When your gender identity – how you perceive your gender – does not match with the gender you were assigned at birth, it can be difficult to live authentically. Many people who are gender non-conforming or transgender can experience a sense of incongruence between the physical characteristics and cultural standards of their assigned gender and the gender they identity with. When this dissonance causes discomfort, it is called gender dysphoria.
Dr. Surin Sehdev at Aware Behavioral Health is a Dallas psychiatrist offering gender dysphoria treatment and mental health services for those in the LGBTQ community. In an open and positive environment, Dr. Sehdev provides patient-centered treatments using medication, psychotherapy, and other resources to help you feel more comfortable physically and emotionally. Contact us online or at 888-677-4562 to learn more about our practice.
What is Gender Dysphoria?
At birth, children are assigned a male or female gender, usually based on the primary sex characteristics. But not everyone’s gender identity matches with this assigned gender. People may identify with the opposite gender, a gender outside of the binary, or no gender at all. Because many physical characteristics are those of the assigned gender, however, and cultural expectations may not align with their gender expression, you may have gender dysphoria.
Gender dysphoria can occur in people of any age, although it is most common in adolescents before and throughout puberty. Those who experience gender dysphoria may feel:
- A disconnect between the gender that feels right to you and your primary or secondary sex characteristics.
- A need to get rid of primary or secondary sex characteristics because of this disconnect, or a desire not to develop them in younger teenagers.
- A want to be a different gender, potentially including a desire to be treated as a different gender, have the sex characteristics of that other gender, or exxperience the emotions and reactions of another gender.
The distress you feel around these ideas is what distinguishes gender dysphoria as a mental health condition, and why not every transgender person experiences gender dysphoria. For those who do, common challenges include:
- Mood Disorders
- Substance Abuse
- Low Self Esteem
- Risky Behavior
- Eating Disorders
- Relationship and Family Problems
Navigating your gender identity and expression is already a challenge for most people. The added discomfort of mood disorders, self-esteem issues, and other stressors can have a significant impact on your daily life and overall well being.
Our Treatment Solutions for Transgender Care in Dallas
The solution for gender dysphoria is unique to every patient depending on what symptoms you experience, what your goals are in terms of your gender identity, and where you are in the process of realizing those goals.
Many of our patients at Aware Behavioral Health come to us when they, or their teenager, is experiencing depression or anxiety in response to their gender identity. Other patients may be in the process of medically transitioning.
Because each person experiences gender and gender dysphoria differently, we emphasize an approach that is built around your needs. Dr. Sehdev begins by exploring your thoughts and feelings about your gender identity and gender expression. Our primary goals are to help you feel true to yourself and minimize any distress you may experience as a result of gender dysphoria, and we can accomplish these through:
- Depression and Anxiety Medication – Medications can minimize feelings of worry, sadness, stress, impulsivity, and hopelessness that can make it difficult to participate at school or fulfill daily responsibilities. We can also create a medication treatment plan to help with any substance abuse or eating disorders that developed alongside gender dysphoria.
- Talk Therapy – For some people, understanding your gender identity can involve extensive self-reflection. We use psychotherapy to guide you towards a better sense of self in the context of your gender identity, and become comfortable affirming that gender identity in any ways that make sense to you.
- Additional Resources – Based on your goals, we can also pursue other resources to assist with understanding gender, navigating family expectation, and more.
A combination of these treatment options, tailored to your needs, can help you decide which ways are right for you when it comes to understanding your gender identity. We can also help you manage the distress caused by mood disorders that occur as a result of gender dysphoria.
Why Contact Aware Behavioral Health for LGBT Mental Health Services in Dallas?
Gender dysphoria can affect your relationships, your performance at work or school, and how you feel in your own body. Speaking with a licensed Dallas psychiatrist gives you the tools to understand and feel like your true self.
With experience in many different treatment methods, Dr. Sehdev provides the support you need to manage gender dysphoria, depression, anxiety, and any other challenges it may bring so that you can live the way you want. Set up an initial appointment so that we can learn more about you personally and get started.