Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Feature Trans Care

Gender dysphoria in children: puberty blockers study draws further criticism

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l5647 (Published 20 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5647

Rapid Response:

Re: Gender dysphoria in children: puberty blockers study draws further criticism

Gender dysphoria is not a diagnosis; it's a neurosis.

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines dysphoria as ‘a state of unease or discomfort; esp. an unpleasant state of mind marked by malaise, depression, or anxiety.’

Thus, gender dysphoria means a person who is unhappy with his or her biological sex and wishes he or she, respectively, were of the opposite sex.

Perhaps it would be better for people who are unhappy about their bodies in this way to be offered psychotherapy to help them explore the reasons for, and come to terms with, their situation.

Significantly, in ‘A patient’s perspective’ in this article, a person who is being treated with a puberty blocker says, ‘It feels as if someone is finally listening to you.’

Maybe that is what he—as the person originally was—wanted: someone to listen to him. Instead, he got life-changing treatment with an experimental drug, triptorelin.

symonds@tokyobritishclinic.com

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 November 2019
Gabriel Symonds
General practitioner
Tokyo, Japan