Gender Dysphoria is a kind of gender identity disorder which invites a feeling of discontent on one’s part in regard to the gender one has been biologically assigned at the time of birth, where the person feels the need to change his gender. Moreover, it is a psychological and biological verity touted by the medical professionals nowadays.
We are here with some interesting facts about this unusual psychological condition.
Sexual Orientation Vs. Gender Identity
Gender dysphoria is commonly associated with sexual orientation but these two terms are completely different in medical terminology. Sexual orientation is a term used in regard to the sexual inclination and choices of the person, explicitly to whom the person is attracted.
Gender identity is different from sexual orientation, it is concerned to the discontent about one’s own biological identity to which one is assigned at the time of birth. These terms are generally interlinked but the distinction is made to understand the nuances of this disorder.
Psychological & Biological
Gender dysphoria can be a psychological or a biological disorder. It has been categorized in these two broad categories depending upon the environment and conditions in which one grows.
Psychological or behavioural factors that contribute to this condition, are the difficulties and problems in normal human bonding and child rearing conditions which compels one to make distortions in their natural biological structure. While on the other hand the biological and hormonal factors responsible are chromosomal abnormalities at the time of birth or the imbalance in hormones disrupting the development of the foetus.
A combination of these factors collectively has an equal impact, other than this exposure to progesterone or estrogen drugs during gestation also contributes to this condition.
The development of this condition starts in phases with a stated desire to be of opposite sex, evolving preferences for cross dressing i.e. of female in case of males and vice versa, strong urge to take over the cross gender responsibilities, developing interest in passtime pertaining to opposite sex, prolonged desire to make friends with those of opposite sex.
Although, these are commonly seen in an individual irrespective of their age but the degree may vary, the manifestations can be intense in both adolescents and adults.
There are certain issue which are needed to be explored while dealing with the patients afflicted with gender dysphoria, some of them are-
- Feelings towards one’s own biological structure and specific features like genitals, face, body type, hairs.
- Fear and discomfort in people of same gender.
- Perception that one holds and reactions pertaining to that about others attitude.
- Timescale of the issues from quite a long time.
- Sexual orientation and the shifts if any appertinant to the same.
- Impact on health of the individual afflicted with this disorder.
- Relationships with friends, family and close one’s
- Behaviour at workplace and in public.
- Ideology that one holds and the system followed by him.
- Future plans and aspirations.
- Support network of the individual suffering from the disorder or the friend circle that one lives with.
- Special attributes one is attracted to that of the opposite gender.
Management & Cure
It requires a multidisciplinary approach to deal with and treat the individuals afflicted with gender dysphoria which includes a number of treatments focused on helping people suffering from this to find relief and peace with this prolonged condition. Some of the common treatments include-
- Psychological counselling and therapy which includes one to one talk therapy that helps these individuals to cope with the feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Puberty suppression is another way to cure this condition where the release of hormones is being suppressed at the time of puberty.
- Cross-sex hormones is also undertaken like females may take testosterone supplements to develop attributes of males and males may take estrogen to encourage the growth of female hormones in their body.
- Gender conformity involves surgical confirmation by physically altering the body of the individual in order to match their expectations and the gender that they experience, it requires a team of experienced medical professionals.
Complications Faced In The Process
Apart from the feelings of frustration and depression their are some complications which these individuals suffer from such as-
- Gender discrimination is the most common where these individuals are prohibited and discriminated, however looking at the rising cases of suicides and attacks, governments of different countries worldwide has taken action to protect their interest.
- These people are victimized and harrassed by the general public as they do not fit to the general norms of the society.
- Increased cases of suicides and self harm is commonly seen in them due to discrimination and as a result of hate and anger towards themselves.
- Emotional sensitivity is also seen, due to harassment and constant teasing they get hyper sensitive and become prone to mental illness which eventually leads to feelings of loneliness and depression.
Myths Associated With Gender Dysphoria
Alike most of the cases gender dysphoria has also some myths which are widespread and there is a need to dispel them. Some of them are-
- It is widespread that these people are tricksters and do not disclose their original gender however this is not true and there are medical disseminations and findings to prove it.
- It is believed that gender dysphoria is a mental illness but studies have proved that it has nothing to do with the brain moreover it is a result of one’s own psychological process.
- People believe that those suffering from this condition are of a third gender but it is not true they are in a state where they discard their own biological structure and strongly feel to be of the opposite sex.
- They abstain from sexual activity or they do not get involved in sex is also one of the common myths.
- All of them are confused and allien to the normal human beings but we must admit that every individual is different in his own way and has different needs.
So these were some common myths that were associated with gender dysphoria and transgenders, but it is advisable to not to question an individual’s lifestyle and personal choices, everybody is unique and has the freedom of expression in this world, rather we should help them in finding peace with themselves and accept them for who they are.
There are many ways you can help your loved ones who are suffering from this disorder, fix an appointment with a therapist and accompany them over there, seek a support group for them which may include friends, family, spouse and others who are experiencing the same issues, you can also try to find an online community for them where they can find answer to their questions and can find people who support their concerns.
So we hope this article was useful to you and we request you to please help those who are afflicted with it if you find them in your close vicinity.