Gender Dysphoria and Addiction

Gender Dysphoria and Addiction

Gender dysphoria is a complex condition where patients feel a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity. Biological sex is assigned at birth by genitalia, but gender identity is the gender that you identify with as more representative of you. For example, a person may have the anatomy of a man, but gender identify as a woman. While gender dysphoria is not a mental illness, it is a condition that is associated with feelings of discomfort. People with this problem may abuse drugs to feel better, but they should seek help to ensure that they recover from both issues in healthy ways.

How Gender Dysphoria Works

Gender dysphoria is a gender identity disorder or gender incongruence. People with gender dysphoria have a strong and persistent desire to live according to their gender identity rather than their biological sex. They may attempt to achieve this by changing their appearance to reflect the gender they identify with, which is referred to as transsexual behavior. This may include people undergoing surgery so that their physical appearance is more consistent with their gender identity. Gender dysphoria has no bearing on a person’s sexuality: someone with gender dysphoria may be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

People with gender dysphoria often feel a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity during early childhood. While there are no physical symptoms of gender dysphoria, the following behaviors often accompany this problem:

  • Insisting that they are of the opposite sex
  • Disliking or refusing to wear clothes that are typically worn by their sex, taking part in activities and games that are typically meant for the opposite sex and passing urine as members of their gender identity
  • Insisting or hoping that their genitals will change, for example a boy may want to be rid of his penis and a girl may want to grow one
  • Feeling extreme distress at the physical changes of puberty

These feelings and behaviors often lead to extreme discomfort and anxiety, as well as a strong desire to eliminate physical signs of their biological sex, such as facial hair or breasts.

Gender Dysphoria and Addiction

People with gender dysphoria often face judgment, harassment, prejudice and even violence for their condition. In addition, they may experience rejection from their family members and friends. Young adults with gender dysphoria may not develop a sexual identity, thus leading to insecurity in adult relationships. Because of these problems, many people suffer in their emotional and psychological development. Anxiety and depression from these issues may lead to drug use as a form of self-medication.

Treatment for Gender Dysphoria and Addiction

Having unacknowledged and unsupported needs makes you vulnerable. This vulnerability makes you susceptible to addiction, so don’t put yourself at risk any longer. We know it is difficult to take the first step, but it is possible and we can help. Please call our toll-free helpline today; we are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about addiction treatment.