What Is Gender Identity Disorder?

Recording Procedures

The assigned diagnostic code depends on the individual's current age: if the disorder occurs in childhood, the code 302.6 is used; for an adolescent or adult, 302.85 is used.

Associated Features and Disorders

Associated descriptive features and mental disorders.

Many individuals with Gender Identity Disorder become socially isolated. Isolation and ostracism contribute to low self esteem and may lead to school aversion or dropping out of school. Peer ostracism and teasing are especially common sequelae for boys with the disorder. Boys with Gender Identity Disorder often show marked feminine mannerisms and speech patterns.

The disturbance can be so pervasive that the mental lives of some individuals revolve only around those activities that lessen gender distress. they are often preoccupied with appearance, especially early in the transition to living in the opposite sex role. Relationships with one or both parents also may be seriously impaired. Some males with Gender Identity Disorder resort to self-treatment with hormones and may very rarely perform their own castration or penectomy. especially in urban centers, some males with the disorder may engage in prostitution, which places them at a high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Suicide attempts and Substance-Related Disorders are commonly associated.

Children with Gender Identity Disorder may manifest coexisting Separation Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and symptoms of depression. Adolescents are particularly at risk for depression and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. In adults, anxiety and depressive symptoms may be present. Some adult males have a history of Transvestic Fetishism as well as other paraphilias. Associated Personality Disorders are more common among males than among females being evaluated at adult gender clinics.

Associated laboratory findings.

There is no diagnostic test specific for Gender Identity Disorder. In the presence of a normal physical examination, karyotyping for sex chromosomes and sex hormone assays are usually not indicated. Psychological testing may reveal cross-gender identification of behavior patterns.

Associated physical examination findings and general medical conditions. Individuals with Gender Identity Disorder have normal genitalia (in contrast to the ambiguous genitalia or hypogonadism found in physical intersex conditions). Adolescents and adult males with Gender Identity Disorder may show breast enlargement resulting from hormone ingestion, hair denuding from temporary or permanent epilation, and other physical changes as a result of procedures such as rhinoplasty or thyroid cartilage shaving (surgical reduction of the Adam's Apple). Distorted breasts or breast rashes may be seen in females who wear breast binders. Postsurical complications in genetic females include prominent chest wall scars, and in generic males, vaginal strictures, rectovaginal fistulas, urethral stenoses, and misdirected urinary streams. Adult females with Gender Identity Disorder may have a higher than expected likelihood of polycystic ovarian disease.

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