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Gender Disappointment & Mental Health: Seeking Professional Help

Posts: 4,153

Joined 10-Dec-07

Top Poster
29-Oct-10 8:21 am

No one here thinks you're crazy.  We believe you are dealing with Gender Disappointment (GD).  Loosely defined, GD is feeling disappointed or saddened in the sex of your baby.  It can range from a mild desire to raise a child of the other sex to an extreme depression in the sex of the baby you have.

Someone on In-Gender may suggest that you seek professional help or counseling, as may someone you know in your real life.  They do not think you are crazy, rather, they can tell that you are in profound pain.  Please do not see this as an attack -- we wish to help you find a path to healing.  Everyone can use some help sometimes -- this just might be one of your times.

Gender Disappointment and Mental Health

GD is not acknowledged by the DSM-IV; it is not an officially recognized mental health disorder.   Of course, PTSD was not included until 1980 either, but no one today thinks that it wasn't a real condition before that date.  The lack of official status does not mean that this isn't a real, troubling issue you are dealing with.  Although the cause may be unique, for many there may be elements of:  depression (major depressive episodes, antenatal depression, postpartum depression), anxiety, grief, fear, PTSD, psychosis, and/or other possible conditions.

While talking about your GD on the In-Gender Forums can be quite helpful, there are times when it becomes so painful or overwhelming that seeking support from a professional -- be it therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional -- might be in your and your family's best interest.  A professional may be able to offer an educated and supportive ear, give you strategies to deal with your feelings, provide guidance or a framework for recovery, help you find the deep-seated causes of your gender issues, sort through past traumas and experiences, and work with medications such as antidepressants as necessary.

When to See a Professional

Only you and those who know you well can determine when it's time to seek professional support.  Please remember, there is no shame in seeking help from someone trained to provide it.  It is not a failure, but rather taking a proactive step to improve life for yourself and your family.  It might be a good idea to consider seeking a professional if:

  • GD is interfering with your day-to-day functioning
  • You are contemplating a major decision (divorce, abortion, adoption, etc) due to your GD
  • You are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, confused, or even suicidal
  • You would like a non-judgmental person to discuss your feelings with
  • You are ready to make a change in your thought-process regarding GD
  • Close family or friends see changes in you and think it would be a good idea

Tips in Choosing a Mental Health Professional for GD

Since GD is not a generally-accepted diagnosis, and there can exist an unfair bias -- even among professionals -- with those that are unaware of these types of feelings, the following may be helpful in choosing a professional.  The most helpful professional may be someone who:

  • You have a pre-existing theraputic relationship with
  • Works with antenatal or postpartum depression
  • Has a one-gender family
  • Is highly recommended in your community and comes with strong credentials


Good luck in your journey to overcome Gender Disappointment.  May you find support on IG and through a professional if you feel it could be helpful.

Me?  I see a shrink.  I see a shrink a lot. 

It helps.


"As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag."  -Patti Smith

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