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Is My Teen Experiencing Gender Dysphoria?

Imagine being born a boy but always feeling like a girl. How would you view the world? How would the world view you if you decided to express your desire to be a girl? As young adults realize their identities, some understand that their biological gender is not their true gender. Also known as gender identity dysphoria, this condition needs to be handled with lots of love and care. If your son or daughter needs teen gender dysphoria treatment, Destinations for Teens is here to help your family.

What Is Gender Identity Disorder?

Gender Identity Disorder is the strong wish to become the opposite sex while also exhibiting clear unhappiness with your assigned sex. In addition, gender identity disorder includes being anxious and depressed about the conflict that can interfere with everyday life. A 2018 study found that 1.3 percent of 16-to-19-year-olds possessed significant gender dysphoria. While this number is not significant, it does reveal that there are teens that need support in expressing their gender identity.

Symptoms Associated With Gender Identity Dysphoria

If teens experience at least two of the following symptoms for six months, they have gender dysphoria. The symptoms of teen gender dysphoria include:

  • Difference between expressed gender and biological sex characteristics
  • A great desire to not have the primary sex characteristics associated with their birth gender
  • A need for their primary sex characteristics to match their gender identity
  • Requesting and wishing to be treated as their desired gender
  • Wants to be their experienced gender
  • The knowledge that they have the same feelings and reactions as their expressed gender
  • Dressing and presenting as their experienced gender
  • Rarely bathing or changing clothes in an attempt to avoid seeing their genitals

What Happens When Teens With Gender Dysphoria Are Not Supported

When adolescents realize that they possess a difference in their identity, it can naturally lead to anxiety and, in some cases, depression. Adults have the responsibility to help them understand the importance of living their truths and loving their identity. When teens are left without support, they will experience

  • Mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders
  • Abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol
  • Possess a low self-esteem
  • Inflict harm on themselves including cutting
  • Express suicidal thoughts and, in some cases, attempt suicide
  • Become self-isolated
  • Avoid school and extracurricular activities where they will be ostracized
  • Difficulty developing relationships with family and greater social network as a result of the views that people may hold about alternative lifestyles

Recent research found that gender dysphoria within Europe and North America reveals that at least 45 percent of young adults are experiencing mental health challenges such as self-harm, anxiety, and depression.

Support Your Teen’s Desired Identity With Destinations For Teens

While it may be hard to understand that your son is dressing or acting like a girl and uses the pronouns she/her as part of her identification, it is also important to realize that they need support. As adults, we cannot pile on stressors and additional pressures for teens to conform to traditional gender roles to make them feel happy and comfortable. Instead, we have to provide them with resources to live healthy and adjusted lives. At Destinations for Teens, our teen gender dysphoria treatment program will be a nurturing environment filled with professionals and peers who can assist them one moment at a time. Our programs include:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Experiential Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy

These various therapies will help young adults deal with anxiety and depression to feel affirmed in their chosen identity. Our only mission is for young adults to feel valued, safe, and loved. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to discover the power of our holistic treatment programs.