Gender dysphoria: A critical discussion of the understanding and treatment of gender dysphoria

  • Vasiliki Apeiranthitou
  • George Thomas
  • Penelope Louka
Keywords: gender dysphoria, transgender, diagnostic criteria, clinical health psychology, depathologization, psychological distress, gender nonconforming, DSM


In DSM-5, the American Psychiatry Association changed the diagnosis of gender identity disorder by adopting the term of gender dysphoria (GD). The development of gender identity is a complex and probably multi-factorial procedure relating to genetic, hormone and environmental factors. GD could be traced in two different developmental stages, either during childhood, or during adolescence. Transgenders require safe and effective hormonal support for the development of natural characteristics verifying their gender identity. The main indications for the beginning of the hormonal therapy are verified from the persistent fixation of dysphoria that they experience and the sufficient mental ability to give their consent and accept this irreversible therapy. Health practitioners should act within the framework of their duties, helping people with GD match their external appearance with their internal experience and improve their social functionality. Moreover, the support and proper communication between the family members will contribute to the acceptance of the gender identity, the reinforcement of self-confidence, the reduction of bias, the cause of emotional and behavioural mental disorders and the conquest of a good quality of living.

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