What is the link between Transgender people and Dissociative Identity Disorder?

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In this blog we will discuss Transgender people and Dissociative Identity Disorder, we will also cover topics like what is Dissociative Identity Disorder, how it affects transgender people, gender dysphoria, symptoms, complications, diagnosis, and frequently asked questions. 

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What is the link between Transgender people and Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder or MPD) is a controversial diagnosis for many reasons and few people often get misdiagnosed too. In general, people like to believe that identity is unchanging and stable. 

Trans people – they say the only reason not to let someone transfer is because they are “really crazy – like schizophrenia or multiple personality disorders or something.” This idea comes from the misconception that mental shortcomings or differences will not allow you to agree and decide on your own body. 

You are perceived as a danger to yourself who needs protection from your own desires. But we “fools” still have the same rights, everyone has to decide for themselves.

Transgenders and Gender Dysphoria

Transgenders experience gender dysphoria quite often and that can lead to dissociative experiences and dissociative episodes as well because they go through so much that it deeply impacts their mental well-being. 

There are several studies that have concluded that people who have a difference between the sex that was assigned to them at birth and their gender identity are more likely to develop DID

It was also found that after they receive gender-affirmation treatments like surgery, hormonal therapy, and psychotherapy, the symptoms of DID reduce and dissociation-related issues get better. 

What is Dissociative identity disorder?

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a type of dissociative disorder in which the person has two or more completely different identities. 

The different identities can have different names, different educational backgrounds, accents, behavior, temperament, etc.

DID often causes gaps in the person’s memory as one identity does not seem to remember what happened when they dissociated into another identity. 

DID is a condition that is considered to be rather uncommon and it affects around 0.01-1% of the population. 

Gender dysphoria

Gender dysphoria can be defined as significant distress that is related to a person’s wish to identify as a person of another gender that might include a desire to change their primary and/or secondary sexual characteristics. 

It is important to note here that not all transgenders or queer people experience dysphoria. 

Transgender people experience significant differences between the sex they have experienced or expressed and the sex assigned to them at birth. 

When this difference causes significant problems or functional problems, it can be diagnosed using a DSM-5 such as GD.The biological mechanisms of GD are unknown and this research site has already begun. 

Most studies have examined differences in brain structure in FtM (female to male) and MtF (male to a female) individuals. Overall, these studies showed a mixed pattern of male and female cortical thickness and white matter tract, distinguishable from male and female cisgender. 

Inconsistencies between perceived and physical body dysphoria often lead to physical dysphoria and body-related avoidance, such as mirror prevalence. 

For people with FtM, breasts and genitals are the cause of the greatest dissatisfaction. Problem areas for MtF people are the genitals, face, and hair. 

In contrast, socially perceived characteristics such as voice, hair, and muscles as the most predictive of overall satisfaction. body. Most transgender people feel more like “themselves” and experience a more positive body image after the physical movement of the body to better match their gender. Numerous studies have shown a better lifespan of transgender people after hormone therapy and gender-confirmed surgery.

Symptoms of gender dysphoria

A significant difference between your internal gender identity and gender assignment that lasts at least six months, as shown by at least two of the following:

  • A significant difference between your internal gender identity and primary and/or secondary sexual characteristics, such as expected secondary sexual characteristics of adolescents
  • A strong desire to remove primary and/or secondary sexual characteristics due to a significant difference in your internal gender identity or a desire to prevent the development of expected secondary sexual characteristics in young people.
  • Strong desire for primary and/or secondary sexual characteristics of the opposite sex
  • A strong desire to be the opposite sex as alternative sex, which is different from the assigned sex.
  • Strong desire to be considered the opposite sex or alternative sex other than the assigned sex.
  • A strong belief that you have common feelings and reactions of the opposite sex as alternative sex different from the assigned gender.
  • Significant difficulties or limitations in social, labour, or other aspects of work

Gender dysphoria can begin in adolescence and persist into adolescence and adulthood (early-onset). Or you may have moments when you no longer feel gender dysphoria, followed by a recurrence of gender dysphoria. You may also experience gender dysphoria in adolescence or later in life (late-onset).

Complications of gender dysphoria

Gender dysphoria can be detrimental to many aspects of life. Fear of the opposite sex can often disrupt daily activities. People who experience gender dysphoria may refuse to go to school because they are forced to dress in a way that is related to their gender, or for fear of harassment or ridicule. Gender dysphoria can also affect functioning at school or work, leading to early school leaving or unemployment. Relationship problems are common. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders, substance abuse and other problems can occur.

People with gender dysphoria also often experience discrimination, which results in minority stress. Access to health and mental health services can be difficult due to fears of stigma and a lack of qualified providers.

Adolescents and adults with gender dysphoria before gender reassignment may be at risk of suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and suicide. After gender reassignment, the risk of suicide may continue.

Diagnosis of GD

Your healthcare provider may diagnose gender dysphoria based on:

Ethical health assessment

Your supplier will check with you about the inconsistency of your gender identity and gender assigned at birth, your history and development of gender dysphoric feelings, the impact of the stigma associated with gender nonconformity on your mental health and what support you have from your family. , friends and peers.

