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The DSM-5

The newest version of the DSM (version 5) describes gender dysphoria as a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months. In children, the desire to be of the other gender must be present and verbalized. This condition causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

It also notes that gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition. Therefore if you are happy with your particular expression of gender you do not suffer from gender dysphoria.

This is an important fact that transgender people should remember. Your expression of gender may vary from a societal norm but as long as you are psychologically stable you are not considered to have a condition according to this latest incarnation of the DSM.

This change in language from gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria has been made in an attempt to not stigmatize transgender people any more than they already are by their respective societies. It also makes the diagnostic name more appropriate to the symptoms and behaviours that they exhibit without jeopardizing access to treatment options.


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