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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
Find local support groups
  • Thur,  Mar  01 - Sat,  Mar  31

PFLAG (the extended family of the LGBTQ community)

National Call-in Support Group
  • Tue,  May  01 - Thur,  May  31
  • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

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

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

MAY 8, 2018

What is gender dysphoria, how common is the medical condition and what are the signs?

The Sun

GENDER dysphoria - also known as gender identity disorder - affects an estimated one per cent of the population . According to the NHS, gender dysphoria is where a person experiences distress due to a mismatch of their biological sex and their gender identity. It is sometimes referred to as gender identity disorder (GID), transgenderism or gender incongruence. Although biological sex and gender identity are the same for most people, this isn't so for everyone..

MAY 7, 2018

Transgender 101: What is transgender identity?

Transgender people exist all over the world and come from many different walks of life. But what exactly is transgender identity? And what's the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation? "Broadly, the definition of 'transgender' is people whose gender identity or deeply held sense of their own gender differs from the sex they were assigned at birth," McBride told NBC News. There are approximately 1.4 million transgender adults in the U.S., according to a recent estimate by the NCTE.

MAY 3, 2018

'Beyond the Opposite Sex': 'Transition' Not Catchall Definition for Everyone with Gender Dysphoria

Santa Barbara Independent

Beyond the Opposite Sex follows up on the 2004 documentary series The Opposite Sex, which introduced audiences to Rene and Jamie. The Opposite Sex followed Rene and Jamie as they managed work, romance, and family in relation to their transitions. Fifteen years later, Hensel returned to middle America to catch up with his subjects and further explore their stories in a social climate vastly different than when Rene and Jamie began their journeys across gender.