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Old 11-01-2017, 08:20 AM
Blalron Blalron is offline
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Are all transgendered people mentally ill?

The other night, my roommate decided to get into an argument with me about transgendered people. He's a fan of the political commentator Ben Shapiro, who makes the claim that ALL transgendered are mentally ill. He points to the high suicide rates of trans people as evidence of this claim. My reply was that while many trans folk have depression and anxiety issues, not all of them do. I see no reason to label 100% of them as mentally ill. If you are able to function well in life, hold down a job, obey the law, and have satisfying relationships with other people, I see no reason to label that person as having a mental disorder. I view it as a variation in human personality, like being gay or left handed.

I'm by no means an expert on this issue, so I welcome the feedback of the SDMB.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:48 AM
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Apart from anything else wrong with your roommate's argument, the inversion of causality is noteworthy. If you have lots and lots of people - including your parents, teachers, doctors, priests and elected officials - telling you that something fundamentally ingrained in your sense of self demonstrates that you are "mentally ill" (not to mention "sinful", "broken", "perverted", "sick", "evil", "depraved", etc.), you are much more like to suffer from depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies.

Driving someone to suicide and then saying "See? I told you there was something wrong with them!" is not only a logical fail but a moral one.

Last edited by Gyrate; 11-01-2017 at 08:50 AM.
  #3  
Old 11-01-2017, 08:41 PM
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If you have lots and lots of people - including your parents, teachers, doctors, priests and elected officials - telling you that something fundamentally ingrained in your sense of self demonstrates that you are "mentally ill" (not to mention "sinful", "broken", "perverted", "sick", "evil", "depraved", etc.), you are much more like to suffer from depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies.

Driving someone to suicide and then saying "See? I told you there was something wrong with them!" is not only a logical fail but a moral one.
Let's do a survey, called "what's happening on Una's Facebook feed today."

Of the first 25 transgender persons on my feed, 8 of them are posting today about a serious problem in their life that is related to being transgender.

1) Wife took both kids to Oklahoma, refuses to follow court order of visitation because transgender woman (former husband) is "a destructive influence on the gender identity of the children." Doesn't have the money to hire an attorney because they lost their job coming out and has spent $$$ already. Has posted about "giving up."

2) Sex worker, who is having trouble making rent because she was beaten two weekends ago. Used to have a job paying $50k, now works minimum wage and supplements by sex work).

3) Transgender man needs a cheaper way to get hormones because he cannot afford them due to being underemployed (was a retail manager before coming out, now works 20 hours a week selling tires.)

4) Transgender teen who is afraid to go to school due to bullying. Has posted about "giving up."

5) Transgender woman who is trying to come to grips with her new church (she had to leave her old church of 30+ years due to discrimination when she came out.)

6) Transgender veteran concerned deeply because the VA doctor told her Trump might soon make it illegal for them to give her hormones.

7) Transgender woman in the middle of a nasty divorce involving kids. Has posed of emotional and physical abuse from her soon-to-be-ex. Has posted about "giving up."

8) Very lonely gender non-conforming person who hasn't had a second date in 3 years (since they came out) because when they reveal their gender identity on the first date, the other half heads for the hills. Has posted about "giving up."

Just 8 people out of 25 in a random sampling. Some days it's so bad I have to tune out, because otherwise it's overwhelming.

Last edited by Una Persson; 11-01-2017 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:31 AM
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Just 8 people out of 25 in a random sampling. Some days it's so bad I have to tune out, because otherwise it's overwhelming.
You have my deep sympathy - it must be excruciating feeling the weight of other people's problems as well as your own.

Don't you give up.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:10 PM
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You have my deep sympathy - it must be excruciating feeling the weight of other people's problems as well as your own.

Don't you give up.
Thank you. My Facebook-focused post was just to show that the gender dysphoria isn't the killer for us, not nearly as much as the lack of support and the discrimination. The only thing that will cause me to give up is if Fierra's cancer takes her life.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:47 AM
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8) Very lonely gender non-conforming person who hasn't had a second date in 3 years (since they came out) because when they reveal their gender identity on the first date, the other half heads for the hills. Has posted about "giving up."
No doubt being transgender is tough. I don't think society has a very good understanding of that transgender means. I know I don't.

