The psychological diagnosis of a person who has a gender identity that does not match their physical sex. All evidence is that it is an inborn condition, and can only be fixed by changing the body to match the mind, as all attempts to change the mind to match the body, whether by psychotherapy or more extreme methods (putting the patient on behavior-altering medications or subjecting them to electroshock) have consistently failed to alter the condition. Such a condition may, in fact, have a biological basis, as studies on the BSC (part of the stria terminalis) are showing gender-based (not sex-based) differences.

Those afflicted with it often suffer from loneliness and depression, and society's fear and unacceptance has resulted in an estimate that 50% of people suffering from it commit suicide. Original estimates from the 60's placed the occurence of this situation at about 1 in 30,000 genetic men and 1 in 100,000 genetic women. More recent studies have shown a much higher rate of occurence, with some numbers showing it as high as 1 in every 250 men has some sort of GID. Rates for women are still hard to calculate because of societal differences that allow for greater gender expression for those considered female.

It can be a really harmful condition for someone to have, with horrlble effects on their self-esteem, confidence, and ability to deal with problems. Anyone who would dismiss it as something not too important has neither had to deal with it personally, or had a family member or friend who have it.

People suffering from this often end up as transsexuals.

It is currently listed in the DSM-IV guide, which makes it considered a mental disorder. There is a debate going on among the transgender community as to whether this should continue to be the case or not.

One side does not want GID to be pathologized as a disorder, but just another state of being for people. They want it removed from the guide as homosexuality was done in the past. They feel that keeping it in the guide is an indication that people diagnosed with GID are mentally ill.

The other side wants it left in. Not because they feel it's a mental disorder, but because by leaving it in the guide more treatment for it will be covered by insurance. GID does not discriminate by income so there are plenty of people diagnosed with GID who cannot afford to pay for all of the necessary procedures (such as psychotherapy, which is required by most doctors before hormones and/or surgery, and the hormones themselves). This side perceives that removing it from the DSM-IV, most of the little insurance coverage there is will be dropped, leaving a number of transsexuals out of being able to obtain what they need.

Personally, I'm stuck in the middle. I hate being considered as having a mental disorder - there's nothing "disordered" about me, especially now. But my insurance would stop covering my psychologist visits in a second if GID was removed, as they require paperwork indicating a condition that requires "treatment" to continue paying for the sessions. Had GID not been in the DSM-IV, I would not have been able to do my therapy, as sessions are not cheap, and I don't know where I would be now.

What lies below is the transcript of an email i sent to many of my friends detailing my Gender Identity Disorder. I have posted it here for reference. I was going to post this in the coming out section, but it is full.

Hi everyone, there is something I need to tell you. Basically I have a mental disorder. I say disorder because that is what it is called. The fact I don’t see it as an illness makes no difference. It is called ‘Gender Identity Disorder’. Basically I feel confused about which gender I am meant to be. This has many associated myths that I will dispel if I can. Firstly, I don’t want to become a woman; I am merely confused about my gender identity. Secondly, this has nothing to do with my sexuality; if I want to be female, it doesn’t mean I am homosexual. Many transgender people are heterosexual, 95% of them.
My transgenderism manifests its self in cross-dressing. This does not mean I wear women’s clothes for sexual pleasure or as a fetish, which is the common misconception. Crossdresser is the broad term for anyone who wears the opposite sex’s clothes without stating a motive. Essentially, I wear whatever I feel comfortable in whether it is trousers or a skirt. I have been living a secret life for a long time and I can’t do it any more.
I have known about this in myself since I was 5 years old and it is a mind trip to try and work out when you are young. Since then I have been trying to work out what is ‘wrong’ with me. I am not fully transgendered. I sometimes enjoy being a boy, other times not. If I was totally transgendered I would wish to be female all the time. However, my mind changes without provocation. On occasion I wish to be female, other times not.
Until recently I have kept it a secret as many men and women do, however events have pushed me to come to a conclusion. Last year I was under a huge amount of stress. I would just sit on my floor and cry for hours. Doing homework in such a state was a challenge so my grades were slipping which pushed my depression further. It was at this stage that I told my mum about my gender disorder. It increases in intensity when I am stressed…. I think.
So I told my mum and I am getting therapy for all sorts and I am on antidepressants for other stuff as well... not just the gender stuff. The medication has cheered me up and helped me think about stuff better. I have come to some conclusions I would like to share.
I want to be able to wear what I like when I feel like it. It is only clothes for fucks sake. When I am feeling female I will wear a dress/skirt/whatever I want. When I am feeling male I will wear trousers or whatever else. If I don’t care I will wear what ever I want.
Something as simple as fabric on our bodies to hide our nakedness shouldn’t be categorized into sexes. Gender is on a continuum, it is not the same as sex. Someone can be of one sex, but another gender.
Sex is between the legs, gender is between the ears Gender is a state of mind. Sex is a biological reality So I identify as both genders
Get over it
I am planning to wear what I like
Thought u all ought to know
(This is me coming out by the way...)
Any questions ask me!!
oh and dont be supprised if u see me in a dress, it is still me

- Alice x

Shit.

He watched the woman crossing the street in front of him, sundress swaying loosely around her hips. She was in her early twenties with a slim figure and shapely runner's legs. Her dark brown hair was cut short, drawing attention to her attractively angled eyes which twinkled when she smiled. Shit, he thought again. I'll never be like her. His stomach lurched painfully as though suddenly filled with ice water. Why do I even want to be like her? She strode over the hot black pavement, laughing as she talked with a similarly dressed woman. She walked confidently yet slowly, the relaxed pace of her steps revealing an unquestionable security in her femininity. He closed his eyes and slowly exhaled, shame and lust and envy violently contorting in his chest until he felt like vomiting. Shit.

At night he'd lay in bed staring into the darkness for hours, twisting impatiently, trying to find a comfortable position in his search for sleep. Why do I feel like this? The sheets swished as he turned onto his back. Who am I? What am I? He grunted in frustration. Why can't I figure this out? He held still for a moment as loneliness and isolation washed over him. "It's not going to get better," he muttered.

Once, on impulse, he had pulled out all of his facial hair with a pair of tweezers—three hours in front of the mirror plucking at his chin, lips, cheeks, and neck. He had held the tweezers so forcefully that his fingertips were a bruised greyish-purple for days afterwards. The hair grew back within a week.

At the therapist's office he filled out the intake paperwork. Name, address, age, sex. He paused, staring at the two checkboxes on the sheet. His hand hovered tentatively over the box labeled 'Female' for a few seconds while two voices argued in his head:

Am I female?
You know you're not.
But I want to be.
Do you?
I...don't know. I think so. Maybe.
Maybe you're just a perverted little faggot?
It's not wrong to be trans.
Do you really believe that?
No.

He reminded himself to breathe as he marked the box 'Male'.

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