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. Visit rac1 profile page

    About rac1, BSN, RN

    Joined: Nov '15; Posts: 166; Likes: 172

    40 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.
  9. by   RubberRoom
    It's all an attempt by the Left to play identity politics to get votes.
  10. by   Nimrodel
    Hi! Trans (FTM) nursing student here who is doing their best to not be offended at the view of professionals that my identity is a disorder...
    Doing their best but also this is a highly personal issue so I apologise if this comes off as overly aggressive but I need you to understand that your views harm us

    Here's the big, big thing: being trans does not cause mental illness. Are they highly correlated? Yes, absolutely. Why, you ask? Because people (like you) tell us that we shouldn't exist. That our identities are invalid. That we are lesser people. People try to kill us. People refuse to do basic things to make us feel less like ****.

    I hope you can understand why those things are an issue and they would result in mental illness, cause if not, this discussion is totally moot and you are going to do harm to your patients.

    Gender identity is not the problem. SOCIETY is the problem.

    All my trans friends have mental health problems. TBH most of my cis but queer friends do too. Some of them (myself included!) have been hospitalised for mental health. I know one person who refused to go to the hospital when they were really bad and very suicidal because they knew that they'd constantly get deadnamed (that's using a trans person's legal name when they explicitly don't want to be called that/none of the people they choose in their lives call them that) and misgendered. I know it can be hard to understand why those would cause so much of an issue, but they do, especially when they're done by professionals who refuse to try and who don't believe how much worse this makes it. If you are providing care to trans patients, it is vital that you do your best to use their preferred name and pronouns (and encourage other staff to do the same!) because otherwise all that happens is you ostracise us from healthcare, make us worse, and make us refuse to come back when we really need to.

    The trans community doesn't consider our identity to be a mental illness. Any mental health professional that's educated on current issues doesn't view being trans as a mental illness. My psychiatrist whom I've been seeing since I was 13 has made every effort to treat me as a human being, which drastically improves the care I receive from her and my willingness to be open with her.

    There's a reason gender identity disorder was removed from the DSM, and that's because it's no longer considered a mental illness.

    You compare it to anorexia...anorexia has tangible physical effects that can lead to death, and it causes incredible mental strain in and of itself. Trans people in supportive environments have much better mental health than people who live with families who deadname and misgender them every chance they get. That's how you know it's a society issue.

    Further, many trans people will tell you that their mental health got better when they transitioned, especially if their social support system was actually supportive. Since I've come out, my mood has been the best it's been since I was...god...ten years old? Again, the correlation between mental health and being trans is to do with a toxic society.

    If you want to provide the best care for your trans patients, you will listen to them and ask what they need to support them. You will use their preferred name and pronouns. Trans people are the only experts on their own identity, and you have to treat them as such.
  11. by   rac1
    Quote from 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?
    Those are excellent question to pose. I imagine what it comes down to is another question. Which is "what is a detriment of health?" and then further, "what does this person think is a detriment of health?" Which is why this topic is confusing to me.

    Most anorexic people do not believe, or care that they are harming themselves. I don't know if I can say "most", but a number anyway, or transgender people have a really difficult mental and emotional difficulty with what they believe. Is it societal imposed? Maybe, I'm not sure if that is bad, or good.
  12. by   rac1
    Quote from 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.
    Science is not the end all, be all, knowing. It never will be.
  13. by   rac1
    Quote from Nimrodel
    Hi! Trans (FTM) nursing student here who is doing their best to not be offended at the view of professionals that my identity is a disorder...
    Doing their best but also this is a highly personal issue so I apologise if this comes off as overly aggressive but I need you to understand that your views harm us

    Here's the big, big thing: being trans does not cause mental illness. Are they highly correlated? Yes, absolutely. Why, you ask? Because people (like you) tell us that we shouldn't exist. That our identities are invalid. That we are lesser people. People try to kill us. People refuse to do basic things to make us feel less like ****.

    First of all, I totally get that this is a hot topic, and I am coming toward it with an open mind because I am asking, to understand. To listen.

    Next, I don't know that I said (or meant to imply) that "being trans causes mental illness." Moreso, my question was "is believing you're a different sex a mental illness." I still think that is a valid question. Because I believe it is a valid question - does not mean I believe anyone should think any person is less than human, that their identity is invalid, that they should cease to exist. And I certainly do not think it is okay to kill any*ONE*. Those behaviors are inexcusable. Treating a person poorly is just that...someone treating a person poorly. I don't believe my views harm you - I believe that my question is valid and scientific. If someone never question if narcissism was a psychiatric personality disorder, would that be okay? A narcissist could say all of the things that you said above. Would those words coming from them be just as valid as yours?



