Activism and Politics > Discrimination

No Proven Link Between <not allowed> and Mental Disorder

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Johnni Gyrl:
There’s the accusation from more transphobic quarters that transgender people must have a ‘mental disorder.’ This particular slur has echoes of the past. Isn’t that the same thing that used to be said about gay people only a generation ago?

Up until 1973, the psychiatric disorder guidebook - ‘the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ [DSM], used to include homosexuality as a mental illness. The diagnosis was then updated to "sexual orientation disturbance," but it was removed completely by 1987.

Just as with homosexuality, there is no proven direct link between <not allowed> and mental disorder:

“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.”

- American Psychological Association

Feel free to copy/paste the above quote whenever this false accusation is raised on-line.

Solidarity, brothers & sisters!

Michelle_P:

--- Quote from: Johnni Gyrl on October 27, 2018, 11:14:26 am ---...
“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.”

- American Psychological Association


--- End quote ---

I find this to be absolutely correct for me.  While I suffered from depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, these were not due to my gender identity, but rather to fears related to social rejection and absolute, utter denial of the validity of my identity.

The intensity of rejection of transgender persons in this culture is much more intense than for some other marginalized categories of people. Rather than being seen as inferior, we are often told we simply do not exist, that being a transgender person is not real.  That has a significant impact on our mental health and well-being.

In my case, the source of my depression and anxiety was clearly cultural or social, and not an internal mental issue.  (And my hate mail bears this out!)

Johnni Gyrl:

--- Quote from: Michelle_P on October 27, 2018, 12:40:52 pm ---
In my case, the source of my depression and anxiety was clearly cultural or social, and not an internal mental issue.  (And my hate mail bears this out!)

--- End quote ---

So sorry to hear that Michelle. The prejudice against the trans community is still strong, just as you alluded to.

AnneK:

--- 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.”
--- End quote ---

When I was a kid, I thought there was something wrong with me, because I wanted to wear my sister's things and that feeling lasted a long time.  Now I fully accept it as me.

sarahc:
I definitely am one of those who did not have much psychological distress or disability - I just wanted to be a woman. And the lack of other distress caused me to think, "I can push through this," when I really should have transitioned earlier.

I am definitely not a fan of being transgender being labeled a disorder and hope it gets taken out of the next DSM.

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