I have been working on this post for several weeks now. I have done some researching and talked to other individuals about other conditions. I have also read some personal detransition stories both here on Tumblr and throughout the internet. Here are some conditions that may mimic or be mistaken as Gender Dysphoria or formerly Gender Identity Disorder….
Autogynephillia/Autoandrophillia: A condition where a man or woman is sexually aroused by the thought of being the opposite sex. In the beginning, it may appear as if the person may have Gender Dysphoria, but often as the sessions go on and their history is discussed, the differentials between the two appear. It is not unlikely or uncommon for a person with this condition to lie about having gender dysphoria in attempt to gain access to hormones. I actually have talked to a therapist with a patient very similar to the example stated below.
Example: A man may only want to go on estrogen to obtain breasts. The thought of him having breasts may give him sexual arousal. But he has little to no interest in SRS/GRS in general and often knows very little about the power of estrogen or results. The thought of having his penis removed often disturbs or disgusts him. However, the thought of having both breasts and a penis may give him sexual pleasure.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A condition that causes a person to believe that they have multiple flaws to their body. Often times, they may perceive a flaw to be something like their chin, their eye brows, their nose, their lips, etc. These flaws may include physical sex characteristics. This condition may be hard to differentiate between Gender Dysphoria in the beginning if the dysmorphia is regarding their physical sex characteristics.
Example: A man or woman may become so obsessed with their flaws that they may search for surgery. When surgery is performed, more than likely the person either is not satisfied with the surgery results or may find another flaw to obsess about wanting for more surgery. Surgery or hormones cannot treat those with Body Dysmorphic Disorder and usually makes the condition worse.
Disassociative Disorders: The disruption or breakdown of memory, awareness, identity or perception. Disassociation is used as a coping mechanism to disconnect from traumatic situations or stressful situations. The symptoms can cause disruptions between work, school and just daily life.
Example: Those with disassociative disorders usually have 2 or more personality states. Each of whom make take over the person’s behavior at some point. Each of them have distinct traits, personality history or a way of thinking. These alters may even be those of different genders, have their own names and quirks, and different mannerisms.
Transvestitism: The practice of dressing or even mimicking the opposite sex for psychological and or sexual gratification.
Example: A person may dress in the opposite sex’s clothing and even attempt to take on a different gender role.They may even WANT or DESIRE hormones to complete their fantasy. However, the thought of having SRS/GRS of any kind is usually not desired or completely repulses them all together. This condition usually can go hand in hand with autogynephillia/autoandrophillia if the cross dressing is for sexual gratification purposes as well.
Internalized sexism: The thought process that one gender may have it easier, better, or simpler than the other. A woman who may suffer from internalized sexism may be convinced that being a man is easier, better, or less troublesome than being a woman.
Example: A woman may seek transition because they are tired of being treated like a “woman”. They often talk about the struggles that women go through and how men have the upper hand. The thought process is often “If I were a man, my life would be easier, better, etc. I would be stronger, wouldn’t have to shave, I could wear a suit, etc.” Often times, when one transitions, the person in question realizes or comes to the realization that being a man is not easier, better, or simpler thus resulting in detransition. They may even reject being called a woman as a result as well.
Confusing Gender Roles w/ Gender and Sex: A person may become uncomfortable with the gender roles they feel they are assigned to by societal expectations. A woman may not like that she is expected to do things that are typical of her gender and instead of rebelling against the notion and telling people she can still be a woman without having to fit gender roles, she may adopt a new persona.
Example: A woman or man may seek transition because they do not like how they are treated in society and how they and what they can and can not do in their culture. This includes how they may dress, act or behave a certain way. This may cause a woman or man to seek transition. They often associate being male or female in regards to masculinity or femininity.
Internalized homophobia: It is not uncommon for a man or woman to want to transition because they dislike or have an intense hatred of homosexuality. Often times, when discussed about homosexuality, they speak usually negatively about it or are disgusted by it entirely.
Example: A man or woman may want to transition because the thought of being engaged in a homosexual relationship turns them off completely. The reason they seek transition is not because they are suffering from gender dysphoria, but the thought of them being engaged with the same sex turns them off completely.
Summary: There are people who go on about gate keeping and hoops to get the necessary treatment needed for their dysphoria. However, that being said, with so many conditions potentially mimicking gender dysphoria, I can see why therapist want multiple sessions before being diagnosed with GD because their are so many conditions and issues out there that you could be suffering from as well. This is not to say that these conditions and issues cannot co-exist with GD, but a lot of times, especially teenagers, are very quick to self diagnose. That being said, there are also tons of therapists who will write out a prescription for HRT at the drop of the hat without doing any real evaluation whatsoever. An uncaring therapist can be just as bad and can set you up for failure the moment you walk out the door. If the therapist I had talked to had allowed for that individual to start hormones, he would’ve been a walking talking poster for the anti-transsexual individuals once he had de-transitioned.
Conclusion: Before self-diagnosing yourself with Gender Dysphoria, please assess your situation and contact a therapist who specializes in treating transsexual individuals. Granted, gender dysphoria can come in different ways and forms. Each and every individual experiences gender dysphoria differently. However, gender dysphoria can also be mimicked by other conditions and masked by other issues.
With all the influx of individuals coming out as “trans”, it’s important to see if these people are really suffering from gender dysphoria in some way, shape or form, or if they are suffering from another condition or they are dealing with what the outside world expects of them for their gender.
If you would like to add anything to this list or correct some of the examples I have listed, please feel free to do so. Especially if you have one of these conditions personally or have ALMOST transitioned before figuring out your real problem/diagnosis. I’d like to hear open up a dialogue about this. Please keep in mind, I am not a licensed doctor or trained physician.The conditions listed come from multiple medical sources and from personal experiences.
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