Are you experiencing psychological distress because you are unhappy with the body you were born with? Are you unsure about the gender and sex you were assigned to, at birth?
If the answers to these questions are yes then perhaps you are experiencing something called Gender Dysphoria.
Gender Dysphoria is becoming increasingly recognised both in adults and children as people who experience it are increasingly presenting to services such as their GP or therapists.
For some people it can result in some mild discomfort or questioning about their identity and whether they feel that they properly belong to one gender group or another, if indeed to any at all. For some people they may experience more than just some discomfort and may in fact be experiencing psychological distress in the form of anxiety or depression because they feel quite unhappy with how they are being identified. They may, perhaps, be feeling unable to express who they really are because of constraints that they are experiencing within society, such as fear of prejudice or being negatively judged.
For some people who experience these things they might decide to explore what it means to be different, such as considering or wearing clothes of the opposite sex, or possibly changing their appearance and also considering having hormone treatment. These considerations can be challenging for people as they might fear how they will be received by others and indeed whether they will be accepted in society. One of the problems for many people going through these experiences is that they can often feel alone and not feel that they have anyone to talk to about what they are going through and end up experiencing a sense of isolation which can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can be hard for somebody sometimes to open up about what they are thinking and feeling if they feel that they are going to be rejected by those close to them such as family members and friends.
Given the growing recognition of what people with Gender Dysphoria are going through, Services are increasingly developing now to provide support, advice, psychotherapy and medical treatment to help those who are wishing to explore their gender identity and possibly to change it. If this is something that you are experiencing then these might be things that you have already started dealing with in your life.
As a chartered clinical psychologist working for many years with NHS patients in Adult Mental Health services I have had training and experience in working with people’s psychological distress and in providing treatment in the form of psychological therapy to help them to either overcome, manage or find coping strategies to deal with their mental health difficulties. As such I have developed a specialist interest in Gender Dysphoria and I am working increasingly with both younger people as well as older adults, in this area, helping them to explore these issues and indeed even to support those who are looking to make a change in their gender identity. If this is something that you feel that you are experiencing and you would like further support, advice or help with, I offer psychological assessment as well as psychological therapy to people seeking to understand and consider what the next, best step might be for them.
You can therefore make an appointment to see me for assessment where we can then discuss the difficulties that you might be experiencing and how might be the best way forward for you. Please refer to the contact details on the website to make an appointment.