Alternative Treatments For Gender Identity Disorder


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Artist-Philosopher Chriss L. Pagani, statement and biography
Artist's Statement & Bio


  • Q. If gender dysphoria may be caused by depression, why do I feel so good when I dress?

    A. I wouldn't assume that there is only one possible explanation. Yeah, perhaps you are a true transsexual. But there are some complicated biological issues involved. The process of dressing may increase brain serotonin levels, for example. Serotonin levels play a critical role in depression. This doesn't mean you don't have Gender Identity Disorder, but it should give you something to think about before you make an irrevocable decisions. It's also something that can and should be addressed with medication rather than life upheaval.

  • Q. Isn't it possible that you have your facts backwards? Isn't it just as likely that the torment of Gender Identity Disorder causes Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and depression, rather than the other way around?
  • A. Not exactly... When you feel you are living a lie, it can make you depressed. That's reactive or situational depression. It's like the depression you go through when a loved one dies. But I'm talking about a biological condition: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and cyclic (not reactive) depression are biological conditions. No mental thought process, no matter how intense, is likely to alter one's brain structure. If thoughts could alter your structure, then it would be possible to think yourself into being an XX (genetic) female (Or, in the case of women with gender dysphoria, could cause you to grow a penis). Medical conditions need to be dealt with medically.

  • Q: How can I find a therapist who will help me? What if there are no therapists around who will consider alternative treatments?

    A. Nobody is going to advertise that they do alternative treatment for Gender Identity Disorder unless they are part of some conservative religious movement - in which case they are to be avoided because they don't understand the biological medical basis of this condition. One possibility I suggest is that you approach a psychiatrist specifically for the treatment of depression and/or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. If your gender identity issues come up early on, you may steer your therapist back to the discussion of the underlying biological issues. Many people are unaware that they have certain rights as patients. One of these rights is to be treated for conditions affecting their lives, regardless of the therapist's personal biases.

  • Q: Aren't you just saying this stuff for religious reasons?

    A. No. The information provided is based on the scientific information available, empirical evidence, the history of psychotherapy, and the actual experience of people I know. There is no "faith" involved. I support and believe in everyone's right to live their lives as best suits them, so long as they aren't hurting anyone (including themselves). I also believe that every sister has a right to information that could help her. What you do with this information is entirely YOUR decision.

  • Q. After reading the information you have provided, I've come to the conclusion that I may have some unrealistic ideas about what it means to be a man, and what it means to be a woman. Is there anything I can do about this short of going through therapy?

    A. Yes, but without an unbiased third party (a therapist) it may be difficult for you to get a realistic appraisal of gender roles and your own false beliefs. There is hope, however.

    My first suggestion is that you make a list of all potential human behaviors - both good and bad. After you have made this list, make two columns on a separate sheet of paper: one column headed "Men" and the other "Women." Now assign all the traits to the gender you think they are most likely to belong.

    You may find in this process that most negative traits are being given to your birth gender while most positive ones are assigned to the other gender. Does this surprise you? Ask yourself if these assignments are realistic. Do all men you know fit the male stereotype you have created? Do all the women fit your female stereotype? The answer, if you are honest, will be no. Would it surprise you to learn that many members of the opposite sex also unfairly weight their gender in a negative manner?

    The truth is that men and women both possess the positive traits of love, compassion, caring, intuition and competence, AND the negative traits of anger, insensitivity, hostility and aggression. These are human traits, not gender traits.

    If you wish to defeat these false notions regarding gender roles which you have internalized, you must be on the lookout for false gender stereotypes...both internal and external. Once you identify these false beliefs, you will need to reinforce the correct idea in your own mind that these beliefs are erroneous, and that all humans possess both positive and negative characteristics regardless of their gender.

  • Q. I want to be the way I am. What if I don't want to be "deprogrammed" or whatever? What if I want to stay transgendered?

    A: There are two misconceptions here: First, no therapy will deprogram you in any literal sense.  Gender Identity Disorder is the result of a combination of biological and in-utero environmental factors, at least some of which are very poorly understood. There is no known method by which a transgendered person can become "straight" or deprogrammed and those who make such claims should be ashamed of themselves.
     Alternative therapy is intended for those who MUST find creative ways for dealing with their gender issues.
    Second, the information presented here is provided only for those who cannot or should not transition and who need an alternative just to survive. I would never want anyone to be anything other than who they are!

