Transgender — mental defect? Psychiatric ‘diagnostic manual’ to be updated — archaic terminology must go!

APA, end the game! (Photo: Scott Garrett)

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — I don’t know about you but ‘mental defect’ is not something I want to see still describing trans people in the soon-to-be-updated American Psychiatric Association ‘diagnostic manual’ (DSM-5). Never mind what this term does to a trans person’s esteem or how it influences society’s view of trans people, the fact of the matter is this: it’s wrong.

Today, trans people are harmed when these archaic terms are used for political purposes. Conservatives and other “family values” organizations routinely uses ADA trans “disorder” terms against trans people to achieve political agendas — mostly trying to stop trans people from obtaining equality. Other examples of the misuse of the terminology include the loss of parental rights for some trans people who have children.

It took until almost the mid-’80s for the APA to completely agree that being gay was normal — not a medical condition — and this came only after a lot of pressure from gay advocates. Trans people consists of a much smaller population — a disadvantage for the trans advocates lobbying the APA for changes, yet there are indications they are making substantial progress.

One example of terminology change under consideration a shift from the term Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria. This would remove much of the negative stigma stemming from the original term and take the wind out of using its usage for political purposes.

I found it interesting that removing transgender medical terms completely from the book completely would present new dilemmas — for instance, it would be difficult to get existing insurance policies to pay for doctor visits or sex reassignment surgery if doctors cannot back up a diagnosis using the APA manual.

While I don’t expect everything to get wrapped up in a nice tidy package, pleasing everyone, I do expect the new version to make it more difficult for its contents to be used against us. The revised manual is due about a year from now.

More: The Associated Press: Transgender advocates seek new diagnostic terms.

APA, end the game! (Photo: Scott Garrett)

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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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10 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Kira Moore's Closet and commented:
    Some welcome news.

  2. I don’t think transgenderism is a mental illness. But people with mental health problems shouldn’t be stigmatised anyway. Discrimination against people with mental health problems is just as bad as transphobia.

    To be frank, some people in the LGBT community do discriminate against people with mental health problems, even when these mental health issues are independent of a person’s sexuality and gender identity. Partly it’s because the LGBT community is too zealous to distance itself from its history of mental health pathologisation.

  3. I agree, people with mental health problems shouldn’t be stigmatized either.

  4. Basically.

    I have a physical problem, not a mental one :/

  5. I agree, my issue is physical not mental/emotional.

  6. Howard Brown.org had pre-existing pervasive concerns about the existing GID diagnosis. The APA work group proposed that GID be revised to become a diagnosis of Gender Incongruence (GI). GI, while an improvement from GID, continues to pathologize transgendered people and, in Howard Brown’s opinion, should not be included in the new DSM.

  7. The APA are mentally ill persons that should categorize their own actions as OCD toward labeling anything and everything as a mental disease or illness. If independent thought is a disease, then they are guilty of doing the same thing. If it does not hurt ones self or others, free thinking is NOT a mental illness and it should be removed from the DSM. However, the effects of it should be classified under appropriate labels so insured person can still get the procedures covered. Such as Anxiety, Stress etc etc. Once those issues are brought to the table, the same determination will be placed to recommend SRS, or in proper terms, Sex Corrective Surgery, not Sex Reassignment Surgery. I believe that needs to be updated as well!

  8. Psychiatry is murder
    Psychiatry is fashism
    Psychiatry is one of the uglyest forms of modern official accepted humiliation and torture

  9. i can ‘live’ with dysphoria. i can live with most of what they put in that thing. trans today is like being gay 30yrs ago… our time will come. oooh and given that being trans is such a f#cking hard thing to deal with it – until they identify the biological cause — we’re stuck. I say they need to add FABULOUS to it.

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