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The American Psychological Association (APA) has a Frequently Asked Questions section on Transgender, which says "A psychological state is considered a mental disorder only if it causes significant distress or disability. Many transgender people do not experience their gender as distressing or disabling, which implies that identifying as transgender does not constitute a mental disorder. For these individuals, the significant problem is finding affordable resources, such as counseling, hormone therapy, medical procedures, and the social support necessary to freely express their gender identity and minimize discrimination. Many other obstacles may lead to distress, including a lack of acceptance within society, direct or indirect experiences with discrimination, or assault. These experiences may lead many transgender people to suffer with anxiety, depression, or related disorders at higher rates than non-transgender persons."

In August 2009, the American Psychological Association released a statement on "Transgender, Gender Identity, & Gender Expression Non-Discrimination." Among other things, it advocates for "the efficacy, benefit and medical necessity of gender transition treatments for appropriately evaluated individuals and calls upon public and private insurers to cover these medically necessary treatments." The 2008 report of the Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance goes into more detail.

Is it an Illness?

Key Points

Some transgender people are diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria in order to facilitate treatment options. Medical treatments such as hormones and surgery are considered "medically necessary."

Trans Basics
Gender vs. Sexuality
Beyond the Binary
Labels and Vocabulary
Myths and Sterotypes
Children and Youth
Is it an Illness?