Gender Dysphoria and Mindful Self Compassion

 

What is Gender Dysphoria?

It’s a mental health diagnosis that clinicians use when people are different from their assigned at birth gender.  It’s also used to describe the feelings of dislike for their body related to gender some people have for themselves.

Gender Dysphoria and the DSM V

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, is what clinicians use to diagnose people with mental health concerns. People who know they are different than their assigned at birth gender can be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is often used when clinicians are writing hormone and surgery letters for their clients.  In addition, there have been some recent conversations on the need for gender dysphoria to be classified as a mental health illness in the DSM V.  There are also conversations of the need to use the diagnosis in letters. Those conversations are continuing. Informed consent is also an option for transition.

Gender Dysphoria Can Hurt

Gender dysphoria is more than a diagnosis.  It can be emotionally painful experience and feeling of dislike of your body or other ways you feel to yourself.  It can lead to depression, anxiety, feelings of self-harm, shame and guilt.  If you are experiencing dysphoria and have these painful feelings, it’s important to get help for your emotions.  Seeking therapy by a gender therapist can help you through these feelings so that you may have better days. If there is not a gender therapist near you, gender therapists can offer online video therapy.

Mindful Self Compassion

Getting through periods of dysphoria can be difficult for some people.  Something I use to help is called mindful self-compassion. Mindful self-compassion is taught in an eight-week course with a half day retreat. It’s offered by trained clinicians.  Although, some of the meditations can be useful to people with gender dysphoria.  I help learn to use kindness and self compassion.

It’s best to work with a therapist if you have dysphoria. But, you can start learning to be kind to yourself right now. Practicing kindness to yourself can just feel good. Mediation doesn’t have to be corny. Being kind and compassionate to your feelings and your body is one step in feeling less dysphoric. Ask yourself, how do I practice kindness to myself?  What is one new way I could practice kindness to myself? How do I feel when I am kind to myself?

Seeking Help for Gender Dysphoria

Currently, you can work with me if you live in Georgia or travel to my office. I offer in person sessions in Decatur, Georgia as well as video session throughout the state. I can be reached directly by the contact forms on this website and appointments can be made online.  You can also call me at 404-948-6186. Crisis lines are available nationally including the Trans Life Line at 1-877-565-8860. In Georgia the Georgia Crisis and Access Line is 1-800-715-4225.

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315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. Suite 1055
Decatur, GA 30030

katie@katieleikam.com
404-800-7586



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