DSM-5. Your mental health professional can use the guidelines for gender dysphoria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Gender dysphoria differs from inconsistencies with stereotypical behaviour in the role of gender. Gender dysphoria includes feelings of need caused by a strong desire to be of a different gender than indicated, and size and scope of activities and interests that differ from gender.

While some teenagers may express their feelings of gender dysphoria to their parents or doctors, others may exhibit symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety or depression or exhibit social problems as academics.

Role of Psychotherapy for transgenders

It can help people with gender dysphoria assess their sexual identity and find a gender role that is comfortable for them that can alleviate the need. However, treatment must be individual. What helps one may not help the other. 

The process may or may not involve a change in gender or physical change. Treatment options may include changes in gender expression and role, hormone therapy, surgery, and behavioural therapy. 

If you suffer from gender dysphoria, seek the help of a mental health professional who has experience in caring for a transgender person or is a queer affirmative practiotioner. 

Your provider will monitor you for mental health issues that need to be addressed, such as depression or anxiety when developing a treatment plan. Failure to address these concerns can make it difficult to assess your gender identity and reduce gender dysphoria.

Changes in gender expression and role

This may involve living part-time or full-time in another gender role that matches your gender identity.

Medical treatment

Medical treatment for gender dysphoria may include:

  • Hormone therapies, such as feminizing hormone therapy or masculinizing hormone therapy
  • Surgery, such as female or male surgery to reshape the breast or breasts, external genitalia, internal genitalia, facial features, and body shape

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health provides the following guidelines for the hormonal and/or surgical treatment of gender dysphoria:

  • Persistent, well-documented gender dysphoria.
  • Ability to make fully informed decisions and consent to treatment.
  • The age of most of the country or as adolescents according to the pattern of care for children and adolescents.
  • If there are serious health or mental problems, they should be adequately controlled.

Additional procedures apply to some surgeries. Before hormonal and surgical treatment of gender dysphoria, a physician with experience and expertise in transgender and intersex care performs a medical examination for pretreatment. 

This can help prevent or address conditions that may affect this treatment or reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. This assessment may include:

  • Personal and family history
  • Physical examination, including examination of your reproductive organs
  • Laboratory tests to control lipids, fasting blood glucose, total blood counts, liver enzymes, electrolytes, prolactin and sex steroid hormones and pregnancy tests
  • Vaccination status, including HPV
  • Tours suitable for age and gender
  • Identify and manage tobacco use, drug abuse and alcohol abuse
  • Identification and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
  • Assessment of desire to maintain fertility and recommendations for sperm, ova, embryo, and/or cryopreservation of ovarian tissue as appropriate
  • History of potentially harmful treatment methods, such as the use of over-the-counter hormones, industrial silicone injections or self-surgery

Behavioural health treatment

This treatment aims to improve your mental well-being, liveliness and self-satisfaction. Behavioral therapy is not intended to change your gender identity. However, therapy can help you explore gender issues and find ways to reduce gender dysphoria. The aim is to help transgender and non-gender-conforming individuals identify with their expression of gender identity, which will enable success in relationships, education, and employment. Therapy can also address all other mental health issues. Therapy can include individual, couple, family and group counselling to help you:

  • Explore and integrate your gender identity
  • Accept yourself
  • Respond to the mental and emotional effects of minority stress
  • Create a support network
  • Create a plan to address social and legal issues related to your transition and release with loved ones, friends, colleagues and other close contacts
  • Express your gender identity comfortably
  • To study healthy sexuality in the context of gender transformation
  • Decide on your medical treatment options
  • Increase your well-being and quality of life

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is the link between Transgender people and Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Could gender dysphoria cause a dissociative identity?

Patients with gender dysphoria (GD) report significant dissociative symptoms and have been found to have a high prevalence of dissociative disorder of any kind. When patients with GD decide to undergo hormonal cross-therapy, there is a significant reduction in dissociative symptoms.

Which gender is most affected by dissociative identity disorder?

Dissociative disorders affect 29% of the clinical population, with women being diagnosed 9 times more often than men. For this study, the authors used a phenomenological approach to determine the experience of 5 men with a dissociative identity disorder.

What is dissociative gender dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria: A concept defined by DSM-5 is important in clinical trials as an assessment associated with a strong desire to be of the opposite sex, which may include a desire to change primary and/or secondary sexual behaviour. Not all transgender or gender-different people experience dysphoria.

How does FTM dysphoria feel?

It can manifest as sadness, depression, anxiety, restlessness or sadness. It can be like anger or sadness or feeling ridiculous or negative about your body, or when you are missing parts.

How big a personality can someone with DID have?

Dissociative identity disorder involves a lack of connection between feelings of identity, memory and human consciousness. People with this disease do not have more than one personality, but no more than one personality

Can anyone talk to DID about their changes?

*buzzer sound* False. A very small percentage of the DID population has clear manifestations of their changes as switches (5-6%). While some analytical indicators can be observed between friends and therapists, most of the changes take place as completely normal human behaviour.

References

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crips/2020/8839984/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/gender-identity-disorder
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gender-dysphoria/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20475262

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