Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mental Disorder v. Medical Condition

Pam's House Blend has noted a report by an HIV/AIDS group that called for Gender Identity Disorder to be reclassified as a medical condition and removed from the DSM as a mental disorder.  Doing so would remove the current stigma that Transgendered individuals must face when seeking treatment. Many insurance carriers, at least those few that cover SRS, require a diagnosis of GID before they cover treatment. This essentially means that a trans person must be declared mentally disturbed before they can receive treatment.  Reclassifying GID as a medical condition would allow it to be treated, and hopefully covered, by the medical community in a straightforward manner.

Until 1990, homosexuality was still listed in the DSM as a mental disorder. Removing that classification was a huge step forward in the recognition and understanding of homosexuals as normal people and NOT disturbed or deviant. We still have a long way to, of course, to convey this enlightened understanding throughout the populace but it was an important step. In the same way, recognizing that trans people are NOT mentally disturbed would be an equally important step in the understanding and accepatance of transgendered individuals.

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