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Not sure if you're asking me or the OP.

My synopsis of the video is "There is no science in psychiatry. The DSM pathologizes behaviors based upon morals and then medicates those behaviors, just like the justice system criminalizes behaviors based upon morals and then penalizes those behaviors, and an employer's employment policies prohibit behaviors based upon morals, and then punish transgressive behaviors."

And the narrator/expert was a hot blond in a dress short enough to reveal her religion, with a gaping shirt offering a bit of cleavage. Sure keeps you watching the video waiting for her to recross her legs a la Sharon Stone!

Oh, and the gay thing. That was used to prove there is no science in psychiatry because, until 1973, the DSM listed homosexuality (the word she used over and over and over again) as a mental illness, and now it doesn't, but it still classes transgenderism as a mental illness, and cross-dressing as a fetish, and the U.S. military has a don't ask/don't tell policy, and the Pentagon STILL considers homosexuality a mental illness. Oh, and Islamic doctors consider homosexuality a mental illness too. That was the clincher. How could psychiatry be science if THAT is true?! ;)

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Forgot to mention, she made a "joke" about how it's fine to have sex with someone of the same sex as long as you aren't wishing you were the opposite sex or wearing clothes of the opposite sex while you were doing it. What a comedian! ;)

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There's also the old diagnosis of Drapetomania;

(drapetes, "a runaway [slave]") + μανια (mania, "madness, frenzy")

originally used on black slaves. I think these are great examples of how morality can penetrate the diagnostics system (and culture. And the system of justice) , but I hardly agree with it being an argument against the whole thing.

I definitely think *still* having a diagnosis for trans-gendering (from clothing to genitals) is outrageous and unscientific.

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I definitely think *still* having a diagnosis for trans-gendering (from clothing to genitals) is outrageous and unscientific.

"fetish" doesn't mean what people think it means. In terms of psychological disorder, a fetish is an inanimate object that substitutes for a normal object of sexual intent. It might be pathological if the person cannot function without it present, but there might be a requirement that this is distressing to the client.

So we're talking waaay beyond just kinky here.

Transgender identity is a bit more social and political. If it's not considered a medical problem, then chemical and surgical alteration would fall under the category of cosmetic or elective procedures and insurance might not feel a need to pay (and the whole point of insurance is that happy healthy workers are more productive workers!)

At the extreme (?) if RuPaul is happy entertaining people as an insanely tall blonde in a flashy expensive dress, and gainfully employed to boot, how can it be a disorder? At the other, if a person is suicidally depressed from being forced into gender roles and identity diametrically opposed to anything resembling comfort, happiness, or even a vaguely positive self-image ("gender dysphoria") how can it NOT be a disorder?

What the truly crazy people can't understand is that one size, one shape, even one God or one mind does NOT fit all.

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Transgender identity is a bit more social and political. If it's not considered a medical problem, then chemical and surgical alteration would fall under the category of cosmetic or elective procedures and insurance might not feel a need to pay (and the whole point of insurance is that happy healthy workers are more productive workers!)

Yea I was talking about the Gender Identity Disorder. I suppose it makes sense, in a sort of bureaucratic way, that some will get the diagnosis in order to get surgery, if that's what they're going for. But I still think it's outrageous to consider this sort of thing a disorder, and the fact that somebody has even put this into words in a scientific context is just...unbelievable. I mean, look at the criteria:

  1. A strong and persistent cross-gender identification (not merely a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex). In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as a stated desire to be the other sex, frequent passing as the other sex, desire to live or be treated as the other sex, or the conviction that he or she has the typical feelings and reactions of the other sex.
  2. Persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex. In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as preoccupation with getting rid of primary and secondary sex characteristics (e.g., request for hormones, surgery, or other procedures to physically alter sexual characteristics to simulate the other sex) or belief that he or she was born the wrong sex.
  3. The disturbance is not concurrent with a physical intersex condition.
  4. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Specify if (for sexually mature individuals) Sexually Attracted to Males, ... Females,... Both, ... Neither.

(from this site)

...I wonder what people will think of this in fifty years.

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Transgender identity is a bit more social and political. If it's not considered a medical problem, then chemical and surgical alteration would fall under the category of cosmetic or elective procedures and insurance might not feel a need to pay (and the whole point of insurance is that happy healthy workers are more productive workers!)

