The Psychology Behind Transgender Individuals
More and more people are coming out as transgender than ever before. Maybe this is because the world is more understanding, despite instances of discrimination still occurring. The best way of eliminating ignorance is to educate, which is why we have written this article about transgender psychology. We will be answering some common questions about what it means to be trans, as well as dive into the research and psychology of transgender issues.
What is the Difference between Transsexual and Transgender?
The word “transgender” is actually the broad term ascribed to those who believe their gender is different from the sex they were assigned as a child. A person who is transgender will often feel their gender identity, behavior, or expression do not match up with their presumed sex.
On the other hand, “transsexual” is a more specific label which exists under this umbrella. Somebody who is transsexual is also considered a transgender person, though their body has often been surgically altered or they are currently undergoing hormone treatment.
What is the Difference Between Gender Identity and Gender Expression?
Those who are transgender, they suffer issues with their gender identity, expression, and behavior.
Gender identity is concerned with a person’s inherent sense of whether they are male or female.
Gender expression refers to how an individual communicates themselves to other people. This can be through be through their behavior, choice in clothing and hairstyles, or the way they speak.
Is Transgender a Sign of Mental Illness?
Research into the psychology behind transgender that a psychological state is only classed as mental illness if the individual is placed under distress or disability. It’s promising then that many transgender people do not see their gender identity as something which causes them harm or anxiety.
Of course, there are issues regarding access to therapy and hormone medicines, not to mention a need for acceptance and the possibility of discrimination. All of these things can cause distress and often lead to other mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
That being said, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), individuals who experience intense feelings of gender discordance are sometimes diagnosed as having gender dysphoria. Further research into the psychology of transgender contends that this diagnosis is inaccurate and inappropriately labels the individual. However, it also argued that a medical diagnosis is essential in helping transgender people gain access to the care they need.
How do Transgender People Make the Transition?
The process of transitioning into another gender is both complex and sometimes dangerous. People who transition usually start by coming out as trans to those who they feel comfortable with – this is a difficult time for many individuals and a huge step towards becoming the person they want to be. As they make more changes into their life, it is important for them to seek counseling and therapy to ensure they are making the right decision for themselves.
This is why research into transgender psychology is important. Access to professional help is paramount to helping transgender people find happiness and comfort in their gender identity. A qualified professional who is well-read in transgender psychology is essential and can assist the individual by referring them to other professionals.
Of course, every transgender person takes a different route to understanding their identity. Some spend years transitioning and experimenting with their gender expression and behavior. They sometimes dress and act like their desired sex, change their name and openly identify as their preferred gender well before they seek professional help.
Which Organizations Help Transgender People and Research Transgender Psychology?
There are many organizations, such as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). This professional organization is dedicated to the treatment of transgender people. They publish research into the psychology of transgender individuals in The Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders, offering suggestions and recommendations in regards gender affirmation procedures and services.
This makes them an essential organization with an invaluable worth in the field of transgender psychology.
As you can see, transgender psychology research has helped understanding of gender identity issues in recent times, but there is still plenty of work to be done in order to help transgender people further.
Every study in the field of transgender psychology has made the world a safer and more understanding place for these individuals, and further research will only make access to care easier – ensuring more people will be able to live their life in the way that makes them feel comfortable.
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