Adolescents with gender dysphoria experience a marked incongruence between their experienced gender identity and their gender assigned at birth (based on their sexual anatomy) accompanied by distress. Gender identity refers to one’s sense of self as female or male. Increasingly, youth identify with a gender that differs from the traditional dichotomous classification of females and males: non-binary, gender fluid, gender queer etc.
You can be rest assured that at Skooc, you and your family are in good hands.
Keep a lookout for some of the following signs of gender dysphoria in your teenager. These signs may be physical, mental, or behavioural in nature. These patterns typically develop in early childhood. They can also start to emerge as the adolescent grows into a young adult. They typically engage in behaviour typically associated with the opposite sex and tend to refuse to participate in sports or activities traditionally associated with their at-birth gender.
feel strongly that their gender identity differs from the sex they were given at birth or tell you that they feel unsure about their gender
Feelings of disgust with their genitals, Avoiding activities that would require them to touch or see their genitals (e.g. taking showers)
Preoccupation with ridding their body of primary and secondary sex characteristics through surgery, hormones, or other medical procedures
Expressed desire that others treat them and refer to them as their gender identity and use a different pronoun like ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘they.’
Expressed a desire to live according to their gender identity
The distress caused by the conflict between their biological sex (assigned gender) and the gender they identify with
want to get rid of the physical signs of their sex or have those of a different sex – for example, your child might say they want to use medication to become more masculine or feminine, or they might start wearing clothes that hide their body
show signs of depression or anxiety– for example, not wanting to take part in social situations, particularly activities that are gendered, like sport
If you notice recurring instances of a few of these symptoms in your teenager, we at Skooc recommend a formal evaluation.
At Skooc, we help you better understand what you and your teenager are going through. While some adolescents might express their feelings of gender dysphoria to their parents or a doctor, others might instead show symptoms of a mood disorder, anxiety or depression or display social or academic problems. Your family doctor or teen’s paediatrician can do a preliminary evaluation. However, it’s essential that you have your teen evaluated by a child and adolescent psychologist or psychiatrist, preferably one who has experience treating gender dysphoria. They will evaluate your teen to confirm the incongruence of their gender identity and sex assigned at birth, their history and development of gender dysphoric feelings, the impact of the stigma attached to gender nonconformity on their mental health.
Next Steps and Intervention
Our team of professional psychologists at Skooc can help you and your family by providing the necessary interventions. A treatment plan for a teenager with gender dysphoria may include any or all of the following:
Individual psychotherapy - For teens with gender dysphoria, psychotherapy aims to help young people better understand themselves. This is achieved through clarifying and teaching them how to accept their gender identity. Individual therapy also supports teens in learning how to cope with the stress of gender dysphoria. This includes stigma related to the transgender and gender non-conforming community. The aim of therapy is to not only help the young person manage their distress but also provide a supportive, confidential, and safe environment.
Family therapy - Family plays a vital role in the emotional well-being of teens with gender dysphoria. These teens can also present unique and complex challenges in the familial setting. Through therapy, a family unit can be strengthened. All members have the opportunity to be supported. Parents or caregivers can be helped to better understand the transgender experience, including learning terminology and supportive language (appropriate pronoun use).
Group therapy - Participation in a therapeutic group can benefit teens with gender dysphoria. They gain support from peers in a safe and encouraging setting.
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Skooc has helped my daughter get into a great shape physically and mentally. She has lost more than 15 kgs and has improved her health metrics enough that she is no longer at risk of chronic diseases. The program worked with my daughter and me to help us understand how to correct what we were doing. Very importantly, Avi and I no longer fight over what she eats and what she does not.
My son has lost 15 kgs and I lost 10 kgs through the Skooc program. It was easily paced and did not ever restrict my child from eating anything that was essential. He had a balanced meal everyday and he and his counsellor agreed on a schedule that was easy for me to cook too. From a child who watched TV all the time and ate junk food, Ayaan is now an active child and a healthy eater who is very happy and confident with how he looks.
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Ria was teased very badly in school for being fat and would be very embarrassed about even going out. When we went to the doctor we were shocked to find out that she was very overweight and had high cholesterol. We joined Skooc and both she and I have dropped our extra weight and even after finishing the full course are able to stick with the habits we learnt at Skooc. We are both very happy with our new healthy bodies.
My son suffered from constant digestive issues and obesity. He found it very difficult to run and play due to his thighs being very fat and also he suffered from pains in his knees, hips. He also had trouble breathing after even walking a small distance. We joined Skooc because we had tried to put Jay on a diet before and it had not worked. At Skooc, he dropped 24Kgs and is now a teenager who was healthily and works out everyday. I personally dropped 16Kgs and now we are both very close to entering our ideal weight zone