BUT, I don't know what you do about rejection by people who don't want date a transgender person. I don't think you can blame people for that.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:32 AM
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BUT, I don't know what you do about rejection by people who don't want date a transgender person. I don't think you can blame people for that.
No of course not, but if we as a society stop making such a big deal about transgender identity (and gender norms in general), then the number of people open to dating transgender people will naturally increase. We as a society don't get to tell individuals what their dating preferences should be, but it's a fact that general trends in dating preferences follow societal norms.

Back in the days of Jim Crow, for example, a large proportion of white Americans had very negative feelings about dating a black person. Now that our society is more (though still far from entirely) integrated, many more white people are willing to date interracially.

Nobody went around forcing or exhorting individual white people to date black people if they didn't want to, and nobody's going to make cisgender individuals date transgender people if they don't want to. But in all such cases, societal acceptance generally results in higher levels of individual acceptance.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:20 AM
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No of course not, but if we as a society stop making such a big deal about transgender identity (and gender norms in general), then the number of people open to dating transgender people will naturally increase. We as a society don't get to tell individuals what their dating preferences should be, but it's a fact that general trends in dating preferences follow societal norms.

Back in the days of Jim Crow, for example, a large proportion of white Americans had very negative feelings about dating a black person. Now that our society is more (though still far from entirely) integrated, many more white people are willing to date interracially.

Nobody went around forcing or exhorting individual white people to date black people if they didn't want to, and nobody's going to make cisgender individuals date transgender people if they don't want to. But in all such cases, societal acceptance generally results in higher levels of individual acceptance.
The population of black women and Asian men that face challenges in the dating market eclipses the population of transgender folks who are having dating issues. And frankly the difference between skin color and being transgender are much more profound. It can be really hard to have kids with someone who is transgender.

If you want to talk about violence, discrimination on the job, etc. Then I'm right there next to you. But frankly, I think its probably more honest to tell someone you are transgender before your first date. Because being transgender is in fact a big deal, its probably one of the defining characteristics of your identity.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:32 AM
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No of course not, but if we as a society stop making such a big deal about transgender identity (and gender norms in general), then the number of people open to dating transgender people will naturally increase
I don't understand what you mean here. Increasing society's acceptance of transgender identity will lead more people to change their sexual orientation?
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:13 PM
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No doubt being transgender is tough. I don't think society has a very good understanding of that transgender means. I know I don't.

BUT, I don't know what you do about rejection by people who don't want date a transgender person. I don't think you can blame people for that.
I don't believe I did cast blame on those rejecting us for not wanting to date or have a relationship with us. It is, sadly, what it is.

But part of it is a societal stigma that is contributed to by those spreading FUD. The more negativity in the press, from our President and other Republicans, from hate groups, or from well-meaning but ignorant people, the more stigma is attached to us. Who bears responsibility for those contributing factors?
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:04 PM
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I don't believe I did cast blame on those rejecting us for not wanting to date or have a relationship with us. It is, sadly, what it is.

But part of it is a societal stigma that is contributed to by those spreading FUD. The more negativity in the press, from our President and other Republicans, from hate groups, or from well-meaning but ignorant people, the more stigma is attached to us. Who bears responsibility for those contributing factors?
What is FUD?

In the context of withholding material information to someone you want to be romantically involved with, what does it matter who bears responsibility for the stigma? Do you think that being transgender is something that the reasonable person would consider a material fact?

