Gender Identity Disorder
How Is Gender Identity Disorder Treated?
Individual and family counseling usually is recommended to treat children with gender identity disorder. Counseling focuses on treating the associated problems of depression and anxiety and on improving self-esteem. Therapy also aims at helping the individual function as well as possible within his or her biological gender.
Counseling is recommended for adults, as is involvement in a support group. Some transsexual adults request hormone and surgical treatments to suppress their biological sex characteristics and to achieve those of the opposite sex. The surgical alteration of a person's sex is called gender reassignment surgery (sometimes referred to as a "sex change" operation). Because this surgery is major and irreversible, candidates for surgery must undergo an extensive evaluation and transition period.
What Are the Complications of Gender Identity Disorder?
If not addressed, the disorder can cause a poor self-image, social isolation, and emotional distress. Untreated, the disorder can also cause severe depression and anxiety, and can interfere with an individual's ability to function, leading to problems in school or work, or with developing relationships.