Gender, Identity and Sexuality
Gender, Identity and sexuality are separate but interrelated concepts that affect many people These are important concepts in our society and can be implicated in mental health issues for many people of diverse ages.
What is gender?
Gender is often confused with ‘sex’ or biological gender, however gender actually refers to your sense of ‘who you are’ as a man, woman or something else that doesn’t fit into traditional binary concepts of gender. We all express our gender in different ways and we therefore relate to concepts of masculinity and femininity and otherness in different ways. Gender can be fluid and is certainly not rigid or fixed.
What is sexuality?
Sexuality typically refers to sexual, physical or romantic attractions. Traditionally, this is a seen within the domain of – heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual – however, people also identify as asexual or pansexual, as well as many others. Sexuality is far more complex that being ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ and this can be a confusing experience for some people, and their families, who don’t fit into traditional societal constructs. It’s therefore important to seek the right advice from a clinical psychologist so that you can better understand how these processes are working within your life.
How we relate to these concepts and ourselves typically constitutes part of our identity. For men and women alike, issues within these areas can cause depression and anxiety. For example, many men are faced with issues relating to masculinity and how they perceive themselves in the world, and getting the right support is crucial to developing mental health.
Gender dysphoria is a specific condition that arises from discord between one’s natal/birth/assigned gender (male/female) as being opposite to one’s emotional and psychological identity. This condition can have far reaching consequences for mental and social health, and is important to be assessed.
Issues relating to gender, identity and sexual can create instances of depression, anxiety, confusion and social withdrawal. It is therefore important to address these issues.
The role and presence of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other psychological and psychiatric conditions can complicate the development and trajectory of gender, identity and sexuality. MVS Group recommend a thorough assessment to understand if/how these other conditions may be complicating how you relate to your gender, identity and sexuality before prescribing any treatment.
What can I do?
It’s important to seek help from those around you such as family and friends in the first instance as well as read about these things online. It may also be important to speak with a clinical psychologist about your concerns. A clinical psychologist can help you understand what is happening in relation to your gender, identity and/or sexuality. This may involve addressing issues relating to being gay or lesbian, or addressing issues relating to your self-concept, gender fluidity, or gender dysphoria.
At MVS Group, we are highly experienced in helping individuals cope with these important issues.
For more information, get in touch with us today