dysphoria and ageing

I have said previously in this blog that I feel dysphoria worsens with age but I am now rethinking that notion. What I think happens instead is that we finally succumb to the years of pressure with increasingly weakened defenses.

By now your testosterone levels are lowering and you have grappling with your feelings likely since the age of 4 or 5. It's a long haul to get that far without some form of treatment method. We all have coping strategies but sometimes they stop working after a while.

I think what happens when we get older is we become less inhibited and realize that life is short. We place less importance on what people think of us and how we will be judged. Our kids are older and we are less concerned about how this will impact them.

All of this has happened to me when I was convinced it wouldn't. But here I am following in the footsteps of people whose websites I visited many years ago when I was trying to figure myself out. Because it's been so slow and organic it didn't feel it was a massive leap. It was.

Some of those people had transitioned but many had not. I now understand better why because there are no hard and fast rules here and people are as different as the stars in the heavens.

If you are still calling yourself an occasional crossdresser when this has been with you since earliest memory and you find it harder and harder to cope I beseech you to do something about it. This is not about betraying a loved one or letting someone down but about treating your condition. Find something that works for you but before that come out to your family and friends and allow them to help you do it. I am not convinced that someone who truly loves you wouldn't allow this. You may just find that the rejection you are expecting may be far less significant than you think while the release on your soul will be exponentially beneficial.

I remember my ex-wife telling me she went to see the head of the Montreal General gender identity clinic who told her that she should understand that this wasn't a choice for people like me. She understood the words but we ended up divorcing anyway as there were other issues at play. It wasn't my dysphoria that was the back breaker but it certainly didn't help either.

In the end it was the right thing for both of us.


  1. Our experiences certainly dovetail Joanna.
    The idea of "getting treated" might not seem correct for some, feeling that calling what ails us a condition is wrong. I might have even argued against that at one time.
    I would say now that anyone living with the pressures on us should at the very least find a psychotherapist. Mine helped me to understand all of the co-related issues. Knowing what parts of depression are a result of your sex and what else is contributing is so helpful.

    In my case, it helped me to understand why it took me so long to deal with what can best be described at this point as a birth defect.

  2. Halle I know there are people who have trouble with the idea of a condition. Perhaps it is more a birth defect but we cannot know. I think its more the idea that we need to treat the effects of all those years of pressure and turmoil and come to terms.

  3. Thank you for sharing these thoughts Joanna - they completely resonate with me.

    I've thought the same thing about testosterone. That as it drops as we get older that "masculine drive" lessens, and so we become less that, and maybe a bit more feminine

  4. Joanna, those first three paragraphs are so spot on, especially about the realization that life is short and being less inhibited by what people might think as you get older. And that, at some point, you have to stop living for other people, and start living for what you want and need for yourself, because nobody else will do it for you. That may mean some difficult decisions. In my case, I think I'm rapidly approaching that crunch point if I don't want to look back and realize I've lived whole life as no more than a coping strategy.

    1. You are the only one that knows what you need Susie. Every road is different and unique but don't forget to consider how what you decide will affect those you love and love you back. Its not obvious by any means

  5. For some of us it that your coping/suppressing/hiding/denying/etc mechanisms start to break down, because they take too much mental/emotional/physical energy to maintain.

    That was my case.

    For many we develop all sorts of ways of dealing with it, 'hyper masculine' persuits is not uncommon, extreme sports, intense intellectual jobs and interests...and all the other many ways.

    In my case they gave temporary relief form my dysphoria because I ws 100% involved in them, so there was no time to think about or feel anything else.

    But eventually I ran out of energy to maintain them and had to face myself ...or die. Not uncommon by any means.

    1. I did just the same and simply ran out of diversions. I plunged head first into activities hoping to distract myself and it worked for a time.


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