Gender dysphoria is distress or discomfort felt by a person because of a mismatch between their sex assigned at birth and their perceived gender. It's not a mental illness but can be a diagnosis when people experience significant and lasting despair. If you feel this way or have this diagnosis our online counselors and resources can help.
While gender is often a blanket term used to describe an individual's male or female identification (e.g. a baby's gender-reveal) the more appropriate term in these cases is “sex.” Sex refers to the description of the biological genitalia a person is born with, whether male, female, or ambiguous or intersex. Gender is an expression of how a person identifies in terms of being male or female and can exist on a spectrum.
While gender research is still relatively young, there are a few ideas about what can cause a mismatch between a person's assigned sex at birth and their perceived gender identity. Hormones in the mother's system or a fetus' ability to respond to those hormones can play a role in the development of sex traits as well as mental responses to those traits. In this way, gender is not something that an individual chooses but is developed before birth.
Dealing with gender dysphoria can be stressful, but it doesn't have to feel hopeless. Many people have found ways to adjust socially and biologically to their perceived gender and live healthy, happy lives. Our therapists are available to offer a kind, listening ear and guidance to help those working through the intricacies of gender identity and gender dysphoria.
Received: July 29th
Received: July 26th
Received: July 24th