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6 Apr, 15 tweets, 3 min read
A thread on overcoming gender dysphoria:

Gender dysphoria is a sense of unease or distress due to a mismatch between ones biological sex and gender identity. This distress can be so intense it can lead to depression and, in severe cases, suicidal thoughts. 1/15
I was assessed and diagnosed with gender dysphoria at the age of 24, having developed a sense of unease over my biological sex in my teens that eventually intensified into distress by my 20s. The only treatment I was offered was medical transition, which I chose to undergo. 2/15
I injected testosterone for 4 and a half years and had a double mastectomy when I was 26, believing that doing so would ease my dysphoria. It did ease, for a while.

Unfortunately, my dysphoria would return with newfound intensity and I would come to regret my transition. 3/15
I began detransition at 28, faced with the question: If transition didn't help, how else can I treat my dysphoria?
I found the answer to that question, with no help from my therapists who showed no interest in discussing transition regret.

I'd like to share the answer now. 4/15
Note: Just as transition helps many but, for whatever reason, harms others like myself, I'd like to stress that the following is what I found to help me – it may not help others in a similar position, though I hope that it does.

okay, here we go. 5/15
The first step was identifying what caused me to develop dysphoria. Looking back on difficult experiences and confronting painful memories I'd buried. Thinking about and analyzing these in detail, I was eventually able to open up to loved ones - to explain my thoughts. 6/15
Next was taking control of my distress by changing how I thought about it. Removing self-blame, I began to think of myself as someone I love – would I blame my sister or best friend if they'd experienced what I had?

Of course not, so why blame myself? 7/15
Next, I had to find healthy coping techniques. Whenever dysphoric thoughts occurred, I'd get the urge to isolate and binge drink. Instead, I'd do the opposite; I'd go for a walk, talk to someone or do something productive, fix or make something.

Sounds simple, but it works. 8/15
I accepted the dysphoric thoughts weren't going away so ignoring them was pointless. Instead, when they occurred I'd talk to myself about them. Why do I hate my female body? Why do I want to be male? Where did that want come from when I don't know what being male feels like? 9/15
I stopped avoiding these questions and stopped avoiding situations I knew made me dysphoric. I began to think of my dysphoria as unwanted intrusive thoughts. Trying to get rid of them made them worse, so I accepted them but didn't let them stop me from doing what I wanted. 10/15
I wish I was born male, but I wasn't. I am female because I was born female. This is my body and if I take care of it, it will take care of me.

Thoughts are just thoughts, and while they can be distracting or distressing, they can't physically stop me from living my life. 11/15
I know why I developed dysphoria. I know, despite the thoughts, I'm fortunate to be healthy and capable. I know, despite the thoughts, I've achieved goals and won battles. I know, despite the thoughts, I actually have it really good.

I accept myself, despite the thoughts. 12/15
I'm a woman who deals with intrusive thoughts that tell me I should've been born male, that my body is “wrong,” but those thoughts are wrong and they're not worth my time.

With this, over the past 6 months my dysphoria has dramatically decreased in frequency and intensity. 13/15
Talking about it with myself and my loved ones, finding healthy coping techniques, learning to love and be proud of myself and what I'm capable of and adopting self-acceptance has massively helped to alleviate my dysphoria.

I'm the happiest and healthiest I've ever been. 14/15
I hope those suffering from gender dysphoria, who either don't want to transition or who did but have now detransitioned, will find peace. I never thought I would, but I have.

You can absolutely thrive by not letting dysphoria rule you.

Be the ruler of your own mind. 15/15

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More from @ImWatson91

9 Mar
Here, Dr Jack Turban joins the GenderGP podcast in a 43 minute long episode to explore “the notion of detransition.”

I'd like to explore some of the things he said myself, in this thread:


At 02:06 he calls detransition as “a really awful word” because “90% of the time you read it, it's being weaponised.” He says that when you say “detransition,” people think you mean transition regret, which Dr Turban has a problem with

This'll be a theme throughout podcast

At 02:30 Turban says detransitioners (like me) who realize that they've made a huge mistake and who regret having undergone gender affirmative transition are “not the reality.” He says “most of the time [detransition] probably doesn't mean they regret having transitioned.”

Read 11 tweets
7 Mar
The NHS states on their website (under Treatment for gender dysphoria) that due to the risks of long-term cross-sex-hormones, it is important to regularly monitor blood tests.

My clinic did not call me in for any blood tests during 2018-2019, while I was still on hormones.

1/4 Image
They also state (under Life after transition) that you need to inform your optician and dentist that you're on hormones as they can affect treatment.

And that you may stop being called for sex-based screenings.

2/4 Image
I was not informed about either of these.

I visited both my optician and my dentist while on hormones, completely unaware that they can affect treatment.

Neither my optician nor my dentist appeared to be aware of this either. If they were, they said nothing to me.

Read 4 tweets
30 Jan
My mum reluctantly supported my transition.

She knew I was mentally unwell when I began pursuing it. She knew I was probably making a mistake. Yet, she said nothing. Why?

Fear. The fear of a mother, that her vulnerable daughter would cut her off if she objected. 1/8
She revealed something to me recently that she's never told me before. She attended counseling to address her grief at losing a daughter when I began to transition. She felt her daughter had died, and in her place was some man who was demanding to be her son. 2/8
She was a grieving mother with nobody and nowhere to turn to, because her grief was painted as transphobic and hateful, when in fact it was the opposite.

It was unconditional love for her daughter that forced her to support me and stay by my side even though it hurt her. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
13 Jan
You know, I lived as a man for 5+ years but I don't actually know what it feels like to *be* one

I was perceived as one and so treated as one. But I wasn't one. It was an act. I don't know what it's like to actually *be* male and have to deal with male issues and struggles

How could I know? Because I looked like one?

Aye, people did treat me differently, for better & worse, and I can see how men and women are socialised differently from a new lens

But there's much I didn't have to deal with as trans. I wasn't going to get a girl pregnant

I also had to tell the women I slept with that I didn't have a dick, so, y'know. Not a very male experience

Yes, I looked, sounded and acted male, and was therefore treated as male. But I wasn't, would never be, and that was the final nail in the coffin of my transition

Read 5 tweets
21 Dec 20
I can't say what the global experience of being diagnosed with gender dysphoria is. I can, however, tell you what I went through for the diagnosis, and what the subsequent referral for HRT and surgery was like.

I was 24, severely depressed with a drinking problem, had attempted suicide, and had had an "episode" which required hospitalisation on a psych ward when I was evaluated at the gender clinic.

I was prescribed and was injecting T within months.

I thought transition would cure whatever had caused my problems. So did my psychiatrist. To his credit, he had no way of knowing otherwise. I genuinely believe he, and the gender team who looked at my case, thought they were doing best by me. They were the professionals.

Read 8 tweets
16 Dec 20
If I may offer some advice to those who treat/evaluate dysphoric individuals who are considering transition - ask your patients to seriously think on the unchangeable aspects that go beyond desiring to obtain the outward appearance of the opposite sex

You can get HRT and however many surgeries you desire. You can *look* like and be perceived as the opposite sex.

But a woman will never truly experience what it is to be male, and a man will never truly experience what it is to be female.

I obtained the appearance of a male and "lived as" one for 5 years. But it was all superficial.

I'm not male. I'll never remember being a wee boy, go through male puberty, have a real penis, father kids - because while I *look* like a male, HRT/surgery didn't *make* me one

Read 5 tweets

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