Gender Identity Disorder

What is Gender Identity Disorder?

While we all long to feel comfortable in our own skin, it is harder for those who feel stress or discontent with the sex and gender they were given at birth. This is known as Gender Identity Disorder, or Gender Dysphoria. During a person’s teenage years, the presence of Gender Dysphoria can lead to much confusion and anxiety as the teen struggles to understand his or herself.

How do I identify Gender Dysphoria?

A person experiencing Gender Dysphoria will express a strong desire to be treated as the other gender, or a desire to be of the other gender, according to the International Foundation for Gender Education. For example, a person born with the body of a man may want to live and be identified by others as a woman. They may not feel that the body they have reflects their true selves, and may desire to be rid of their own genitals.

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What causes Gender Dysphoria?

There is no specific cause, although studies have found a strong genetic component linked to Gender Dysphoria.

How do I treat my teen for Gender Dysphoria?

While it is understandable that a parent may become concerned that their teen is dressing or acting as a member of the opposite sex, it is important not to add to the stress the teen may already be feeling. Gender Dysphoria as a problem that must be cure, it is a teenager expressing his or herself in the truest way possible, and in these situations they need to feel love and acceptance within their family and circle of friends. In some cases, a treatment program may be necessary to help your teen overcome anxiety or depression related to Gender Dysphoria. In a holistic treatment program, your teen will feel valued, cared for, and safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gender Dysphoria a mental illness?

No, Gender Dysphoria is not a mental condition. However, those experiencing Gender Dysphoria may also experience stress, anxiety, or depression.

Does Gender Dysphoria mean my teen is homosexual?

No, a person’s sexual orientation is separate from their gender identity.

In treatment, will my teen stay in a room with members of the same or opposite sex?

Many programs, including Destinations, address this concern by providing single rooms for privacy.

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