seeking professional guidance

When the DSM changed the nomenclature from gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria the psychiatric community was acknowledging that they no longer considered the condition to be a mental disorder. This was good in that the stigma was removed for those who care about such things and I think most transgender people should.

Having it remain a mental disorder left one with the impression that this was the product of a delusional mind and that despite its offer of treatment, the psychiatric community was saying it could provide a solution without necessarily standing behind the patient’s claims.

After all, this was the same method used by Ray Blanchard who, while recognizing that his patients benefited from transition, wrote about them much like the man who thought he was Napoleon. They were to be pitied and helped but not necessarily to be believed.

This is why my scepticism of the psychological community remains strong and why I think it’s important to act as your own healer while perhaps relying on other gender dysphorics for comfort and support. If nothing else, at least they understand your situation first hand.

Even when I was confessing my life story to the trainee sexologist at the hospital gender clinic, I realised that what she was mostly doing was letting me use her as a sounding board. Not to say that it was not a cathartic experience but most the heavy lifting came years later when I had to confront my own monsters during many quiet moments of reflection.

The mind is amazing organ in that it can talk itself in and out of things. We train it over time and some things become hard wired and take an enormous amount of time to undo. The more you were a product of brainwashing the more work you would need to do to find a new baseline for your thinking. We live in our prisms and filter truth in our biased fashion which is why what we have been taught can often become a formidable obstacle.

The treatment method for your dysphoria is a highly personal thing and you cannot nor should you expect absolutes to apply. One of the best things I read was the website of Chriss Pagani who herself questioned most of what was considered sacrosanct by many in our community. She was one of my models when I was mired in my heaviest questioning periods. Turns out the right question wasn't whether I was a woman or not but rather what would be the best method to treat my gender dysphoria.

My opinion is that seeking professional guidance when you need it is good but at the end of the day no one can tell you what to do or how to proceed.


Comments

  1. In regards to this particular subject.
    I think that a great deal of injustice is done when the psychiatric community attempts to fit people into theoretical boxes because not every person can actually be classified, therefore it is a pointless exercise.

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  2. I completely agree. There is also the danger that you will be guided along a certain path by group think or by a well meaning but misguided therapist. I understand why we set up safe guards because without them some unwell people could slip through the cracks and transition but we need to be mindful that much is not known about this subject still and we are only really going by the discomfort level of the patient with their birth sex and nothing else.

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  3. When interacting with transgender people online, I often find myself recommending seeing a therapist, but I always do so with some trepidation: It is not only that they may see a transphobic "specialist". They may also end up with a well meaning, but helpless one.

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  4. What can occur is that the dysphoric is often more educated than the therapist and then end up with very little actually useful guidance.

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  5. Yes, and especially if you bring up things like crossdreaming. There is also the problem that too many of them have become pill distributors. We need someone to talk to, and even if they do not know all things trans, an empathic listeners may help us on the way. But if they look for the solution in a pill alone, we may be left drifting, rudderless.

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