gender dysphoria and Bi-Polar

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gender dysphoria and Bi-Polar

Postby csummers » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:52 am

Hi everyone.
Thank you for making me feel welcome here. :)

I was wondering if anyone had any reserch on gender dysphoria and bi-polar, or know someone that has both and if they are connected in any way?

cj x

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Re: gender dysphoria and Bi-Polar

Postby Ice Maiden » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:56 am

IMO and remember i am not a doctor so its just an opinion

I think it can go hand in hand

Gender dysphoria i have often felt was a highs and lows feeling and cyclical

i mean when a transperson feels low they can feel VERY LOW!

but then they may go out dressed to a club and feel amazing

then crash again

Couple that with hormones on the rlt and it can be explosive

I know many see the depression coming almost like an approaching storm and then it wains and is often medicated - but Kerry Katona has shown just how changing ones life can help, then again there are people like Stephen Fry who have suffered terribly

I mean it is quite possible the two can go hand in hand

Just as a transperson is not exempt from the flu because they are trans why shouldnt this apply to other issues that run alongside - and these can muddy the waters when seeking treatment for GD because chances are you local medica are better versed in BP than GD

just a thought
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Re: gender dysphoria and Bi-Polar

Postby Kelly » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:13 pm

I agree with IM. We are all human beings and as such we just as likely to be bi~polar as the rest of our species. However being trans does not mean we are more likely to suffer from depression.

Years ago I went to my doctor because I wasn't sleeping well and was having night sweats. I hasten to add at this juncture I was still married and a long long way from transition. To cut this story short my doctor diagnosed clinical depression. I had never heard of that so wished to know more. My doctor said that clinical depression usually runs in families and asked if anyone in my family had ever suffered depression. Both my sisters and my Mum have,my Mum had to be admitted to hospital as hers was so bad. He explained that clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance within the brain and can be treated with medication. After 3 months medication I was free of that darkness I'm happy to tell.

I still get the "blues" but now they are somehow linked to an invisible monthly clock ... I can deal with that.


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Re: gender dysphoria and Bi-Polar

Postby csummers » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:43 pm

Should of posted this in the general section!

Thanks for your replys.

I have bi-polar and have suffered all my life but only diagnosed in the last 2 years. I am very new new to gender dysphoria but had the feelings for years.

Now im under medication and very stable the feelings are stronger that ever. My doctor thinks that because i am stable that i dont have to think about being high or low and the other symtoms are now gone i have space in my brain to deal with other underlying problems like Gender Dysphoria.

She also said the my bipolar MAY get better if i get my wish and become a woman. It could be this underlying problem of Dysphoria that is causing the bipolar...

Something to think about....

cj x

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Re: gender dysphoria and Bi-Polar

Postby thedreadpersephone » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:55 pm

Hi cj,

From a personal point of view, it's great that your doctor is on board with you seeking treatment for your gender dysphoria. As long as you are stable on your medication hopefully you shouldn't face too many problems with that.

More generally regarding a link between gender dysphoria and bipolar disorder, a quick look at the literature turned up the following:
Findings - Trans people have a similar rate of psychiatric problems (unrelated to gender dysphoria) to the general population. Of 435 trans people, 3 had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In my opinion, this looked liked a pretty well designed study using data about a decent number of trans people. Here's a summary of a study done in Japan with similar results - ... order.html ... 164/7/1122
This is really just a letter talking about a case study. For the person in question, manic episodes seemed to exacerbate the gender dysphoria and the authors would like to link both to some chromosomal abnormality. In my opinion, you can't tell much from one person. They refer to another study, also relating to one person. Can't get in to read the whole thing but here is the abstract: ... tNr=224276 Again not very convincing and the abstract makes it sound like they would like to put all transsexualism down to 'psychosis-induced transsexual desires'.

So, there isn't much out there to suggest a link between bipolar disorder and gender dysphoria. However, we still know relatively little about the causes of both conditions. There are also a lot of issues with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder - some people think it is under-diagnosed, some people think it is over-diagnosed. My own guess is that they are not connected but there are a few people out there who, like yourself, are affected by both. If one or the other is untreated, then they will obviously have some sort of interaction with each other - you only have one brain after all!
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