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.