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How To Cope With Gender Dysphoria

Aug 4, 2008
When someone feels uncomfortable or unhappy with his or her physical sex, the result is gender dysphoria. It often manifests in children as young as two to four years of age as a desire to be, or a belief that he or she is of the opposite sex. A boy may engage in girlish behavior, playing with dolls or wanting to wear dresses.

A girl may want to wear boys clothing, want to engage in rough play, and often is considered a tomboy. Sometimes the feeling of having the wrong physical sex will continue into adolescence. A transgender teen will feel increasing discomfort, even disgust with his or her body as sexual development begins. These feelings and behaviors are considered symptoms of a gender identity disorder.

Many in the transgender community dispute the notion that non-conformity with traditionally accepted gender roles is a sign of a mental disorder. Many children grow out of gender dysphoria, and come to feel comfortable with their gender, but are identified as homosexuals.

Some teens try desperately to fit in with their socially defined gender roles. This may cause them great emotional distress. Those who object to the idea of a gender identity disorder point out, particularly in the case of a transgender teen who may be exploring his or her sexual identity, the idea that they may have a mental illness and this reinforces the notion that "different is bad."

Often a transgender teen will continue to suffer gender dysphoria into adulthood. They may feel that they are a man trapped in a woman's body, or vice versa. Such persons may decide to seek transgender therapy. If so, they will get psychological counseling, and be treated with hormones so their bodies will take on the appearance of the desired physical sex.

They may go on to have sexual reassignment surgery. Before receiving transgender surgery, they will usually be required to live as a member of the desired physical sex for a period of time, usually a year to two years.

The feeling of being trapped inside the body of the other sex causes great emotional pain. Many feel pressure from family members to conform to traditional gender roles. A transgender teen may suffer from harassment, which compounds the problems caused by gender dysphoria.

Transgender therapy is available for adults who seek to have their physical sex match their gender identity. Those who choose to have transgender surgery often feel that their bodies finally reflect who they really are inside.
About the Author
Mike Selvon's portal will expand your knowledge on gender dysphoria . Visit us and leave a comment at our gender identity and roles blog where a free gift awaits you.
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