or extreme expectations can exacerbate symptoms of dysphoria once you begin transitioning as the results may not be in line with your goals immediately. 


Therefore, one way in which you can mitigate your dysphoria is by altering your ideals of what entails femininity and who a woman is.

For the majority of trans women, dysphoria emerges from the fact that they believe their appearance does not match up to a set of standards they have formulated to define a woman.

However, think of ten women you know. How many match up to these standards? Chances are, most of them don’t. The reason is that every woman is unique. In terms of appearance, each woman has different features and attributes.

Therefore, narrow hips or small bust size do not make you any less of a woman. By managing your expectations, you will find it easier to navigate through dysphoria.    


In addition, it is important to determine your specific triggers. Some women have chest dysphoria, others have bottom dysphoria, while a few complain of face dysphoria.

The fact is, some dysphoria's can be resolved through surgeries. If you are up for it and have the financial resources to undergo a surgery and it is a safe, simple procedure, you could consider it to mitigate your dysphoria.   


It is particularly important to identify your gender dysphoria triggers because when it sets in, it can be overwhelming and debilitating. On some days, it can get very difficult to manage.

In this context, it is important to remember that these scenarios include two aspects. One is the trigger itself and the second is your reaction to it. If you can’t control the former, you can still regulate the latter.

Anytime you are faced with a trigger, you could either act out your typical response or make conscious efforts to stray away from this debilitating path.   

If you are aware of your triggers, the next time you face one, look it in the eye and try saying, “not today.” It is undoubtedly easier said than done. Even after you get triggered, you can always step back and change your reaction.  


The minute you realize that you are getting triggered by a stressor, try to stop. The reason is that triggers can set off other physical and mental responses such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and so on.

Therefore, after a point, you are responding to your trigger on a subconscious level and thus, it becomes more challenging to regulate.


If you hold it together, you can stop your body from initiating this process on the subconscious level and thus, it becomes easier to decide how you want to respond to the trigger.

By practicing enough, you can start to reprogram your brain and your mind to respond in a way that is best for you, by inserting yourself between the action that triggers you, and the reaction that your body gives.

These are some ways in which you can use your triggers to minimize dysphoria symptoms. We hope this article helped. Good luck!! 


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