I recently came across a question about whether GRS is an effective
treatment for gender dysphoria. The implication was that it is a mental
health issue and so should be it be treated with therapy rather than
with medical and surgical intervention.
what it’s worth, I think that GRS certainly can help, but it’s not a
Whether gender dysphoria results from something we are born with or is
that develops because of our life experiences
(I believe it’s the latter), it’s not something that anyone has
found out how to “cure”. What is clear is that no amount of therapy can
make the feelings of dysphoria simply go away. By dysphoria I’m
referring to the obsessive and compulsive thoughts about transitioning
changing one’s body to be less male / more female.I know so many people
who have had therapy for decades
trying to understand it, to fight it and to make it go away and I’ve yet
to meet somebody who has managed to do this without transitioning.
some, transitioning is sufficient to relieve the dysphoria. For others no amount
of surgery will ever be enough because they are chasing an impossible
ideal. For others, they hope that they will finally fit in and be
accepted once they have GRS and when they don’t it’s such a blow that
they can’t cope and go into a decline of mental health. For some,
transitioning is enough for them to explore things and get a good enough
understanding of themselves that they no longer feel the need to be
transitioned, and I see detransitioning as one of the successful
outcomes of transition.
for coexisting mental health conditions, I certainly think that we
pretty much without exception have them, but they are wide and varied
and there is very much a chicken and egg debate going on which I
genuinely don’t know the answer to. I suspect it’s different for
different people. The first signs of gender identity issues start at a very young age – for some
as a prepubescent, but for most during adolescence. With this comes a
realisation that we are existing in a society harbouring secrets that we
believe will make us ridiculed and rejected if found out (and that was
certainly true until recently and is still true to greater and lesser
degrees in different places). This certainly has a huge impact on our
mental health and almost always leads to depression and anxiety.
I also see some trans people that seem to have more severe personallity disorders and it’s really hard to see which came first.
think that regardless of all of this, counselling and therapy is so
important for us. Transition and GRS does not cure shame and low self
esteem. Conversely, dealing with the shame and self esteem issues does
not cure gender dysphoria. Both things need to be treated together. Of
course the issue is that there is very little therapeutic support
strikes me that we are moving into a very different era and younger
people have very different experiences to those of us that grew up in
the seventies and eighties. Young people are growing up with a sense of
entitlement rather than a sense of shame and fear.