Why wouldn't you share such a material fact? Out of fear of rejection? What's the plan? Keep the charade going long enough that they fall so far in love with you that they will be able to overcome the stigma and just go with it?
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:01 AM
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He's a fan of the political commentator Ben Shapiro
Honestly, you are not going to make any headway with this person on any argument on any subject using any rhetorical or logical method. Best to just say, "Mmm, interesting" and change the subject. The whole MO of these political commentators is to make provocative unsupported statements, usually about some "other" that they consider beneath themselves. People who are fans of this type of discourse are to be avoided if possible.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:21 AM
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Honestly, you are not going to make any headway with this person on any argument on any subject using any rhetorical or logical method. Best to just say, "Mmm, interesting" and change the subject. The whole MO of these political commentators is to make provocative unsupported statements, usually about some "other" that they consider beneath themselves. People who are fans of this type of discourse are to be avoided if possible.
They must be mentally ill.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:31 AM
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Honestly, you are not going to make any headway with this person on any argument on any subject using any rhetorical or logical method. Best to just say, "Mmm, interesting" and change the subject. The whole MO of these political commentators is to make provocative unsupported statements, usually about some "other" that they consider beneath themselves. People who are fans of this type of discourse are to be avoided if possible.
Ben Shapiro is one of the more lucid, logical conservatives today. If you can't handle him them you simply cannot communicate with conservatives.
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:33 PM
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Honestly, you are not going to make any headway with this person on any argument on any subject using any rhetorical or logical method. Best to just say, "Mmm, interesting" and change the subject. The whole MO of these political commentators is to make provocative unsupported statements, usually about some "other" that they consider beneath themselves. People who are fans of this type of discourse are to be avoided if possible.
Your provocative unsupported statements are quite chortle-worthy.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:05 AM
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Gender is not based on DNA XX,XY, but hormones or something released while in the womb at the time of sexual development determines gender. Therefore it does not seem discrete 0 or 1, but some continum. Add to that we are made to be sexual beings and also seek out love, and form our 'love mapping' from a early age , and we do and suppose to conform to our environment. As horny creatures by design there seems to be a lot of leeway.

So by that I would say it's not a mental illness, but a design feature.

What may be a mental illness is for people to be so opposed to people with differing sexual preferences. Though enforced conformity is the force that forms societies.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:07 AM
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Gender is not based on DNA XX,XY, but hormones or something released while in the womb at the time of sexual development determines gender. Therefore it does not seem discrete 0 or 1, but some continum. Add to that we are made to be sexual beings and also seek out love, and form our 'love mapping' from a early age , and we do and suppose to conform to our environment. As horny creatures by design there seems to be a lot of leeway.

So by that I would say it's not a mental illness, but a design feature.

What may be a mental illness is for people to be so opposed to people with differing sexual preferences. Though enforced conformity is the force that forms societies.
Just to be clear here: gender identity is a separate issue to sexual orientation. The former is about who you are; the latter is about who you are attracted to.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:41 AM
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Just to be clear here: gender identity is a separate issue to sexual orientation. The former is about who you are; the latter is about who you are attracted to.
Good point and catch but I don't know it's as separate as you make it sound either. Gender identity does have perhaps a primary role of 'who am I', but that does then bring in the 'who are you, in relation to me'. And it does not mean male/female sex organs, but 'I am this', 'I sense you are that' and 'I feel this towards you' or perhaps more likely 'I feel this from you' (since love mapping is typically adult to child programming ).
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:19 AM
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The other night, my roommate decided to get into an argument with me about transgendered people. He's a fan of the political commentator Ben Shapiro, who makes the claim that ALL transgendered are mentally ill. He points to the high suicide rates of trans people as evidence of this claim. My reply was that while many trans folk have depression and anxiety issues, not all of them do. I see no reason to label 100% of them as mentally ill. If you are able to function well in life, hold down a job, obey the law, and have satisfying relationships with other people, I see no reason to label that person as having a mental disorder. I view it as a variation in human personality, like being gay or left handed.
Vietnam veterans also have a higher suicide rate. Does your roommate think they are all mentally ill also?
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:40 AM
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Vietnam veterans also have a higher suicide rate. Does your roommate think they are all mentally ill also?
Point of order: PTSD is a mental illness (or rather a "disorder" - I'm not sure if there is a nuanced difference between an "illness" and a "disorder" or whether the latter has replaced the former in common parlance) and one can draw a straight line between serving in Vietnam and suffering from PTSD. Comparisons to transgenderism are, at best, either very, very broad or very, very murky.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:07 PM
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Vietnam veterans also have a higher suicide rate. Does your roommate think they are all mentally ill also?
Native American also have a higher suicide rate so the roommate may think they're mentally ill too.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:37 AM
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Let's ask at the 1950s insane asylum.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:39 AM
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I think both of you are wrong for stigmatizing mental illness as something that means a person is bad. Your roommate for using it as a justification for being a dick to trans people, and you for treating diagnosis of an illness as something shameful that means a person is bad. Mental illness is not a moral or personal failing, and both of your positions are hugely off-base. Lots of people have some degree of mental illness, and it's certainly higher among trans people, but having a treatable medical condition isn't a reason to look down on a person or justify treating them badly.

