Gender identity disorder is an extremely delicate problem that affects many young people. It is a condition characterized by the incompatibility between the physical and mental sex and can be biologically or psychologically based. Adolescents with gender identity disorders require specialist help, and in the event of a certain diagnosis, radical and irreversible treatment. Learn how to recognize gender identity disorder in your child’s adolescence and where to seek help.
Gender identity disorders - ICD-10 classification
In the ICD-10 classification, gender identity disorders are listed under number F64. The division into:
- 0 Transsexualism.
- 1 Double-role transvestism.
- 2 Disorders of gender identity in childhood.
- 8 Other gender identity disorders.
- 9 Gender identity disorder, unspecified.
What is gender identity disorder (gender dysphoria) in adolescence?
Gender identity disorder in adolescence is characterized by persistent deep dissatisfaction with one’s own sex, combined with a strong desire to possess the characteristics of the opposite sex. The main object of interest of such a person is the dress and conduct of the opposite sex and the rejection of one’s own sex. These disorders can usually be observed in early childhood, sometimes a little later, but always before puberty.
Gender identity disorders - how common are they?
It is suspected that gender identity disorders, especially among young people, have always been present both in Europe and beyond, but only now have they started to be talked about more. The world is moving forward and the approach to various things is changing, including the perception of gender identity disorders.
As far as transsexualism itself is concerned, its global prevalence is roughly 1 in 60,000 for men (transgender women) and 1 in 100,000 for women (transgender men). Although it may seem that the scale of this phenomenon is not large, it should be taken into account that each case of gender identity disorders is associated with human suffering and requires understanding and necessary help.
Gender identity disorders in children and adolescents
Due to their young age and, above all, lack of maturity, both physical and mental, young people with gender identity disorders pose special problems when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. As a rule, such a patient is approached with great caution, so that treatment is initiated much later than it could have been.
Research conducted in the Netherlands shows that early surgical intervention regarding gender reassignment is associated with good treatment results. The approach, however, varies from country to country. For example, in the UK, delaying puberty is undertaken only when the patient is able to legally consent to it.
The observations carried out so far show that it is impossible to predict the development of possible transsexualism in the future on the basis of gender identity disorders alone in childhood. However, it is suspected that the invariability and durability of behaviors characteristic of the opposite sex and their high intensity, increasing over time, lead to the formation of a transsexual identity.
Where to look for help in the case of gender identity disorders in a child?
Observation of unusual behavior in a child indicating dissatisfaction with one’s own sex and a desire to have characteristics of the opposite sex that persist for a long time should prompt you to seek help from a specialist. Professional help can be obtained at the Harmonia Psychological and Sexological Clinic located in Warsaw at Aleje Jerozolimskie 91.
Sexologist and psychologist Harmonia Clinic – how can the indicated specialists help? You need to be prepared that the diagnosis and treatment of gender identity disorders in a child is a long-term process and one consultation will certainly not be enough. At the first visit, the specialist will conduct a detailed conversation with the patient and his parents or guardians in order to make a preliminary diagnosis. Only on this basis will he be able to make decisions regarding further proceedings.
In the absence of time for a personal visit to the office, you can always decide to meet a specialist without leaving your home. Both the psychologist and the online sexologist provide assistance to the same extent as during the meeting in the office, and the virtual visit has an almost identical course.
- Barrett, Zaburzenia identyfikacji płciowej, Medycyna praktyczna dla pacjentów, 2013 (witryna internetowa: https://www.mp.pl/psychiatria/zaburzenia/inne/75640,zaburzenia-identyfikacji-plciowej (retrieved: 2022.12.16.)).