My own view of the transgendered or gender dysphoric person’s journey has not changed and my earlier commentary describing the process, written for this website in 2012, remains unedited.
I am as convinced as ever of the individual nature of the trajectory in life that each of us must boldly take and remain available to help where I can.
Definition of Gender Dysphoria: A condition where a person feels they are trapped within a body of the wrong sex. Where this is persistent and severe the dysphoria may be termed transsexualism.
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) list three diagnostic criteria for transsexualism:
1. The desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by the wish to make his or her body as congruent as possible with the preferred sex through surgery and hormone treatment
2. The transsexual identity has been present persistently for at least two years
3. The disorder is not a symptom of another mental disorder or a chromosomal abnormality
Uncertainty about gender identity which causes anxiety or stress is diagnosed as sexual maturation disorder.
Optimal Health provides a service to guide individuals through the process of gender transition. This includes confirmation of the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, counselling, hormonal support for feminization/masculinization, and referral to other supporting services and ultimately, if wanted, to a surgeon.
The process of transition is one where we see our function primarily, within the limits of professional practice, as supportive of the individual in their pursuit of a clear sense of their gender identity.
Though our own services are private we work, for preference, with NHS GP’s on a shared care basis.
For a more detailed description of the transgender experience and further information we invite you to refer to NHS Choice. There you will find links to The Gender Recognition Act 2004, a description of the legal position regarding transsexualism, how to apply to the Gender Panel for gender recognition and accounts of individuals who have successfully been through the process of transition.
Please contact Optimal Health’s Practice Manager on 020 74367713 for consultation times and charges.
Good Practice Guidelines for the Assessment and Treatment of Adults with Gender Dysphoria came out, after a long gestation period, as a Report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in October 2013 and the full report may be read on the RCPsych website at http//www.rcpsych.ac.uk.