Gender dysphoria is a term that describes a sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity. This sense of unease or dissatisfaction may be so intense it can lead to depression and anxiety and have a harmful impact on daily life.
It is the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics. Transgender and gender-diverse people might experience gender dysphoria at some point in their lives. However, some transgender and gender-diverse people feel at ease with their bodies, with or without medical intervention.
Some of the Symptoms
Gender dysphoria might cause adolescents and adults to experience a marked difference between inner gender identity and assigned gender that lasts for at least six months. The difference is shown by at least two of the following:
- A difference between gender identity and genitals or secondary sex characteristics, such as breast size, voice and facial hair. In young adolescents, a difference between gender identity and anticipated secondary sex characteristics.
- A strong desire to be rid of these genitals or secondary sex characteristics, or a desire to prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics.
- A strong desire to have the genitals and secondary sex characteristics of another gender.
- A strong desire to be or to be treated as another gender.
- A strong belief of having the typical feelings and reactions of another gender.
Complications of Gender dysphoria
- Gender dysphoria can affect many aspects of life, including daily activities. People experiencing gender dysphoria might have difficulty in school due to pressure to dress in a way that’s associated with their sex assigned at birth or out of fear of being harassed or teased.
- If gender dysphoria impairs the ability to function at school or at work, the result may be school dropout or unemployment. Relationship difficulties are common. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders, substance misuse and other problems can occur.
More children and adolescents are identifying as transgender and offered medical treatment, especially in the US. But some providers and European authorities are urging caution because of a lack of strong evidence.
In a new report from The BMJ Investigations Unit, Jennifer Block, investigations reporter, looks into the evidence base behind this surge in treatment.More adolescents with no history of gender dysphoria are presenting at gender clinics. For example, a recent analysis of insurance claims found that nearly 18,000 US minors began taking puberty blockers or hormones from 2017 to 2021, the number rising each year.
Gender dysphoria- No longer a pathology
Transgender health issues will no longer be classified as mental and behavioural disorders under big changes to the World Health Organization’s global manual of diagnoses. The newly-approved version instead places issues of gender incongruence under a chapter on sexual health. A World Health Organization expert said it now understands transgender is “not actually a mental health condition”. Human Rights Watch says the change will have a “liberating effect worldwide”.
Being a transgender is no longer a mental disorder. While gender dysphoria is a frequent diagnosis in our professional and social field, there is little research about the subject and there is a lack of precise information about the prevalence of this diagnosis in Mexico. In addition, there is a lack of guidelines to approach these patients. This situation causes the treatment to be performed in a partial manner, without taking into account that the proper approach includes at least a couple of health professionals who are in charge of guiding, informing and assessing the patient’s physical and psychological condition.