Yea I was talking about the Gender Identity Disorder. I suppose it makes sense, in a sort of bureaucratic way, that some will get the diagnosis in order to get surgery, if that's what they're going for. But I still think it's outrageous to consider this sort of thing a disorder, and the fact that somebody has even put this into words in a scientific context is just...unbelievable. I mean, look at the criteria:

  1. A strong and persistent cross-gender identification (not merely a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex). In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as a stated desire to be the other sex, frequent passing as the other sex, desire to live or be treated as the other sex, or the conviction that he or she has the typical feelings and reactions of the other sex.
  2. Persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex. In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as preoccupation with getting rid of primary and secondary sex characteristics (e.g., request for hormones, surgery, or other procedures to physically alter sexual characteristics to simulate the other sex) or belief that he or she was born the wrong sex.
  3. The disturbance is not concurrent with a physical intersex condition.
  4. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Specify if (for sexually mature individuals) Sexually Attracted to Males, ... Females,... Both, ... Neither.

(from this site)

...I wonder what people will think of this in fifty years.

Well, to be honest, if you feel totally uncomfortable with the set of genitals (and sex chromosomes) you were born with--and with the social roles that go with them, I don't see a reason to argue that you are well. I mean you're likely to develop depression and other kinds of emotional issues. I don't think it's possible to treat the depression without looking at your underlying problems.

And if it only it was as easy as providing sexual reassignment surgery (and hormone therapy) to anyone who "wanted" one... But it's not that simple... Not everyone just magically feels better as soon as they get to swap their external "plumbing."

Yes, transgendered people's lives would be easier if they were socially allowed to dress and act the way they felt they needed to, but I don't think that increased social acceptance would solve all of their gender identity problems.

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Well, to be honest, if you feel totally uncomfortable with the set of genitals (and sex chromosomes) you were born with--and with the social roles that go with them, I don't see a reason to argue that you are well. I mean you're likely to develop depression and other kinds of emotional issues. I don't think it's possible to treat the depression without looking at your underlying problems.

And if it only it was as easy as providing sexual reassignment surgery (and hormone therapy) to anyone who "wanted" one... But it's not that simple... Not everyone just magically feels better as soon as they get to swap their external "plumbing."

Yes, transgendered people's lives would be easier if they were socially allowed to dress and act the way they felt they needed to, but I don't think that increased social acceptance would solve all of their gender identity problems.

Me again - I keep going at it, I know . ;) I'm really into gender issues/queer theory etc., so this stuff really pushes my buttons!

I probably agree with most of the stuff you guys are saying - and I don't believe a lifetime of gender "problems" are magically going to disappear with surgery etc. I just really have a problem with the wording of the diagnosis and the fact that it's a disorder.

I keep comparing it to the now discluded gay diagnosis. People who choose to somewhat accept being gay or bi don't throw away a lifetime of frustration and related issues (depression, alienation, isolation - or identity issues), either. A lot of people probably experience ongoing distress in relation to this their whole life.

I just don't see it as disorder-ly or dysfunctional, or requiring it's own specific diagnosis.

One thing is being sexually attracted to your own gender - this seems less controversial nowadays. Another thing is crossing the gender barrier - and I'm not just talking about what your genitals may look like, I'm also talking about not living up to gender ideals of your own sex on a more common level. In my mind, this is what makes it so controversial - it seems that much more diffucult for people to grasp and accept, because it's somehow much more "out of order" with current standards. And to me, this diagnosis is more in line with keeping this order and morality, than it is with science.

Also, the ICD-10 and the DSM-IV interestingly have different wordings on this diagnosis - and it really makes the DSM-IV come off as much more morally inclined.

On another note, I'm talking purely theoretically here. I've never known anyone who's been remotely close to getting this diagnosis and it would actually be nice to include someone who has experience with this. I'm also quite certain they don't hand out this kind of diagnosis unless there's some benificial context to it (like surgery etc.)

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You're missing the key issue - is it adversely affecting the patient's quality of life? How you or I or some loud-mouthed TV preacher feels about it as a social or moral issue is irrelevant to the diagnosis.

Let's consider it in terms of sexual orientation:

If my sexual attraction is primarily towards men and *I* can't cope with that - that's a disorder! If you don't accept either the attraction or how I feel about it, that's *your* problem (and counselling is available ;) ) If my tdoc doesn't accept it, he's fired. However, if *I* am cool with that attraction, the rest of the world can go screw themselves!

