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Help With Gender Dysphoria

Curated and updated for the community by APA

Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify. People with gender dysphoria may be very uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned, sometimes described as being uncomfortable with their body (particularly developments during puberty) or being uncomfortable with the expected roles of their assigned gender.

See definition, symptoms, & treatment

  • Mar 23, 2017
Peer Support: Making a Difference for People with Mental Illness

Peer support refers to people with the same types of problems helping each other. The concept of peer support has been used for many years among people with addictions, for example in Alcoholic Anonymous where people with “lived experience” help others to recover. The use of peer support with people with mental illness is more recent, particularly peer support in a professional capacity as part of the mental health care team.

  • Feb 16, 2017
Would Access to Your Doctor’s Notes be Good for Mental Health Care?

You may be familiar with online access to your medical records and possibly to your doctor’s notes. More than 12 million Americans now have online access to their health care provider’s clinical notes. This access is referred to as OpenNotes.

  • Feb 03, 2017
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry Work to Raise Awareness about Mental Health

In January, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry spoke at an awareness-raising event at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts on the latest plans for their Heads Together campaign. They have been outspoken advocates for mental health for some time. While their efforts are primarily in the United Kingdom, their influence is international.

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LGBT Pride Month
  • Thur,  Jun  01 - Fri,  Jun  30

What is the difference between transgender and transsexual?

Transgender is a non-medical term that has been used increasingly since the 1990s as an umbrella term describing individuals whose gender identity (inner sense of gender) or gender expression (outward performance of gender) differs from the sex or gender to which they were assigned at birth. Some people who use this term do not consider themselves as matching a binary gender category. In addition, new terms such as genderqueer, bigendered, and agendered are increasingly in use.

Transsexual is a historic, medical term that refers to individuals who have undergone some form of medical and/or surgical treatment for gender reassignment (historically referred to as sex reassignment). Some transsexual individuals may identify as transgender, although others primarily identify as the male or female gender to which they have transitioned.

People who identify as transgender but who do not seek medical or surgical treatment are not transsexual.

Is there a general age that people realize they are transgender or experience gender dysphoria? Can it happen late in life?

Not all transgender people suffer from gender dysphoria and that distinction is important to keep in mind. Gender dysphoria and/or coming out as transgender can occur at any age.

The DSM-5 distinguishes between Gender Dysphoria in Childhood for those who experience GD before puberty. The diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Adults can occur at any age. For those who experience gender dysphoria later in life, they often report having secretly hidden their gender dysphoric feelings from others when they were younger.

About the Experts:

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Jack Drescher, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, New York Medical College
Adjunct Professor, New York University

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Jack Pula, M.D.
Psychiatrist in private practice in New York City

Transgender Non-Conforming Youth: One Experience of Many

My fourth child is a transgender boy, and I love him. At 2 he climbed up on the kitchen counter when his dad and I were doing the dishes.

He refused to toilet train until we bought him boxers. Desperate for him to toilet train so he could start preschool at 3, we did. We were dismayed to see him freeze when he was asked to use pink scissors or line up with the girls in PE, and mortified to overhear other parents ask each other, “What kind of parents would name a boy Samantha?”. More

Have a Story of Your Own to Share?

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FEB 17, 2017

Parents of transgender woman share their emotional journey

Catholic Leader

Catholic parents Teresa and Bill* discovered the unconditional love they had for their children when their son told them 17 years ago he could no longer live as a man. Six months earlier, Bill, a retired GP and Billings natural family planning practitioner, had taken a course on medical ethics and bioethics with health ethicist Fr Kevin McGovern. One of the issues discussed was transgender therapies and sex reassignment surgery.

FEB 9, 2017

Nonbinary students confront surgery challenges

Yale Daily News

The Yale Health Plan extended insurance coverage to gender-affirming surgeries in 2013 in order to benefit gender-questioning students at Yale. Yet Yale Health’s current approval process for these surgeries can undermine care options for students who do not conform to a binary gender, according to two transgender students.

FEB 3, 2017

Watch this brave London school student perform a poem about being transgender

Evening Standard

He said creating the poem allowed him to express the gender dysphoria he has experienced. Zack Richards, 15, identifies as a man and wrote the poem to help other transgender young people ‘feel less alone’. Supported by his teachers at Woodside High School in Wood Green, Zach recorded the poem as part of the school’s LGBT History Month celebrations.