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Chapter 14. Gender Dysphoria

DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585624836.297696
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Psychiatrists study, categorize, and treat all manners of mental illness. Although there is a fringe perspective that all mental illness is “myth,” almost no one within psychiatry doubts the distress and dysfunction that accompany such mental illnesses as schizophrenia, psychotic depression, and bipolar mania. There is more debate, however, about symptom clusters that blend subtly into variations on normal. When is shyness an anxiety disorder? When does quirkiness become high-functioning autism spectrum disorder? At what point do disagreeable behaviors become a personality disorder? When do “senior moments” become minor neurocognitive disorder? These debates are inevitable and are akin to similar debates about such nonpsychiatric medical diagnoses as diabetes and hypertension.

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