Gender Dysphoria (GD)

Gender Dysphoria (GD): Also known as Gender Identity Disorder (GID) refers to a condition of distress a person feels when there is persistent conflict between the gender the person was assigned at birth and the gender with which he or she identifies. It is a form of gender non-conformity discomfort which leads to distress or depression. Such a person has a transgender identity or feels so.

A person having this disorder experiences primary and secondary sex characteristics which are constantly at war with each other. The primary sex characteristics refer to the sex features the person was assigned to at birth while the secondary sex characteristics are the features of opposite sex the person identifies with or always desires to identify with.

According to Brookside Psychologists:

“Children as young as age two may show features that could indicate Gender Dysphoria (dysphoria means sadness/distress). They may express a wish to be of a different sex and be unhappy about their physical sex characteristics and functions. They may prefer clothes, toys, and games that are stereotypically associated with the other sex and prefer playing with other-sex peers. They may experience sadness, anxiety, anger, or even depression about the difference between their experienced gender and their birth sex. For example, a child who was born female may insist repeatedly that they are a boy.”

This disorder may continue for long in some children, in some cases, throughout lifetime but in most children it disappears before or in early puberty. D The disappearance could be due to counseling or other forms of assistance to get the child gradually accept his or her original gender. But as Brookside Psychologists observe: “for some children these feelings intensify, and strong dislike of their body can develop or increase as they teens and their secondary sex characteristics develop. Alternatively, many teens and adults presenting with gender confusion or distress do not report a childhood history gender nonconforming behaviors. Therefore, it sometimes comes as a surprise to others (like their parents or other family members, friends, and community members) when a person’s gender distress first becomes evident in their teens or even many years into adulthood.”

As pointed out earlier, people having this disorder experience primary and secondary sex characteristics which are constantly at war with each other. At childhood level they keep enduring it but not without distress. If the condition or feeling does not disappear as the person moves into adulthood such a person often desires and eventually goes for surgery and hormonal changes to adapt to the secondary sex characteristics.

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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