Gender Identity Disorder Essay

942 Words Dec 9th, 2012 4 Pages
Gender Identity Disorder/Gender Dysphoria

Gender identity disorder (GID) or transsexualism is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex. (“Psychology Today”) Due to a recent change to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, “Gender Identity Disorder” will be replaced with “Gender Dysphoria”. For the purpose of this paper those two terms will be interchangeable. This paper will explore the symptoms that lead to a gender identity disorder diagnosis as well as the treatment process and obstacles a person with this disorder may face. It is a difficult process and is not something somebody would endure unless they truly
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Individual, group, family, and couples counseling can all be necessary to help not only the GID patient cope and come to terms with the person they feel they were always meant to be. There is also a network of people that surround that person that will also be affected by this diagnosis and decision. Individual therapy is suggested for the person who is gender dysphoric and mandatory if they want to take further steps in treatment (hormone therapy, reassignment surgery). Group counseling has also been found to be of great benefit. It gives the GID patient the ability to explore the diagnosis in a safe environment with peer’s similar situations. Family counseling for family members that are involved in that person’s life, and if in a relationship couples counseling could also be a useful tool.

Hormone treatment is used to enable a safe gender transition, both physical and emotional. It is usually part of a multi-stage process that can also include Real Life Experience (cross dressing), hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery. But it must be noted that some individuals opt to stop with hormone therapy and not go on to change their anatomy permanently. Hormone therapy is when sex hormones are administered to bring out secondary sexual characteristics. For example a male who desired to be female would be administered estrogen and a female who desired to be male would be administered testosterone to enhance sexual characteristics of the opposite sex

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