Gender Identity Disorder

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Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental disorders (DSM) is used within the health care system as a guide for clinicians on how to provide proper treatment for individuals. The DSM has recently changed patients that acquire cross-sex hormone treatment from ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ to ‘Gender Dysphoria’. According to Corneil, Eisfeld & Botzer (2010), DSM-IV defines Gender Identity Disorder as one’s overwhelming desire to become the opposite sex different from their own biological sex. This definition is associated with social stigma and isolation because it views transgender patients as abnormal. Gender Dysphoria however is defined as, “clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning…show more content…
Thus, it is important to understand the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental disorders (DSM) and its effects on health care providers. Clinicians often assess transgendered individuals in the context of DSM rather than the context of the actual individual’s wellbeing (Corneil, Eisfeld & Botzer, 2010). This is problematic because clinicians end up not acknowledging transgender identity, as they have to follow the jurisdictions of the DSM. Changing the DSM from ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ to Gender Dysphoria’ is important because it acknowledges how being transgender is not a ‘disease’ that can be cured. According to Corneil, Eisfeld & Botzer (2010), the description of the transgender experience in the DSM IV caused gender variant individuals to feel disempowered. This caused barriers when it came to access to general health and transition care. Corneil, Eisfeld & Botzer (2010) state how the DSM change to Gender Dysphoria was empowering because it, “improved access to general health care through mechanisms as described in human rights literature” (p. 111). Although the change in the DSM V is a good thing, there is still a lack of access to health care for transgendered individuals. This is because the DSM continues to perpetuate the imbalances between transgendered individuals. It is due to the fact that the DSM is based on contextually based interpretations (community, clinical and policy) (Corneil, Eisfeld & Botzer,

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