Counseling For Gender Identity Disorder In Teens

Gender Identity Disorder in Teens

Among the challenges that parents occasionally encounter with teen sexual issues is Gender identity disorder.  This disorder is characterized by a persistent feeling of severe discomfort with one’s own anatomical sex accompanied by a strong wish to be rid of one’s genitals and to live as the opposite sex.

Sometimes referred to as transsexualism is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex. Teens with this disorder desire to live as members of the opposite sex and often dress and use mannerisms associated with the other gender. For instance, a teen identified as a boy may feel and act like a girl. Gender Identity Disorder differs from homosexuality in that homosexuals typically identify with their apparent sex or gender.

In some cases, teens with normal genitals and secondary sex characteristics of one gender privately identify more with the other gender which may lead to cross-dressing and an eventual desire to seek sex-change surgery. Others are born with ambiguous genitalia, which can raise identity issues as the child grows.

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Some youth with gender identity disorder become socially isolated, by choice or through rejection from peers which can contribute to low self-esteem. Because of this some teens avoid school attendance and eventually may drop out. Bullying and teasing tends to occur more for boys struggling with the disorder.

Boys with gender identity disorder may exhibit feminine mannerisms and speech patterns. These teens can become preoccupied with appearance and due to the stress that accompanies this disorder, relationships with parents also may be seriously impaired. Additionally, because of the problems that accompany this disorder, mental health issues including depression, anxiety, suicide ideation, attempts and substance-related disorders are common.

The mental health challenges with teens with gender identity disorder are great. Treatment services in a safe and objective setting are strongly recommended for teens and their parents as they navigate this difficult life challenge. Star Guides Wilderness provides a controlled, neutral setting outside of the confusion of modern society in which a teen can explore the nature of the gender identity issues with a highly trained teen therapist experienced in treating teen sexual issues.

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