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Mental health and gender dysphoria: a review of the literature

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Abstract
Studies investigating the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among trans individuals have identified elevated rates of psychopathology. Research has also provided conflicting psychiatric outcomes following gender-confirming medical interventions. This review identifies 38 cross-sectional and longitudinal studies describing prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders and psychiatric outcomes, pre- and post-gender-confirming medical interventions, for people with gender dysphoria. It indicates that, although the levels of psychopathology and psychiatric disorders in trans people attending services at the time of assessment are higher than in the cis population, they do improve following gender-confirming medical intervention, in many cases reaching normative values. The main Axis I psychiatric disorders were found to be depression and anxiety disorder. Other major psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, were rare and were no more prevalent than in the general population. There was conflicting evidence regarding gender differences: some studies found higher psychopathology in trans women, while others found no differences between gender groups. Although many studies were methodologically weak, and included people at different stages of transition within the same cohort of patients, overall this review indicates that trans people attending transgender health-care services appear to have a higher risk of psychiatric morbidity (that improves following treatment), and thus confirms the vulnerability of this population.
Keywords
transsexualism, SEX HORMONAL TREATMENT, gender dysphoria, mental health, psychiatric disorders, anxiety, depression, INDIVIDUALS, DISCRIMINATION, FEMALE, REASSIGNMENT, TRANSSEXUALS, SOCIAL SUPPORT, TRANSGENDER PERSONS, PSYCHIATRIC COMORBIDITY, IDENTITY DISORDER

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Chicago
Dhejne, Cecilia, Roy Van Vlerken, GUNTER HEYLENS, and Jon Arcelus. 2016. “Mental Health and Gender Dysphoria: a Review of the Literature.” International Review of Psychiatry 28 (1): 44–57.
APA
Dhejne, C., Van Vlerken, R., HEYLENS, G., & Arcelus, J. (2016). Mental health and gender dysphoria: a review of the literature. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY, 28(1), 44–57.
Vancouver
1.
Dhejne C, Van Vlerken R, HEYLENS G, Arcelus J. Mental health and gender dysphoria: a review of the literature. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY. 2016;28(1):44–57.
MLA
Dhejne, Cecilia, Roy Van Vlerken, GUNTER HEYLENS, et al. “Mental Health and Gender Dysphoria: a Review of the Literature.” INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY 28.1 (2016): 44–57. Print.
@article{7081076,
  abstract     = {Studies investigating the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among trans individuals have identified elevated rates of psychopathology. Research has also provided conflicting psychiatric outcomes following gender-confirming medical interventions. This review identifies 38 cross-sectional and longitudinal studies describing prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders and psychiatric outcomes, pre- and post-gender-confirming medical interventions, for people with gender dysphoria. It indicates that, although the levels of psychopathology and psychiatric disorders in trans people attending services at the time of assessment are higher than in the cis population, they do improve following gender-confirming medical intervention, in many cases reaching normative values. The main Axis I psychiatric disorders were found to be depression and anxiety disorder. Other major psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, were rare and were no more prevalent than in the general population. There was conflicting evidence regarding gender differences: some studies found higher psychopathology in trans women, while others found no differences between gender groups. Although many studies were methodologically weak, and included people at different stages of transition within the same cohort of patients, overall this review indicates that trans people attending transgender health-care services appear to have a higher risk of psychiatric morbidity (that improves following treatment), and thus confirms the vulnerability of this population.},
  author       = {Dhejne, Cecilia and Van Vlerken, Roy and HEYLENS, GUNTER and Arcelus, Jon},
  issn         = {0954-0261},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY},
  keyword      = {transsexualism,SEX HORMONAL TREATMENT,gender dysphoria,mental health,psychiatric disorders,anxiety,depression,INDIVIDUALS,DISCRIMINATION,FEMALE,REASSIGNMENT,TRANSSEXUALS,SOCIAL SUPPORT,TRANSGENDER PERSONS,PSYCHIATRIC COMORBIDITY,IDENTITY DISORDER},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {44--57},
  title        = {Mental health and gender dysphoria: a review of the literature},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/09540261.2015.1115753},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2016},
}

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