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Being Trans and Schizophrenic

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by jadey95, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. jadey95

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    Is there anyone who is comfortable sharing that deals with this as well?

    I would like to know your experiences with it. I have seen some conversations on another site about this but it was super brief. I am curious if it caused difficulties with being taken seriously and/or transitioning. I have read on the other site that some have been barred from being able to get surgeries or other forms of transitioning due to being seen as being 'too out of your mind to make a rational decision (aka too delusional)'.

    My thoughts on this is that it might depend on who you go to see for therapy and surgery etc. I already have a lot of barricades on transitioning, so I am hopeful that this isn't another one.
     
  2. EverDeer

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    Honestly, I do not speak from personal experiences, but I have had two openly trans and schizophrenic friends whom I can speak for albeit briefly since I am not them.

    I'm sure having any kind of mental illness or trauma that can create inconsistent thoughts and personality traits, delusions, and changes in ones views regarding their identity will probably bring a slight caution from most mental health practitioners. It is a therapists or a psychologists job to not only believe their patients wholeheartedly on their feelings and experiences, but also be able to view where there might be bias due to other overlapping conditions. However, if you seek to transition and create a meaningful and healthy relationship with your care provider (and be it they are indeed a healthy individual as well who doesn't deny your experiences) I don't see why there should be a reason for you to be denied the ability to transition so long as you are a self-aware individual with knowledge about your prexisting conditions as well as healthy coping mechanisms for your schizophrenia. At the end of the day, if feeling dysphoric is simply a result of your schizophrenia in some way, that doesn't deny your experiences as a trans person- because how you experience and understand the world is unique to you, just as how my experience of gender or dysphoria may result in worsening symptoms of my prexisting anxiety and depression. For example, I have another bipolar friend who is genderfluid whose gender sometimes changes depending on his mood swings-- does this mean that he can't be / doesn't feel genderfluid? Of course not, because that's how he experiences the world, regardless of his other struggles, because at the end of the day he still is self aware and can tell when he's performing an unhealthy or delusion-induced action apart from feeling dysphoric.

    All it really comes down to is so long as you aren't trying to escape or dissociate from some underlying problem in your life or self through transition, then your experiences as valid and hopefully you'll be able to find someone who can see that as well. There's the possibility you may find a therapist who is not accepting of trans individuals and does tell you you "aren't sane enough to know yourself", but honestly I don't think you should ever listen to anyone who thinks they know you better than you know yourself. Get a second opinion if this happens, or a third or fourth if you really need to. It's just about finding a good balance in managing your different mental health needs.
     
  3. jadey95

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    Thanks for the response! It is very helpful!

    I am glad to see some support that I am perfectly valid for this and shouldn't be dismissed. Ya, see, I'm not always self aware of my actions and thoughts and that's where I thought I would be open to being dismissed, but based on what you're saying, that may not necessarily be the case here.

    Yeah, I've had to think heavily about that, because, besides having schizophrenia, I endured some trauma, and I had to make certain I'm not wanting to escape because of that. But, I've thought long and hard about it and I don't think I am. I am really glad to hear that you think if I get that comment I should seek someone else, because I worried about that.
     
  4. EverDeer

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    Yes! A therapist should never be condescending, and they shouldn't pick and choose which issues are more important for you, such as telling you 1 thing isn't a big deal and you should just forget about it if you have expressed equal or greater concern about it compared to something else. They may be able to offer insight on which problems are easier to fix first and what kinds of coping mechanisms can offer better short or long term results based on your life situations, financial limitations, etc. or if you're actually just concerned about 1 thing due to a deeper, more important underlying issue but no therapist should be telling you to "just forget about" or not look into the reasoning for a concern of yours, rather they should let you know where solutions may lie and which ones should be taken advantage of first and which ones can be put on hold until later, and how to healthily cope with these. Psychologists are people too, and many practitioners have degrees in simply identifying criteria and diagnosing people... if you get a bad feeling from the person you're seeing or don't feel that one of your needs is being met appropriately by them, feel free to look for someone else's opinion as well.