According to Anxiety Zone.com, “Gender identity disorder as identified by psychologists and medical doctors is a condition where a person who has been assigned one gender but identifies as belonging to another gender, or does not conform with the gender role their respective society prescribes to them.” To help us further understand gender identity disorder I have interviewed Dr. Trayce Hansen a licensed clinical psychologist.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I’m a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in San Diego, California. Within my practice, I treat both children and adults for a range of psychological problems including various gender and sexual issues. I have authored a number of articles pertaining to those topics that have been published worldwide. I’m also a member of the Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee, a subcommittee of the American College of Pediatricians.”
What is gender identity disorder?
“Gender identity disorder is a mental disorder characterized by an intense and persistent discomfort with one’s actual anatomical sex and the wish to be, or the insistence that one is, a member of the opposite sex. Both children and adults can suffer from this disorder. For example, a boy with gender identity disorder may reject traditional male clothing, toys, and activities and instead be preoccupied with those typical of girls. Girls with gender identity disorder may display hostile attitudes toward feminine attire and activities and insist on wearing a boy’s short haircut or being called by a boy’s name. Both boys and girls with this disorder may claim they will grow up to be a member of the opposite sex. It is not known for sure what causes gender identity disorder, but it may be due to some combination of inborn tendencies or temperament and/or environmental or parental influences.”
How does someone with gender identity disorder typically feel and think?
“Because individuals with gender identity disorder feel such angst and even disgust toward their inborn sexual characteristics, they experience extreme emotional torment. Adults with this disorder spend inordinate amounts of time cross-dressing and trying to pass themselves off as members of the opposite sex. Their unease is often so intense they undergo hormonal therapies and even painful physical and surgical treatments in order to change their physical appearance. Tragically, even after undergoing such external treatments, many individuals with this disorder continue to suffer psychologically.”
What type of impact does gender identity disorder have on a person’s life?
“Gender identity disorder has a powerful, negative impact on the lives of those who suffer from it. During childhood, gender identity disorder not only interferes with typical gender and sexual development, but even with other age-appropriate childhood development involving basic skills, peer relationships, family relationships, and even schooling. These children are in great distress and may even refuse to attend school due to peer ostracism. For both children and adults, intense feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression are often present. Adolescents and adults with this disorder are at increased risk for becoming involved with prostitution, substance abuse, and HIV infection, as well as suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.”
What type of help is there for some who has gender identity disorder?
“There is good psychiatric and psychological treatment for those with gender identity disorder. The sooner treatment begins, the more likely there will be a successful outcome so that such individuals can lead a normal life. Parents, teachers, and others who suspect that a child is preoccupied with cross-gender identification should immediately direct that person toward treatment from professionals who specialize in reversing this devastating mental disorder.”
What last advice would you like to leave for someone who is dealing with gender identity disorder?
“Gender identity disorder causes immense emotional pain and negatively alters one’s natural life course. With good psychiatric and psychological intervention, many individuals successfully overcome this disorder and go on to live long and healthy lives. There is no need to suffer.”
Thank you Dr. Trayce Hansen for the interview. If you would like more information about Dr. Trayce Hansen check out her website at www.drtraycehansen.com.