Mental Health and Gender Dysphoria – In the previous part of this article (found here), we covered an overarching view of what gender dysphoria is and what its impact might be on the lives of individuals who do not feel that their biological sex matches their inner gender identity. In part two, we will be diving into the mental health impacts of gender dysphoria, as well as creating a broader picture of how Horizon Counselling can help those who are battling negative effects of gender dysphoria—be they internal or external.
Counselling and gender dysphoria
Counselling is not just for those who are already having problems, and not everyone who is dealing with gender dysphoria have negative mental health effects. One of the main aims for counselling for those with gender dysphoria is to help them live the way that they want to—something that is not always easy in society when your gender identity does not match the way that people often initially perceive you. The counsellors at Horizon Plymouth can help you to heal and grow as well as provide the necessary tools for fostering relationships with those around you. Some of the things that individuals with gender dysphoria might speak with their counsellor about include but are not limited to:
- Family and social relationships: Individuals whose families and friends are resistant to the changes that are occurring in their lives typically have a much harder time transitioning into their gender identity due to a lack of support. Horizon Plymouth works with families as well as individuals to help cultivate understanding and acceptance from both parties.
- Stress: The negative effects of stress from all causes have been well documented. Unfortunately, the process of changing your external appearance to match your internal gender identity can be very isolating and stress filled. Counselling can help to mitigate those emotions and provide coping strategies or other outlets to improve health outcomes.
- Secondary conditions: As a result of the stress and isolation mentioned before, individuals can develop comorbid conditions such as depression and anxiety. These conditions (no matter the etiology) are frequently managed through counselling, but individuals such as those with gender dysphoria who are at higher risk for depression and anxiety can pre-emptively work with a counsellor to reduce the risk.
- Internal identity: One of the largest struggles for those with gender dysphoria is, understandably, the internal battle surrounding coming to terms with the fact that your gender identity is different from your biological sex. Often individuals face crises as a result of the changing ways that they view their internal selves—something that counselling can provide the guidance to overcome.
- Suicidal ideation: In some cases, individuals with gender dysphoria are not met with love and support and are instead isolated and lonely, and handling the stress of reconciling your internal identity with your external traits alone can be incredibly difficult. Individuals in this situation are at risk for suicidal ideation and help should be sought immediately.
Horizon Plymouth’s counsellors are experienced and equipped to help our clients struggling with gender dysphoria find peace and healing with who they truly are inside. We work with individuals and their families to help bring understanding to all parties, facilitating improved mental health and personal or social relationships. Additionally, our counsellors understand the unique challenges and struggles of gender dysphoria and are experienced when it comes to viewing each person as the individual that they are. If you or someone you know is struggling with decreased mental health as a result of experiences related to gender dysphoria, don’t wait to seek help and guidance. Contact Horizon Plymouth right now to schedule your initial consultation and start investing in your own mental health today.