Gender dysphoria treatment
Gender dysphoria is a term which describes the feelings of confusion or distress from a mismatch between your biological sex and your gender identity. Sometimes referred to as gender identity disorder (GID) or transgender, gender dysphoria relates to the gender identity that you feel yourself to be, as opposed to your biological sex based on anatomical appearance.
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At Priory, we understand that coming to terms with gender dysphoria and feeling comfortable in your gender identity is vitally important to your emotional health and mental wellbeing. We have a dedicated Gender Dysphoria service at Priory Hospital Roehampton, where young people (aged 17 and over) and adults alike can receive psychotherapy services. These will help to understand more about the condition and how it makes you feel.
Biological sex and gender identity
While biological sex and gender identity are aligned for many people, you may feel as though you have been given the wrong body that you don’t identify with. This could be a person with male anatomy identifying as a female and vice versa, or not feeling as though you identify with either gender. This can cause significant stress and disruption to your daily life. Gender dysphoria isn’t always about identifying with the opposite sex; there has been an increased awareness in recent years of gender fluidity and identifying as non-binary. This can all be discussed during assessment and whatever you feel or identify with can be worked through in the specialist therapy.
The internal conflict between how society expects you to act and behave in accordance with your biological sex, in contrast to the gender in which you identify, can often make you feel uncomfortable, and affects people in different ways. There are many ways a person can express their identified gender, including chosen behaviours, dress and self-image, with dressing in the gender in which you identify particularly common. You may be unsure whether your identity would be best expressed materially, such as by wearing opposite-gender clothing (transvestism); or whether it is linked to a type of sexuality (autogynaephilia), or an underlying gender identity (gender dysphoria). A detailed gender dysphoria assessment will help clarify your issues and concerns.
If you have gender dysphoria characterised by persistent and strong feelings that you are in a body in which you don’t identify with, then you may live as a transgender or transsexual person. You may consult gender identity clinics about the option of surgical treatment or hormone therapy to align your physical appearance with your gender identity.
These wishes are usually accompanied by an inclination for social transitioning. This means you may adopt the gender pronouns associated with the gender you identify with, potentially changing the gender you are registered as on your official documents, such as your passport.
This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Az Hakeem (MBBS, FRCPsych, MSc, M.Inst.GA) in June 2020, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in June 2022. To view all Priory gender dysphoria specialists, please click here.