Gender Dysphoria vs Transgender | The Disorder vs the Condition?

Gender Dysphoria vs Transgender | The Disorder vs the Condition?

There’s been an ongoing debate happening, a lot of deliberation as to validly of transgender as a rational position. The first issue I hear come up a lot in these debates is the assertion that being transgender is a mental illness? And I’m here to say that is completely false. This is a manipulative/fallacious tactic called gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of an ad hominem (i.e. attacking the person, not the argument). Gaslighting is usually done by manipulative people who may attack others by calling into question their sanity. But its been proven that being transgender is no more a mental disorder than drapetomania, but genderist would still say otherwise.    

People who normally use this argument equivocate the use of the term’s transgender with gender dysphoria and treat the two terms as if there synonymous, they’ll usually quote old, now defunct, studies or rehash well-known misnomers from the DSM series or the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in support of this claim. But what they don’t understand is that the two terms are indifferent, and regardless of the political-climate surrounding the current stigmata, the APA does not treat transgender as a mental psychosis.

The truth is not all Transgender people have gender dysphoria, gender dysphoria is a mental illness when it becomes dysphoric – a distress for the person who may be struggling with accepting or understanding their gender identity. This definition is reflected in the official term “Gender Dysphoria” which gives emphases on dysphoria – a distress for the individual. This is distinction is clearly stated in the DSM5 fact sheet which states the following,

“It is important to note that gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.”

And if you go through the APA classification of transgender vs gender dysphoria fact sheet it states quote.

A psychological state is considered a mental disorder only if it causes significant distress or disability. Many transgender people do not experience their gender as distressing or disabling, which implies that identifying as transgender does not constitute a mental disorder.

This is also reflected in the APA standard treatment for Transgender individuals helping them cope and accept who they are, it is in no way treated as a mental psychosis! And now psychologist are accepting the fact that gender dysphoria may not necessarily present in a person who is transgender.

In fact, clinical psychologist Dr. Robin Rosenberg is quoted as saying it does not cause the individual distress! For instance, many transgender people, those who identify with a gender different than the one they were assigned at birth, are not distressed by their cross-gender identification and should not be diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

If you think this is some wild supposition or conspiratorial theory tell me if this sounds familiar. When the APA struggled to update the DSM2 in 1973 with newer progressive views on homosexuality. An updated was made to the DSM3 in 1980 which replaced homosexuality with “ego-dystonic homosexuality”—homosexuality that causes distress for the person; that diagnosis, however, was completely removed in 1987 and now homosexuality is obviously no longer considered a mental disorder.

You see this is the same playbook we see here with gender dysphoria. Call me Nostradamus, but its likely gender dysphoria is going to be phased out in much the same way. But for now let’s treat the term as it’s officially used and practiced by the APA and by the British Psychological Society, that gender dysphoria happens when you’re distressed over being transgender not because of the fact that you are transgender.

– Jubilee Nunnallee