Child gender identity disorder in children
CHILD GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN
CHILD GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN DEFINITION
People who have gender dysphoria feel strongly that they are not the gender they physically appear to be.
For example, a person who has a penis and all other physical traits of a male might feel instead that he is actually a female. That person would have an intense desire to have a female body and to be accepted by others as a female. Or, someone with the physical characteristics of a female would feel her true identity is male.
Feeling that your body does not reflect your true gender can cause severe distress, anxiety, and depression. “Dysphoria” is a feeling of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and restlessness. With gender dysphoria, the discomfort with your male or female body can be so intense that it can interfere with the way you function in normal life, for instance at school or work or during social activities.
Gender dysphoria used to be called “gender identity disorder.” But the mismatch between body and internal sense of gender is not a mental illness. Instead, what need to be addressed are the stress, anxiety, and depression that go along with it.
CHILD GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN CAUSES
The causes of gender dysphoria are not yet fully understood.
Gender dysphoria was traditionally thought to be a psychiatric condition, with its causes believed to originate in the mind.
However, more recent studies have suggested that gender dysphoria is biological and caused by the development of gender identity before birth.
The condition is not a mental illness.
CHILD GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis that refers to people whose gender at birth is contrary to the one they identify with. It constitutes a new diagnostic class in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) , replacing the DSM-IV diagnosis of gender identity disorder.
CHILD GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN SYMPTOMS
To be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a person has to have symptoms that last for at least six months.
In children, these symptoms may include:
- Consistently saying they are really a girl even though they have the physical traits of a boy or really a boy if they have the physical traits of a girl
- Strongly preferring friends of the sex with which they identify
- Rejecting the clothes, toys, and games typical for boys or girls
- Refusing to urinate in the way — standing or sitting — that other boys or girls typically do
- Saying they want to get rid of their genitals and have the genitals of their true sex
- Believing that even though they have the physical traits of a girl they will grow up to be a man; or believing if they have the physical traits of a boy they will still be a woman when they grow up
- Having extreme distress about the body changes that happen during puberty
CHILD GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN DIAGNOSIS
A diagnosis of gender dysphoria can usually be made after an in-depth assessment carried out by two or more specialists.
This may require several sessions, carried out a few months apart, and may involve discussions with people you are close to, such as members of your family or your partner.
The assessment will determine whether you have gender dysphoria and what your needs are, which could include:
- whether there is a clear mismatch between your biological sex and gender identity
- whether you have a strong desire to change your physical characteristics as a result of any mismatch
- how you are coping with any difficulties of a possible mismatch
- how your feelings and behaviours have developed over time
- what support you have, such as friends and family
The assessment may also involve a more general assessment of your physical and psychological health.
If the results of the assessment suggest you or your child have gender dysphoria, staff at the GIC will then work with you to come up with an individual treatment plan. This will include any psychological support you may need and a discussion about preliminary timescales for any medical or surgical treatment.
CHILD GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN TREATMENT
The goal is not to change how the person feels about his or her gender. Instead, the goal is to deal with the distress that may come with those feelings.
Talking with a psychologist or psychiatrist is part of any treatment for gender dysphoria. “Talk” therapy is one way to address the mental health issues that this condition can cause.