Gender Dysphoria is also sometimes referred to as Gender Identity Disorder, either way it’s a recognised condition by both the NHS and the World Health Organisation.
There’s a lot written about Gender Dysphoria and the way it’s described are all very similar.
- Google: the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex.
- NHS: Gender dysphoria is a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
- WebMD: People who have gender dysphoria feel strongly that they are not the gender they physically appear to be
Like many issues of the brain the way a person feels and the actual levels of discomfort caused by the condition can’t properly be put on a scale like for like. Just in the same way we all experience physical pain, we all too experience psychological and emotional pain at different levels also. It’s all as they say relative.
From my own personal experiences of gender dysphoria I can only say it was a slow seeping psychological cancer that grew and grew and grew, until I could take no more. One consultant who was a FTM transgender person said “It’s like being in a constant state of PMT, day in day out, hour in hour out” … he should know he used to have PMT, but to me it sounded like what I was suffering.
The point I knew I had to do something about my own personal gender dysphoria was when I was ‘dressing’ and getting changed again in shear disgust, hatred and guilt of myself, some 7-8 times in a 6-7 hour day. The cycle was, get dressed, make-up, dress etc, then be disgusted that I could be such a terrible person, that I was some kind of freak. Round and round the cycle would go each and everyday, I even became self employed in part to try and fix myself, locked myself in a tiny office, gave up good career all to try and fix myself. Suicide was often a thought and it came closer as an option each day, until I went to see the GP and my ‘journey’ began.
Gender dysphoria actually felt like for me as if my brain simply kept fluctuating between the need to be more feminine and bounce back again to be more masculine, each time it would bounce off the opposing wall in my brain, it hurt, it caused me a lot of internal torment to say the least.
I understand the opposite of dysphoria to be euphoria, being in a constant euphoric high isn’t a good thing, so in turn being in the opposing washing machine of dysphoria is equally as bad too. Only for one moment did I feel congruent with my own personal gender understanding, at the point in which I had got ‘dressed’ for a split second did I feel ok, then the guilt would kick in and I would then cycle back down again.
What was odd about me is unlike many transgender people I wasn’t fighting my biological sex, I didn’t have a problem with being male, having a penis, being attracted to women and all that, nor did I want to be female, no sexual kicks in dressing up, I had a fault somewhere in my brain that caused me a lot of pain, I fault meaning that I wasn’t happy with my gender for some messy reason, something wasn’t wired right, something hormonal or otherwise was kicking in urging me to be more feminine. I always said and say the same today, if someone could have given me a pill to fix my gender dysphoria and make me 100% vanilla man so to speak I would have taken it and would take it today. There isn’t such a thing, that I know of. However the pain of gender dysphoria has gone, I do take female hormones and I feel better in my mind, dealing with the physical side effects of cross sex hormones is a different matter, but easier than gender dysphoria.
I must point out to anyone reading this, gender dysphoria can be eased and helped and you must seek medical attention for it. I was told time and again as I fought to beat it with all means from alcohol to sport, it will never go away, it’s something you simply have to treat and learn to accept.
This is simply my take on gender dysphoria, there are loads out there to read, but do seek medical advice – do not try and beat it alone, it will more than likely break you.