Obviously, sexual assault on those who cannot legally provide, withhold, or withdraw consent is a different matter altogether. That's a line that neither society nor the medical profession can afford to ignore.

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My main reason for posting this was about the GID being labeled a disorder, while homosexuality isn't, and other examples she gave. I thought it was interesting. I don't ascribe to Psychetruth's general philosophies and beliefs, but that doesn't mean she's wrong about everything, and I do agree that it's odd that certain things related to gender are still considered a mental illness.

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  • 9 months later...

You're missing the key issue - is it adversely affecting the patient's quality of life? How you or I or some loud-mouthed TV preacher feels about it as a social or moral issue is irrelevant to the diagnosis.

Let's consider it in terms of sexual orientation:

If my sexual attraction is primarily towards men and *I* can't cope with that - that's a disorder! If you don't accept either the attraction or how I feel about it, that's *your* problem (and counselling is available ;) ) If my tdoc doesn't accept it, he's fired. However, if *I* am cool with that attraction, the rest of the world can go screw themselves!

Obviously, sexual assault on those who cannot legally provide, withhold, or withdraw consent is a different matter altogether. That's a line that neither society nor the medical profession can afford to ignore.

I don't really have to add anything else but woo, you speak sense!

Also, wasn't her skirt short...? Hahahah!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Every trans-gendered and inter-gendered person I know suffers from at least severe neuroses, and I would quite frankly say MI. The default gender for a fetus is female, so all sorts of "male" looking apendages can appear, and still not affect the overall neuro-chemistry of the fetus's gender.

It could be that this is a chicken and egg situation. Are they ill because of their gender dysphoria, or does their gender dysphoria make them ill? Just from the fact I have yet to meet a trans-gendered or inter-gendered person who is mentally functional, while anecdotal, makes me lean towards at least MI secondary to their condition.

On the other hand, every (EVERY) inter-gendered person, and most transgendered people, I have met has been a sex worker at some point in their life, so that couldn't really be argued to be genetic, but more an issue of societal rejection.

My husband's first wife was inter-gendered, raised as a boy (because as we all know, boys are sooooo much better than girls), and when she turned 18, had um, some surgery. She was one crazy bitch. She died before I met her of Hep C picked up either from IV drug use or sex work.

I guess what I see as the distinction here is that being glbtq is considered medically "unremarkable." That is not the same thing as saying "normal," or "normative," but it means within the realm of expected human behavior. Being inter or trans gendered is still considered "remarkable" by the medical community, and if I remember correctly (my current episode is making Google hate me, I cannot find any references, so I could be misremembering), the MRI studies are showing brain activity in these patients that indicates a crossing of signals that is not evident in glbtq patients.

My opinion, as pulled out of my ass.

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I don't believe Intersex belongs in this thread. According to the Intersex Society of North America, 1 in 100 people are some form of Intersex. Most are content with the assigned sex (label or surgical). It is a recognized medical condition. Although psycho-social issues may arise for some, one would think that is about living with a physical difference. I mean, you wouldn't label a person born w/o a forearm with a mental disorder if s/he sought counseling, right? Wouldn't "confusion" about sexual identity stem from physical reality as opposed to psychology? Casting intersexed people as neurotic (or relevant to this discussion) seems prejudiced, IMHO.

Regarding transgendered... I believe that some are born with brains wired for the opposite sex as the body. However, I also believe that some seeking sex reassignment are plain psychologically messed up. Until there is science to distinguish between the two, MI categorization makes sense if for no other reason than that the surgery is hugely significant and some psych screening is in the person's interest.

And, yeh, the original post, antipsychiatry is antipsychiatry and there are a ton of ways to wrap that bias up into a pretty package.

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I would agree that inter-gendered is more of an anatomical issue, but until quite recently, the parent got to "impose" the gender of their choice upon the child; This is a gross generalization, but I don't think I am going out on a limb to say many parents prefer boys. This is despite the fetal default gender being female. So while it is certainly possible for an inter-gendered person to be a psychological male, to be frank, I have yet to meet one.

And then, the issue does become the same as the transgendered one, especially if the parents have insisted on drastic surgical measures.

Plus, with all the genetic mishaps taking place in an inter-gendered fetus, I don't think it is too much of a leap to expect that it might also affect Mental health. Not to mention, when parents choose the "wrong" gender, they are essentially setting their kids up to develop BPD.

Nowadays, OB/GYNs encourage parents of inter-sexed children to allow to choose their own gender identity, which most children do really early.

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