Gender Dysphoria or just Dysphoria is a feeling of discomfort, distress, or self hatred stemming from a disconnect between one's internal sense of gender and one's outward appearance and/or the gender others perceive one as. Dysphoria is typically experienced by transgender individuals. It is most commonly associated with binary trans people, though non-binary people can also experience dysphoria. Not all trans people experience dysphoria, and different people may feel dysphoria in different amounts, different ways, or towards different parts of the body.

Gender dysphoria is recognized as a medical condition, previously known as gender identity disorder (GID) in the DSM until it was renamed gender dysphoria in 2013 with the release of the DSM-5. The diagnosis was renamed to remove the stigma associated with the term disorder[1]. Gender dysphoria is typically treated with hormone replacement therapy, and/or surgery. Cisgender people can experience a similar condition known as body dysmorphic disorder.

The opposite of gender dysphoria is known as gender euphoria.

Types of Dysphoria[edit | edit source]

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The are at least three types of dysphoria. These are body, social, and mind dysphoria. Trans people can experience any combination of these, at varying strengths for each of them. The exact types of dysphoria one feels and what causes dysphoria can change throughout one's life.

Body Dysphoria[edit | edit source]

Body dysphoria is what most people think of when they think of dysphoria. It is the discomfort with one's body and/or how it functions. People can feel dysphoria about many different things, the most common are dysphoria about one's genitals and dysphoria about one's chest (the presence of breasts in the case of trans men, the lack of breasts in the case of trans women). People can also be dysphoric about things such as height, body shape, facial features, or body hair among other things. Body dysphoria also includes things such as dysphoria about one's voice and dysphoria about one's menstrual cycle (having it in the case of trans men, or not having it in the case of trans women).

People do not have to be dysphoric about all parts of their body. One may be dysphoric about certain traits but be fine with others. The exact traits that one is dysphoric about may change throughout one's life. People with body dysphoria may also desiring a mix of sex traits, or a complete lack of sex traits. Body dysphoria is commonly associated with binary trans people but non-binary can also experience it.

Social Dysphoria[edit | edit source]

Social dysphoria is a discomfort with how one is seen by other people. This can be seen in binary trans people, but is commonly seen in non-binary people, because in most cases there is no way to "pass" as non-binary. Examples include dysphoria caused by being misgendered by strangers, being called by the wrong pronouns, wrong name, or being called "Mr." or "Miss." It can also includes being forced to present as one's assigned gender at birth or being forced to present in a way that would make one more likely to be misgendered.

Mind Dysphoria[edit | edit source]

Mind dysphoria is a discomfort caused when one feels like their thoughts or emotions are at odds with their gender identity. This can include dysphoria caused by misgendered oneself in one's head; this is commonly seen by using the wrong pronouns or name for oneself, or by thinking of one's past self as being a different gender, and possibly feeling disconnected from one's past self because of this. Another example of mind dysphoria would be self doubt about one's gender, or the thoughts that one will never be a real man/woman/non-binary person.

Mind dysphoria can also be common in assigned female at birth trans people who feel dysphoria if they react to a situation in a way that is "too female". They might feel dysphoria about feeling emotions, having thoughts that are too "girly", or by crying too easily. This can be exacerbated by one's menstrual cycle.

Resources[edit | edit source]

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