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Vietnam veterans also have a higher suicide rate. Does your roommate think they are all mentally ill also?
Lots of Vietnam veterans ARE mentally ill, treatment of PTSD used to be incredibly awful if it was even acknowledged as a diagnosis. Treating 'mentally ill' as an insult just makes it harder for them to get decent treatment.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:45 PM
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Lots of Vietnam veterans ARE mentally ill, treatment of PTSD used to be incredibly awful if it was even acknowledged as a diagnosis. Treating 'mentally ill' as an insult just makes it harder for them to get decent treatment.
There is a HUGE distinction between "group X has higher rates of mental illness" and "X is a mental illness", and it has nothing to do with stigma or insults.

By saying it is a mental illness you are saying the characteristics of X are symptoms of a mental illness, and should be treated no differently to the hallucinations a schizophrenic suffers. If being a Vietnam Veteran is a mental illness we shouldn't be going around making memorials and documentaries about the delusional symptoms vets suffer, like remembering their fallen comrades. Likewise for transgendered people.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:10 PM
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First of all you have to define what mental illness is.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:56 PM
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First of all you have to define what mental illness is.
Yeah. In Spain you need a diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" to have your gender changed in ID and to get sex reassignment treatment through the public system. Problem: since the previous sentence includes the word "diagnosis", now you have a psychiatric diagnosis. People who have started the reassignment process while already in the police or fire departments are ok, but those who start it and later try to join aren't allowed to due to having received a psychiatric diagnosis (the military does accept people in the second case).

Personally and given how easy it is to get a psychiatric diagnosis (just be one of the people reciving psychological/psychiatric counseling after a disaster, for example), the whole thing seems completely inside out. It's not the only process that's kind of backwards though: for example, most people will use in any kind of ID their name as it appears in their government-issued ID. What do you need in order to change your name in government ID? Well, among other things, two pieces of ID which display your preferred name.
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Last edited by Nava; 11-01-2017 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:39 PM
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Yeah. In Spain you need a diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" to have your gender changed in ID and to get sex reassignment treatment through the public system. Problem: since the previous sentence includes the word "diagnosis", now you have a psychiatric diagnosis.
Yeah, which makes it a bit circular, in a petitio principii way, to then say that trans folks are mentally ill.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:36 PM
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First of all you have to define what mental illness is.
The 1959 Midtown Manhattan Survey found that 81.5% of people had some form of psychpathology. 23.4% were severely impaired. In the 70s it was claimed that 66% of Americans suffered from psychotic or neurotic disorders into which they had no insight. President Carter's wife said: "My primary concern is the mental health of the American people". Around that time several journalists speculated as to what would happen if a psychiatrist became president. In 1999 the Surgeon General of the United States declared that "All mental illness is biological". Around the same time psychiatrist Dr David Kaiser commented: "Psychiatry has lost its mind, and with it the minds of its patients"
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:28 PM
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I wouldn't characterize transgenderism as a mental illness.

But certainly a lot of those who are transgendered suffer from social phobias associated with it.

It's hard enough for us normal, well-adjusted people to function in society.

Now imagine feeling trapped in the wrong body, from birth, and having to explain that to your friends, family, parents, teachers.

This is why the suicide rate is high amongst trans people. And this is why unconditional family support is paramount.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:40 PM
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I wouldn't characterize transgenderism as a mental illness.

But certainly a lot of those who are transgendered suffer from social phobias associated with it.

It's hard enough for us normal, well-adjusted people to function in society.

Now imagine feeling trapped in the wrong body, from birth, and having to explain that to your friends, family, parents, teachers.

