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all or nothing

I was recently Googling "dysphoria management without transitioning" and one of the hits was a thread from the website Susan's Place.org. I had not been there for quite some years and this particular thread had been started by someone who desperately wanted to eliminate their dysphoria and live 100% as a normal male. It had received over 18,000 views to date.

I lived with that hope for many years but then I realized I was trying to do that for everyone else instead of considering what I needed. I have since come to the conclusion that the "all or nothing" proposition is fundamentally a non-workable scenario. The reason for this is simple: you did not create your dysphoria and it requires attention.

The original post was about 3 years old but what I would have advised this person to do is to find some way to soothe the dysphoria by finding a compromise. In other words, don't feed completely into its demands but find middle ground if at all possible. The alternative is to live in a constant state of unresolved anxiety which will only encourage a building of pressure and a potential crisis down the road.

I know all too well that I am in good company with others who don't see transition as a cure-all pill. In fact, during my consult with Helene Cote she told me that even some of her fully transitioned patients still have unresolved dysphoria.

Experimenting with what might help you before resorting to irreversible tactics is probably the way to go. However denying yourself a treatment is asking for the type of crash that I experienced which is not too much fun.

Having said all that, after trying every option you may just discover that transition is what is best for you and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Accepting that truth however, is not always an easy pill to swallow.


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