    Quote from Nimrodel
    The trans community doesn't consider our identity to be a mental illness. Any mental health professional that's educated on current issues doesn't view being trans as a mental illness. My psychiatrist whom I've been seeing since I was 13 has made every effort to treat me as a human being, which drastically improves the care I receive from her and my willingness to be open with her.

    There's a reason gender identity disorder was removed from the DSM, and that's because it's no longer considered a mental illness.
    This is why I came to pose the question. Because I really don't know. What is the reason that it is not a psychiatric illness? Can you explain that to me? That is what I am looking for. What happened to a person that they feel like the opposite gender that every piece of DNA in their body assigned to them?

    Quote from Nimrodel
    You compare it to anorexia...anorexia has tangible physical effects that can lead to death, and it causes incredible mental strain in and of itself. Trans people in supportive environments have much better mental health than people who live with families who deadname and misgender them every chance they get. That's how you know it's a society issue.
    I think that my analogy was close, but I don't think it is perfect, by any means. I think people don't know WHAT to say to transgendered people. I mean, be honest. A person is born with the DNA that explains to us "FEMALE." But standing in front of me is a person that says "nope, I'm male." What do you expect us to think? To me, that IS similar to a person that is standing in front of me starving themselves to bone, and saying "Look at me. I'm fat. I feel fat." I would argue that transgenderism has similar tangible physical effects too, which causes extreme mental strain. So we could then say that anorexia is a society issue, could we not?

    Quote from Nimrodel
    Further, many trans people will tell you that their mental health got better when they transitioned, especially if their social support system was actually supportive. Since I've come out, my mood has been the best it's been since I was...god...ten years old? Again, the correlation between mental health and being trans is to do with a toxic society.
    I would argue with you here too, because I read a study that explained that mental health issues, suicide rate and suicide ideation is extremely high in those that have transitioned. I believe it talked about the surgery relieving gender dysphoria, but not the mental health issues. I would agree that the social support system would improve that, but I am still not certain that we know whether or not this is or is not a mental health disorder. Where is the line? How do you draw the line? How do we "allow" or "disallow" people to really feel the way they feel inside. What about the people that believe they are animals, or African American? What about the anorexic people? Why shouldn't they be allowed to live that way? Why call it a disorder at all? Why not help them to feel mentally healthy in the lifestyle they feel happiest living?

    Quote from Nimrodel
    If you want to provide the best care for your trans patients, you will listen to them and ask what they need to support them. You will use their preferred name and pronouns. Trans people are the only experts on their own identity, and you have to treat them as such.
    I am not convinced that "trans people are the only experts on their own identity," as being the end of the sentence. I believe that they believe and that they are living inside a person they do not feel represents them. I am not wholly convinced that there is enough scientific evidence that it is not a mental disorder. But I am totally open to it.

    I also believe that people hear voices telling them to do harmful things. I believe that the anorexic believes s/he's fat still. I believe the narcissist only understands his point of view. I believe that paranoid person really believes they cannot trust anyone.

    None of these people are wrong. They really feel those feelings, and hear those things. Our brains are capable of a vast array of differences.

    But I also would not say that they are fine to live that way their entire lives, although many can and do.

    I do see how female child that feels like a male from say the age of 5....could have major mental, emotional (and physical) harm from a young age from society, especially family, and that the mental health aspect comes in that way.

    But where is the evidence that shows that the 5 year old does NOT have a mental disorder believing s/he is the opposite sex? Where is that evidence? That is all I am asking.

    I also do not mean to offend. I really asked this question because I want to know the answer. Thank you for taking your time to share.
  14. by   elkpark
    Quote from rac1
    Those are excellent question to pose. I imagine what it comes down to is another question. Which is "what is a detriment of health?" and then further, "what does this person think is a detriment of health?" Which is why this topic is confusing to me.

    Most anorexic people do not believe, or care that they are harming themselves. I don't know if I can say "most", but a number anyway, or transgender people have a really difficult mental and emotional difficulty with what they believe. Is it societal imposed? Maybe, I'm not sure if that is bad, or good.
    I believe the point Julius was making (not to put words in anyone's mouth, but how I read the post) is that untreated AN will kill you. I believe that is what was meant by "detrimental to the person's health." Being transgendered will not, by itself, result in your death (or even damage your general health). People can live long, healthy lives as transgendered people.

    This topic isn't nearly as complicated or confusing as you've made it out to be. Being transgendered is not a mental illness. The psychiatric community that defines, for better or worse, what are considered psychiatric illnesses in our society has said that it's not.

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