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It is, perhaps, a peculiar fact involving an obscure medical text, but it is one that is now taking on outsized importance: The World Health Organization, in a compendium of conditions and diseases, lists being transgender under the umbrella of mental illness.

The WHO publishes a standardized coding system used around the globe to classify medical conditions, for research purposes and health-care billing. In the document, being transgender is currently included in a section with kleptomania (the overwhelming impulse to steal), trichotillomania (the compulsion to pull out one’s own hair), and pedophilia (a preference for having sex with children).

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  • They are correct to list it as such, for believing you are a gender other than what you are born is psychological (even in cases where it might be influenced by a biological imbalance of hormones). The statistics also show that a huge number of people claiming to be transgender have also suffered childhood sexual abuse and therefore clearly, their feelings of transgenderism are due to trauma and trying to escape being the same person that was abused. This is why so many suffer depression and suicide rates are no lower post-transition. It’s time for those in authority to wake up and stop putting people through operations and hormones for something that is in their mind.
    That’s iatrogenic abuse and is adding to the abuse they have already been through. And for the record, autism spectrum disorder is also listed under mental disorders even though it is a neurodevelopmental disorder, not a mental illness. If we started breaking down the categories for everything that doesn’t fit neatly, where would it end. Denmark needs to get real.

  • The purpose of classification in the DSM as well as the WHO document is for billing purposes so those affected can receive treatment. There is no physical abnormality since the chromosomes match the sexual organs, there is a mental abnormality since chromosomes do not match the imagined identity. As of yet we have found no center of “identity” in the human brain linked to a feeling of gender, race, age. Why wouldn’t it be considered a mental illness? The desire not to stigmatize individuals is not a reason to remove a logical and necessary (for these people to obtain treatment) determination. If there is nothing wrong, why would an insurance company need to pay? How could a professional ethically offer treatment?

  • From the comments below it is obvious that there is still some education needed in America, at least. Being transsexual is a state of sexual identity, not a mental illness. Just like being a bisexual or lesbian or gay man is. Thankfully, most within the medical and mental health community understand this. Someone who identifies as transsexual does not need to be “cured”. Some do prefer to match the outside with the inside, which is no different than a straight woman augmenting her breast. Perhaps some of you are one of those who still believe that homosexuality is also an illness. In that case, it’s usually based on a prejudice not on fact which you may be able to change with some good psychotherapy.

    • No – being bisexual/homosexual is something totally different. That is about what attracts you. That has nothing to do with what gender yourself are. There is two gender, either are you XY or XX. Even if you are someone else convinces you that you are the other gender, you are still not. That is based on science, not feelings.

      Being homosexual/bisexual however, is totally based on your feelings towards others. It does not really matter what there reasons for this, whether it is decided by genetics or your surroundings or a mix of both, because it is about how you feel.

      I am curious tho. Would you say a person identifying as another species, for example a wolf, is as legitimate as someone who thinks they are transgender?

    • To deny DNA is anti-science. Gender is not fluid, it’s chromosomes. You can not alter DNA just because you take synthetic hormones & have surgery, the science remains the same. Identifying with what you’re biologically not, is a mental process, said he biology remains the same!
      Just because we have 0.3% of population that identity with something other than what is scientifically truth, doesn’t make it normal!

    • No. It’s not like being gay or bisexual. Sexual orientation isn’t dependent on removing healthy fully functional non pathological tissue and organs related to sex. People who are gay don’t claim they’re born in the wrong body and need an arm cut off to portray an amputee. That’s not a defining feature of being gay.

  • Of course it’s a mental disorder. No sane person (over the age of 12) goes around pretending they’re something they’re not. “I’m a car”, “I’m Sonic the Hedgehog”, “I’m Harry Potter”, and when you fail to grow up properly, “I’m not a man/woman, I’m a transsexual genderqueer dragonkin and you shall refer to me not as ‘he’ or ‘she’, but as ‘xhzeee’, because that’s what I am”.
    Alas, it’s not their fault for being ill, and we need to help these people. How do we help them without playing into their delusions though, that’s the question…

  • Transsexualism is a mental disorder as it deviates from the norm of gender identity. A person born with XY chromosomes can never be a woman with YY ones. It’s self delusional. I am a transgendered woman but never think of myself as a woman. I am a man with a woman’s body and feminine feelings. I feel that I do have a type of emotional/mental instability due to parental abuse when I was a teenager.

    • “a woman with YY ones.”

      Hmn, a new one on me. But, there’s this:
      –“Patients: A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

      journal of Clinical Endocronology & Metabolism, Volume 93(1), January 2008, Pg 182-189”–

    • Well done for saying so @Steve. Your comment mirrors my other comment, where I stated that a very high number of people believing they are transgender have been sexually abused as children (although it could be other types of child abuse too). Which is why I said “…their feelings of transgenderism are due to trauma and trying to escape being the same person that was abused. This is why so many suffer depression and suicide rates are no lower post-transition.”

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