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Dear Christine, Depressed in Dexter

| June 26, 2017

Dear Christine,
Gender confusion, Please Help!?
I am 21 years old, biological male, and suffering a from a very extreme depression. This depression has been quite a constant in my life and I’m keen to be rid of it. I know it’s stemming from the doubt, anxiety, and confusion that comes in the delightfully painful package that we call gender confusion. Mentally, at least, I’ve always been female. I’ve decided on two courses of action. Getting help from s’s many sources as possible in an attempt to fix myself and if that doesn’t work then I’m just going to see myself out. Talking me out of that part is pointless I might add. My life is a living hell and any alternative to living s’s a freak is highly preferable. I have spoken to a gender therapist already and they didn’t help. Just told me I should try and be a happy freak. 150$ a session and im never going back. So that is out of the question as well.
Sign me, Depressed in Dexter

Dear Depressed, What you are feeling is awful, but it is not unusual for someone who has Gender Dysphoria.  Your body presents are one sex, and your brain identifies as the other.  There is a disconnect that can be helped.  You have the choice to accept this is your unique self and try to figure out what will make your life more livable and happier.  Perhaps you will decide to take hormones, or alter your body to reflect physically what you experience psychologically.  The other option is to  not accept this unique self and be miserable.  Suicide is an option that many people have taken when they don’t see a way to be who they feel they are on the inside.  But getting some good, professional help would be worth checking out. Go back to the therapist you tried.  Figure out what you mean and need to “fix yourself” and see if that is what the therapist can help you with.  If fixing yourself does not include self acceptance but is only seeing yourself as a freak, then take a look at these pictures of women who are transgendered.  Notice that they work in all sorts of professions and they have all sorts of ways of expressing who they feel they are on the inside.  Not one looks like a “freak” to me! http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/TSgallery1.html
If you really want to educate yourself about being transgender, also known as transsexual, please check out this website.  http://forum.beginninglifeforums.com/ind.  It is difficult when you are in such pain to realize that you can have a new and better life.  It’s a struggle to come to terms with accepting who you are, but there are lots of examples out there of men who realized they really are a woman inside.  The most recent one I know of is Bradley Manning, the US Army soldier convicted in July 2013 of violating the Espionage Act and 22 other charges after releasing a large set of restricted documents.  He was exploring  gender dysphoria as early as 2009 and in 2010 emailed his supervisor that he had gender identity disorder.  The day after sentencing, August 22, 2-013, Manning’s attorney issued a press release that Bradley identifies as female and request that the media refer to her by her new name and feminine pronouns.   There couldn’t be a more public way to come out, but Chelsea Elizabeth Manning had been through it all, and in moving forward with her life, it meant accepting guilt for the charges, but also accepting her identity.   She said:  “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me.  I am Chelsea Manning.  I am female.  Given the way that I feel, and have felt from childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.  I hope that you will support me in this transition.  I also request that , starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility).  I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.” 
It’s hard to imagine a more charged and public environment in which to transition from male to female, but when you finally face your own truth, there is such relief at finally being at peace with yourself, it makes it worthwhile.  IF you don’t want to go back to the same therapist, make a clean, new start and find another therapist who is qualified to work with Gender Identity Disorder and Gender Dysphoria.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the therapists approach to working with these issues. Good luck to you, and write me again, to let me know how you’re doing.  Christine Cantrell

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888

Click here to email Christine.

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