Hi, when I was about 15-16 I had thoughts of being assigned the wrong gender at birth, I kept it secret from my parents, but they kept laughing at me and making fun of me for being slightly feminine (wanting to grow my hair, having long nails). My dad always called me names and teased me about it. I kept it inside and only told one person, she was my closest friend that I could talk to, when I told her, I broke down crying and it was very upsetting. Because of the torment about it from my father, I have never been able to open up to anyone about it. I pushed these thoughts deep down and tried to get on with my life, trying to fill it with guy things and I love my computers and my computer gaming (which people thing are more male things) but recently I have been diagnosed with depression and these thoughts are coming back again. I’ve had lots of suicidal thoughts, but never carried them out, always had visions of bad things happening to me. I am currently taking meds from the doctor for the depression, as it started with anxiety and panic attacks. They came out of nowhere as far as I can work out, but the thoughts of being the wrong gender keeps coming up. I am seeing therapists for the anxiety and panic attacks, as well as councillors. I’m scared to bring this up because of the way my father treated me over it. The last month or so, I just havent wanted to do anything, lack of drive to accomplish anything and wanting to hide away from everyone and just curl up and die pretty much. The last few days I’ve had this feeling in my chest that something is wrong with me and I cant quite point to it, but it makes my whole body feel cold and shaky too.
I’m just not sure what to do about it or what to say. Most days I just want to cry but I cant. Any advice on what I can do? Thanks x
It’s important that you are open with your therapists. If you don’t tell them what’s wrong, they can’t help you. If you withhold the truth from them, they could be treating the wrong symptoms. This might explain why you’re not improving.
You are suppressing the truth about what’s wrong and that, in all likelihood, is what’s causing your symptoms. You can’t hide from the truth. Maybe gender identity is at the heart of your problems, but coming to a resolution will be difficult if you are unwilling to speak about it.
You seem to be letting fear hold you back. It doesn’t have to be that way. You are fortunate to have access to mental health professionals but you have been using their services incorrectly. If you’re not comfortable speaking to them about gender identity, you might try showing them this letter. It outlines the issues with which you are struggling. It might be a good place to start.
If you feel as though you might harm yourself, then call emergency services. Once you begin to open up about your identity concerns, you will feel a great deal of relief. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.
APA Reference Randle, K. (2018). Gender Crisis. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/11/05/gender-crisis/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 5 Nov 2015) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.