Gender identity disorder, or gender dysphoria, has made the headlines in the US and around the world in recent years, with some high-profile cases shining the spotlight on both men and women who identify as a different gender to their biological sex.
As many as 1% of people in some countries are said to be affected by some form of gender identity issue, and it can affect people at any point in their lives. Sadly, many people experiencing gender dysphoria can often also affected by several mental health issues, from anxiety to depression, which can have wide-ranging negative effects.
Mental health problems often arise in those suffering from gender dysphoria as a result of a combination of unhappiness with their own bodies and isolation or even total abandonment by friends and family. The effects of the stigma and mental health problems surrounding gender dysphoria can be extremely damaging, with studies showing that nearly half of adult transexuals in the US have attempted suicide, while children affected by gender dysphoria are far more likely than others to be the victims of harassment and violence at school.
Gender dysphoria is very much a long-term condition, with some people being affected their entire lives or living years and even decades as a member of a gender that they don’t identify as. Repairing the damage that arises from years of internal conflict, harassment and unhappiness is also a long-term process, and there is a range of methods available to make treatment possible.
In addition to sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy, which can help to deal with the issues at the core of gender identity issues, psychological treatment is also often used to help patients to overcome the feelings of loneliness and depression that they may have suffered throughout their lives.
Many leading treatment centers provide inpatient mental health treatment for people suffering from or overcoming gender identity issues. There are many advantages to inpatient care over outpatient care in cases such as these, not least giving patients the chance to remove themselves from potential causes of stress, such as work and family, and providing the opportunity to recover in a safer and more controlled environment.
Inpatient treatment also provides the benefit of 24-hour onsite support for patients, with staff on-hand around the clock to help with emergencies, check ups, regular treatment sessions and symptom monitoring. Inpatient centers like this can also be very beneficial for patients in the early stages of their treatment, providing a place for doctors to monitor and assess their needs as effectively as possible – something which isn’t always possible elsewhere.
These benefits, coupled with providing a stable environment that offers fewer distractions from treatment when compared with outpatient care, and allows for a guaranteed timetable for medication with staff available to make adjustments as needed, have made inpatient care extremely popular for the treatment of gender identity issues in the US and across the globe.