  • Q. What exactly is the "personality integration" you talk about? Are you saying that I have a split personality?

    A. No, the classic "split personality" of popular myth actually refers to two other medical conditions: Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder, which is now known as Dissociative Disorder. I am not dealing with these issues.

    Personality Dichotomy results when one finds certain behavior traits within themselves that are unacceptable. Although all people are sometimes mean, hateful, insensitive or harsh, some people find that they are unable to accept these aspects of their own personality. You can also Google  Cognitive Dissonance.

    To deal with these undesirable traits, they may assign them to a sort of sub-personality. The genetic male may believe (thanks to the current atmosphere of male-bashing) that all the things that are "wrong" with him stem from his maleness. He may then go on to conclude that his good traits (compassion, caring, love, etc.) must be female traits.

    Another common problem is that a person may feel like he/she is a failure in living up to the expectations of his/her birth gender. Especially in today's world, men often feel they are incapable of being the sole support and protector of the family. These are unreasonable expectations, of course, and they exist only in one's mind, but they are nonetheless quite powerful. If you feel like you are a failure as a man (or woman), then I suggest you need to reevaluate your expectations regarding gender roles rather than reevaluating your gender.

    Personality Integration begins by recognizing that all persons possess both positive and negative traits. Despite cultural myths, women are not particularly more sensitive or loving than men. Likewise, men are not pigs any more than women are sniveling conniving gold-diggers. These are negative stereotypes with no basis in reality.

    Having realized that one is a victim of false stereotypes, one can begin to put the pieces of their personality back together. One must accept that they have negative as well as positive attributes, just like every other human being. They must learn to appreciate themselves for who they are - rather than longing for some false ideal of masculinity or femininity.
    The process of personality integration comes to fruition when the patient finally realizes that they are who they are. Stereotypes are not realistic, as each person is unique in his/her own right.

  • Q. I'm a victim of GID, and you are are trying to tell me I'm wrong just for being who I am?

    A. On the contrary, I am providing this information solely as an act of compassion to help those who are suffering and have not been helped by other methods. The course of Hormones, transition and surgery is THE ACCEPTED treatment for Gender Identity Disorder and thousands have found good lives through this treatment - but it doesn't work for everyone. I admit that this information does provide a bit of a challenge  to some, and inevitably it will be misunderstood and misused. I feel bad about that, but I can't control the actions of others.  Please don't feel like I am telling you to do anything different that what you are doing:  As long as whatever course you have chosen in life works for you and you aren't causing harm to yourself or others, I would never suggest that you change anything. If you feel you need my blessing, then you have it.

    It seems to be a "thing" in the gender community to divide into camps. There are the "True Transsexuals" (what every person calls themselves) and there are the wannabes/fakes/men (everyone ELSE, especially anyone who doesn't agree with every idea that you have).  This is also known as the No True Scotsman fallacy. Look it up.  Basically, you decide that you are the 'it' of transsexualism, and so anything different from you must not be a real transsexual. It's a kind of backward logic (which means, illogical).  I'd encourage you to try to understand that just because you are convinced that one certain thing is right for you doesn't automatically make it right for everyone. You are not the template of transsexualism. That part is definitely all in your head. :) 


    I would love to call upon the psychotherapeutic and psychiatric community to begin initiating studies on the effectiveness of treating transsexualism/Gender Identity Disorder as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I suspect that we may find that OCD treatments are AT LEAST as effective as the more traditional hormones/transition/surgery route, and hopefully will also produce fewer suicides.  Please, if you are an academic in this field, heed my words!   There are so many deaths after the transition process. Even famous ones like Christine Daniels (Mike Penner) and "successful" post-operative celebrity-transsexuals like Jahna Steele have died tragically and alone.  We can do better!  It's up to you.

    Other links:

  • The Stigma of De-Transition 1  and Part 2
    TGirl Blogger on Transition Failure
    A Warning For Those Considering SRS (surgery)
    On Regret of Gender Transition
    OCD psychotherapy / self-help
    OCD Treatment / MEdications





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