gender "issues"

  1. I am looking for articles, studies, books.... on the gender identity issues.

    I had the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Success book from 2009, and it had chapters in it for gender identity "disorders." The updated newest version is retitled "issues related to sexuality."

    As a provider of health care, I do not feel it is responsible of me to believe that gender identity issues are "normal," if in fact they are actually not. It seems to me this is a similar psychological issue as anorexia. The person feels fat, believes they are fat, does everything in their power to keep themselves from gaining weight - no one can convince them that they are not fat. We don't walk around pretending that they are normal. We tell them they need help. So I am struggling with the politics of these gender issues that are in the media, news, and within the healthcare community.

    I have not studied, nor were we taught about this topic AT ALL in school. I know homosexuality used to be classified as a mental illness, and of course now it is not. I have read some articles that likened gender identity to homosexuality saying that being homosexual used to cause great distress and turmoil, and therefore it was classified as a mental illness, and so similarly this is why gender identity was classified as a mental illness.

    Is it about the numbers? The more people that do it, means that it is actually NOT an illness? I mean, if more and more people start becoming anorexic, then it becomes okay, and not such a distressing life event..? Obviously there are physical implications that are different here, nonetheless...there are physical manifestations of any mental illness.

    Trying to wrap my head around all of this and come to grips with providing good care and good mental health if/when I run into this growing population (or growing vocal population I should say).

    Also, want to add, I am open to all sides of this. I do not judge people for the way they want to live. That is not my intent here at all. My goal is to provide the best care possible, but is it, or is it not a mental health issue..??
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   A.M. Wolf
    As health care providers, we should always take a humanist perspective and believe in people as people for people. As human understanding grows and changes, so must society along with it.

    And as the great David Lo Pan said, "You were not brought upon this world to 'get it'".
  4. by   Glycerine82
    Its not a mental health issue if they've been dx with gender dysphoria. Just do some research on the subject and let science decide for you. Thats what I do.
  5. by   Julius Seizure
    Consider this:

    If anorexia were socially acceptable (and the person didn't want to "recover"), would it still be detrimental to the person's health?

    If being transgender were socially acceptable (and the person didn't want to "recover"), would it still be detrimental to the person's health?
  6. by   Sabrina90
    I want to thank you for asking this question. This is something that I've wondered myself but have been afraid to ask for fear of being called close minded or uncaring. I work with individuals who live with persistent delusions (believing they're pregnant when there aren't any medical signs of this, believing that they were born as a horse, etc) and I can't help but notice the similarities between these individuals and others who are expressing concerns about their gender. However, I think an important part of providing good health care is to recognize that the people you are working with are human first and foremost. Whether what they're experiencing is classified as a mental health issue or not might not be as important as you think.
  7. by   nurse lala
    To a certain degree people will adopt whatever disease de jour they see in the news. Reference Gluten-intolerance. A very small percentage of people actually suffer from it. So explain that. What is the deal with the others? hypochondriacs? delusional? Gullible? There are studies on this phenomena.

    I believe Gender Dysphoria is real. Just like anorexia is real.

    Please find Peer-reviewed articles on Gender Identity at MedScape.
  8. by   5HT123
    I think it could be useful for your own interest (and trans clients) to take a workshop in queer competency training and/or research lived experiences from trans individuals. Gender dysphoria can certainly influence mental health, although some trans individuals do not experience dysphoria. If you respect pronouns, don't ask unnecessary invasive questions, and use gender-neutral anatomy (e.g glans, chest) that will help. I am speaking from personal experience from having numerous trans friends and working within the queer health community. I'm still a psych nursing student so excuse my lack of jargon.

    You could check out in Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano, websites like everyday feminism, or even blogs. If your city has an LGBTQ resource centre you could contact them about getting some training.