This is why the suicide rate is high amongst trans people. And this is why unconditional family support is paramount.
This is an excellent response, nicely done!
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:36 PM
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There is a danger of getting lost in a series of arguments about the definition of terms. With that said there are a variety of conditions dubbed Disorders of Sexual Development which Shapiro regularly includes in his description of transgendered persons.

It is simply ridiculous to suppose that a person with a 46XX chromosome complement who has Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and who develops outwardly in a manner typical of a 46XY male is somehow mentally ill. The same can be said of a 46XY person with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome who appears outwardly female. CAH and CAIS are well studied medical issues cause directly by genetic factors, as are dozens more conditions which affect reproductive physiology.

And yet Shapiro parrots the outdated idea that all persons with XY chromosomes are male and all persons with XX chromosomes are female and anything that does not fit this binary must be due to a mental illness of transgenderism.

Ben Shapiro is trained as a lawyer. Don't rely on him for medical advice.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:45 PM
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In the US the DSM-5 is what designates disorders (i.e. what are recognized mental illnesses by medical professionals). Gender identity disorder was dropped from the manual thus, in the US, transgender is not a disorder in a medical or legal sense.

Quote:
...“gender identity disorder” was dropped from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), U.S. psychiatry’s bible for diagnosing mental illness. A new condition called “gender dysphoria” was added to diagnose and treat those transgender individuals who felt distress at the mismatch between their identities and their bodies. The new diagnosis recognized that a mismatch between one’s birth gender and identity was not necessarily pathological, notes pediatric endocrinologist Norman Spack, a founder of the gender clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital. It shifted the emphasis in treatment from fixing a disorder to resolving distress over the mismatch.*

Spack compares the DSM-5’s new definition as similar in effect to its 1973 declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness.

SOURCE: https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...r-a-diagnosis/
The World Health Organization is working to remove it as well:

Quote:
According to the World Health Organization, being transgender is a mental illness.

But that could soon change, as the WHO prepares a new edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), its global codebook that influences disease diagnostic manuals worldwide. The current version, ICD-10, was endorsed in 1990, and ICD-11 is due in 2018.

SOURCE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...out-to-change/

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 11-01-2017 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:56 PM
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Vietnam veterans also have a higher suicide rate. Does your roommate think they are all mentally ill also?
Not the best example is this? So many vets came back seriously damaged. My sister's best friend's husband was one of the many delayed casualities that committed suicide not too long after his return from that hell.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:13 PM
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Not the best example is this? So many vets came back seriously damaged. My sister's best friend's husband was one of the many delayed casualities that committed suicide not too long after his return from that hell.
I know. My brother worked in a center for them. But all?
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:19 PM
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I know. My brother worked in a center for them. But all?
Well no, not all, but it does seem like too many. Wasn't helped by being the war that wasn't really support at home the way prior and later wars were. I remember WWII vets complaining Vietnam vets were whiny. I remember people in the same age group saying they would take off for Canada before fighting a war for big business or becoming a baby killer. It was extra ugly for these vets. No glory, just nightmares.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:04 PM
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Wasn't helped by being the war that wasn't really support at home the way prior and later wars were.
I know that, during the first Gulf War (1990-1991), there was a concerted effort to show support for servicepersons who were involved in the war, particularly after they returned home. I saw a lot of yellow ribbons tied around trees in those days. As that was the U.S.'s first major conflict after Vietnam, there was a lot of sensitivity to how Vietnam vets had been treated upon returning home, and the psychological issues that they faced.
  #37  
Old 11-01-2017, 04:07 PM
monstro monstro is offline
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If transgenderism is nothing but a mental illness, so what? Does that mean it isn't real or something?

A lot of mental illness can't be treated effectively with medication or talk therapy. What do we tell people with such recalcitrant disorders? CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE. Personally, I think a lot of people are miserable because they are living in ways they aren't suited for. If a depressed, married, high-powered salesman thinks he could find wellness in being single and painting houses for a living, I say let him follow these paths. Maybe he'll find that he was wrong. But it should still be his right to change his lifestyle, especially in the quest of well-being and happiness.

