General Discussions > Gender Studies

What do we think of self-diagnosing gender dysphoria?

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suzifrommd:
What do we think about people who don't see a mental health professional and decide to transition on their own? They learn what they need to by reading up on GID and from forums like Susan's and local support groups, and only go to health professionals for medication or surgery (presumably on an Informed Consent basis).

Please note: I am not talking about self medicating. It's dangerous to take prescription medication without a doctor's care.

kelly_aus:
I saw a psychiatrist more to sort out some of the other <not allowed> in my life.. I knew who I was and what I needed, what he helped with was the baggage I didn't want to carry around any more. I think we could all do with a little help along the way, whether it be for a GD diagnosis or just some more general support with life issues.

Jill F:
I think it's probably best to have a mental health professional help you sort out who you really are, but it's certainly not a requirement.

There are places in the world (and in this country) where you aren't likely to find any help and you must rely on yourself and yourself alone.

Lady Smith:
Twenty two years ago New Zealand was a medical wasteland when it came to trying to find professional help so much of my transition for the first two years was pretty much down to me.  I can remember going to a counsellor and she spent much of my appointment time nervously looking at the clock to see if it was chucking out time yet.  When I did finally see a psychiatrist she thought I might have multiple personalities, but she also admitted to me that she knew almost nothing about gender dysphoria.  Fortunately my GP had been at the leading edge of the campaign for homosexual law reform in this country when he was younger so at least he was well disposed towards me even if he was not especially knowledgeable about folk like me.
The very first GP I saw though got hold of some ancient article from the Lanclet that said (crusty voice) 'The patient should be observed in their lifestyle and general mannerisms for two years before hormones are dispensed.......'  Or some such nonsense like that anyway, but I gave him the push when he tried to come on to me and pressed his fortunately still clothed erection against my thigh.  His wife left him three months later, I wonder why?

So yes a lot of my transitioning was DIY and mistakes were made by medical folk with my meds and very little was explained to me about the risks of being on such a high dose of Permarin as I was at that time.  Nobody told me about Potassium and being on Spiro and so it went on.

Is DIY a good idea, - no, - but I didn't have much choice.  If you do have skilled and competent therapists and medical folk in your area then for heaven's sake go and see them and follow their advice.

pollypagan:
I think it's not greatly different from self diagnosing if you have lost a leg.

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