Gender, male or female, it is one the basic elements that helps develop our own individual personalities and sense of self. But then there are those who are really sure they are you they should be. Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a condition where the individual feels a strong identification with the opposite gender.
A person suffering from GID often experience severe discomfort with their actual anatomic gender. They may often present themselves as members of the opposite sex, as well as express their desire to alter their bodies.
Some individuals, such as Chaz Bono, are committed to altering their physical appearances. They may do this through cosmetics, hormones, and in a few cases surgery. Those who commit to the surgery, such as Chaz, are known as transsexuals.
What is it?
With all the science and technology in the world today, no one has quite been able to determine the exact cause. There are however several theories that exist. They include genetic (chromosomal) abnormalities, hormone imbalances during fetal and early childhood development.
How common is GID?
This is a rare disorder that can affect anyone at any age. It is usually caught in early childhood, in fact, most people are able to recognize it before adolescents (<13 years old).
How can it be diagnosed?
GID is usually diagnosed by a trained mental health professional (psychiatrist or psychologist). They perform a thorough medical history and psychological exam. They do this to rule out the possibility of depression, anxiety or psychosis. GID is diagnosed when the evaluation confirms the constant desire to become the opposite sex.