Similarly, transgendered folks should have the right to do what they want tto find happiness. Maybe individuals will discover that they made a bad choice by switching gender, but that will just be a mistake they have to live with. Just like any other voluntary medical decision a person makes for themselves.

I think the problem is that people treat gender as some sacred thing that should only be fooled around for serious medical reasons. If we treated gender as just another aspect of identity rather than as one's inherent "essence", maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal for someone to experiment with their gender in an attempt to find happiness. But because gender is considered a big deal, we don't want just anyone dicking (hehehe) around with it. It is like we think that would upset the world order or something.
  #38  
Old 11-01-2017, 03:16 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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Not the best example is this? So many vets came back seriously damaged. My sister's best friend's husband was one of the many delayed casualities that committed suicide not too long after his return from that hell.
Also with high suicide rate, if someone is mistreated by society wouldn't that alone lead to a higher suicide rate?
  #39  
Old 11-01-2017, 02:57 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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You should tell your roommate that anyone who listens to Li'l Benjy for any real-world advice must be mentally ill. It's more accurate than his take on trans people.
  #40  
Old 11-01-2017, 04:51 PM
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Una has mentioned in other threads that there are still a lot of shrinks out there who think it's a mental illness; oddly enough, they also look at the numbers and tend to realize that transition is a near-perfect cure for the suicidal tendencies and therefore are more likely to support transition as the only effect treatment.
  #41  
Old 11-02-2017, 09:21 AM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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Una has mentioned in other threads that there are still a lot of shrinks out there who think it's a mental illness; oddly enough, they also look at the numbers and tend to realize that transition is a near-perfect cure for the suicidal tendencies and therefore are more likely to support transition as the only effect treatment.
What are the studies that establish the suicide rates of pre- and post-transition transgender people, that show that transitioning is a nearly perfect cure?

TIA.

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Shodan
  #42  
Old 11-01-2017, 04:52 PM
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Wouldn't defining it as a mental illness also make treatment (aka hormones, surgery, etc) easier to get? It could be covered by insurance, rather than out of pocket.

I don't see anything wrong with saying transgenderism is a mental illness, (or at least, some kind of medical condition) and that the way to treat it is, well, transitioning. It's certainly NOT something a person chooses. But being trans often impacts a person negatively, if they're not permitted to live as the gender they identify with.
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  #43  
Old 11-01-2017, 06:20 PM
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Gender dysphoria is a mental illness that can be treated quite successfully by transitioning to the gender one identifies as. "Being transgender" is the cure, not the disease.
  #44  
Old 11-01-2017, 10:11 PM
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Gender dysphoria is a mental illness that can be treated quite successfully by transitioning to the gender one identifies as. "Being transgender" is the cure, not the disease.
There are two things at odd with each other. One is the brain's perception of the body it's housed in. The other is the body the brain perceives. What causes the least harm to the individual to treat?
  #45  
Old 11-01-2017, 10:28 PM
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Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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According to established medical science and practice since the 1960's, the body.

But then that question has already been answered about 1,000 times on here, for others also wanting to channel Ms. Steinem.
  #46  
Old 11-02-2017, 12:33 AM
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According to established medical science and practice since the 1960's, the body.

But then that question has already been answered about 1,000 times on here, for others also wanting to channel Ms. Steinem.
I haven't read all 1000 threads on that. Sorry.

The point is there is still a disconnect between the two and it isn't necessarily a bad thing to think about every avenue of treatment. We aren't always going to be constrained to 2017 technology.

Perhaps, it will always be best to treat the rest of the body minus the brain. Maybe not.

I get the discomfort with addressing the brain because that's where the sense of self is manifested and usually people are protective of their current version of self.
  #47  
Old 11-02-2017, 03:03 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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The point is there is still a disconnect between the two and it isn't necessarily a bad thing to think about every avenue of treatment. We aren't always going to be constrained to 2017 technology.
IANA neuroscientist, but from what I've read as a layperson about transgender neurobiology, I'm not convinced that your notion of a straightforward brain/body "disconnect", where the problem can be reduced to a simple mismatch between anatomy and gender identity and we should be able to change either one to match the other, is a valid description of reality.

