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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

  • Nov 30, 2017
Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Linked to Changes in Medication Use Among People with Serious Mental Illness

People with serious mental illness exposed to direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of medications are more likely to stop taking their medications than those not exposed to the advertising, according to new research published in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

  • Nov 15, 2017
Effective Messages to Fight Stigma

Despite increasing public awareness and discussion about mental illness and substance use disorders, stigma is still a major barrier to many people seeking treatment. New research has identified communication strategies that are effective in reducing stigma and increasing public support for policies and programs benefitting people with behavioral health conditions.

  • Oct 16, 2017
Focus on Preventing Bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a national public awareness campaign led by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center.

Upcoming Events
Gender Spectrum National Call-in Support Group
  • Fri,  Feb  01 - Thur,  Feb  28

Occurs on the last Wednesday of each month from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Gender Spectrum)

PFLAG - Find local support groups
  • Fri,  Feb  01 - Thur,  Feb  28

PFLAG (the extended family of the LGBTQ community)

Esprit 2019
  • Port Angeles, Wash.
  • Sun,  May  12 - Sun,  May  19

One of the nation’s leading transgender conferences.

LGBT Pride Month
  • Sat,  Jun  01 - Sun,  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:


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


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?”.

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Editor's Choice

OCTOBER 4, 2018

Group Health Plans Cannot Categorically Exclude Coverage for Gender Dysphoria

The National Law Review

Plans cannot categorically exclude coverage for procedures to treat gender dysphoria say two more federal courts. Employers and health plans should be aware that two recent federal decisions have recognized that the non-discrimination provision in the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Plans cannot categorically exclude coverage for procedures to treat gender dysphoria.

OCTOBER 3, 2018

Gender dysphoria may have genetic basis: Australian study

ABC News

Researchers at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne analysed DNA of transgender women (male-to-female transgender people) and compared it to that of non-transgender men. They found variations in four genes involved in processing sex hormones were significantly overrepresented in transgender women — suggesting a possible biological basis for gender dysphoria.


WPATH responds to Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD)

The TransAdvocate

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) asserts that knowledge of the factors contributing to gender identity development in adolescence is still evolving and not yet fully understood by scientists, clinicians, community members, and other stakeholders in equal measure. Therefore, it is both premature and inappropriate to employ official-sounding labels that lead clinicians, community members, and scientists to form absolute conclusions about adolescent gender identity development and the factors that may potentially influence the timing of an adolescent’s declaration as a different gender from birth-assigned sex.

JULY 24, 2018

Trans Students Say On-Campus Hormone Replacement Therapy Makes Them Feel Welcome and Respected

Rewire News

Most U.S. colleges do not offer hormone replacement therapy on campus, including some that cover the medical treatment under their student health insurance. Transgender advocates say colleges are under increasing pressure to make HRT available, as more students come out and seek the medical treatment.

JULY 23, 2018

Systematic review: puberty suppressing drugs do not alleviate gender dysphoria

The Brittish Psychological Society

Clinicians treating teenagers with gender dysphoria, the teens themselves, and their parents, are faced with a dilemma – puberty suppressing drugs and hormonal treatments will likely make it easier for the adolescent to gender transition in due course, and the earlier that process begins, the more effective it is likely to be.

JUNE 30, 2018

Gender-affirming care needed for transgender children

The Lancet

The number of children and adolescents seeking support for gender dysphoria—the distress caused by incongruence between gender identity and sex assigned at birth—has soared in recent years. On June 18, the first guidelines focusing solely on the care of transgender and gender-diverse children and adolescents were published by the Royal Children's Hospital Gender Service, Melbourne, Australia.