Lots More Information
How Gender Identity Disorder Works: Author's Note
When I was given this assignment, I wanted to focus on the facts -- what the disorder is, what its symptoms are, how it's diagnosed and how it's treated. Personally, I disagree with the decision to list GID as a psychological disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) -- the cause is unknown, but current theories suggest it could be a result of genetics, hormonal imbalances in the womb and/or social and environmental factors. I hoped to add truths to the conversation about how we identify with our personal sex role and gender roles in larger society. At the very most, I didn't want to disappoint those in the transsexual community.
Gender Identity Disorder: Cheat Sheet
- Mental health professionals offer three components that make up our gender identity: 1. our sexual orientation, 2. behavior and mannerism preferences and 3. core gender identity (that gut feeling you have that tells you what gender you are).
- Gender identity disorders (GID) are currently considered psychological disorders, and must be diagnosed by a mental health professional. There is no test to determine whether or not a person has a gender identity disorder, and the cause remains unknown. Theories suggest it may lie in genetic abnormalities, hormone imbalances or other endocrine problems in the womb and social factors.
- Transgendered individuals have been found to suffer from higher-than-average rates of depression, anxiety, suicide and self-mutilation. Left untreated, GID may disclose itself through associated disorders and emotional issues.
- Adults diagnosed with GID may choose to undergo a series of treatment therapies. These include support groups and counseling, hormone therapy, real-life experience and gender reassignment surgery.
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- WPATH Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders, Version 6. 2001. http://www.wpath.org/publications_standards.cfm