AFAICT, transgender people perceive themselves as a different gender than their genital anatomy indicates not because they're "confused" or "mentally ill", but because that perception reflects something real about their physical brains that differs from the physical brains of most people born with similar genital anatomy.

This isn't unique to the phenomenon of transgender, of course. For example, a minority of people spontaneously tend to use their left hands for tasks that most people naturally perform with their right hands, even though the so-called "left-handers" look the same anatomically as the "right-handers". The left-handers aren't confused or mentally ill concerning their physical functioning. It's just that their perception of which hand it's "natural" to use to manipulate objects reflects something real about their physical brains that differs from the physical brains of most people.

That sort of brain-structure difference does not seem like a candidate for an easy "fix" or "treatment", no matter how advanced our "technology" becomes. Consider, for example, how much work it takes even to successfully "treat" the brain of a left-hander so they can achieve the comparatively simple and straightforward ability to function like a "normal" right-hander.* It requires the treatment subject to constantly resist and re-train perceptions that are based in their brain's physical reality.

Imagine how much more work it must be for transgender individuals to constantly resist and deny gender-identity perceptions that are also based in the physical reality of the brain, even if they are statistically "abnormal" in terms of matching with bodily anatomy.



* Naturally, I'm not seriously advocating that left-handers actually should receive "treatment" to overcome their left-handedness and function more "normally", i.e., in a way that matches majority tendencies. That sort of "treatment" used to be standard practice, of course, but AFAICT current neurological science advocates accepting left-handedness as a variant rather than a pathology of brain-body functioning.
  #48  
Old 11-02-2017, 12:00 PM
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I haven't read all 1000 threads on that. Sorry.
Perhaps just a couple? Because this really has been done to death on here, and in the medical world as well. Sure, just like you can find anti-vax physicians, you can find anti-transition physicians. But the established best practice is transition is the cure. Dr. Benjamin, who while not the first nor not the only was the person who exploded this issue into publicity in the 1960's, ultimately was motivated out of compassion to do the least harm. Benjamin, like Hirschfeld before him, did try to "cure" transgender persons with drugs, intensive psychotherapy, negative and positive reinforcement, etc. He found that crossdressers could be discouraged from crossdressing if they were loaded up with some drugs, but ultimately the best option for transgender persons was to transition.

Transition would be neither that controversial nor difficult if most would just cease their laser-like focus on our genitals and get over their fragility over their own masculinity or femininity. We're not born bigots - when I work with classes in school where a young person must transition, 95+% of the kids have the attitude of "so what? Mike was a girl and now he's a boy. Boys rule! We got an extra guy for football now." It's not until the kids go home and tell the parents that suddenly it becomes a "problem." Something we all have to be "deeply, DEEPLY concerned about!" Something that requires segregation, shaming, ostracism, and violence.
  #49  
Old 11-01-2017, 10:45 PM
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There are two things at odd with each other. One is the brain's perception of the body it's housed in. The other is the body the brain perceives. What causes the least harm to the individual to treat?
I don't think it's possible currently to get a person to change their brain's gender identification. Some people don't necessarily want to change their physical sex either, just their societal presentation status, so changing the body is not necessarily correct. If all that needs to happen for people to feel better is to present in public something that doesn't match their original designation, that shouldn't be hard. Unfortunately, too many people don't like the idea of it.
  #50  
Old 11-02-2017, 12:43 AM
SamuelA SamuelA is offline
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Ok, what are the arguments for saying it's not an illness. I mean, being deaf is an illness, right? We shouldn't hate deaf people or discriminate them, but compared to healthy humans of the past million years, deaf people are not as functional as fully able bodied humans. And, we can treat being deaf and have invented prosthetics.

Having the wrong set of desires and the wrong "script" for the genitals you're born with...how can you say it isn't basically a mistake made by nature? Sure, we cannot do anything about it, yet, since you'd basically need to send nanotech magic snakes into someone brains and force rewire it or something, but just because we can't fix...or even understand the exact details of the problem, doesn't mean we can't infer that it is a problem.
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