“Rapid onset gender dysphoria” and misunderstanding comorbidity

Zinnia Jones

Proponents of the “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) hoax diagnosis have a very peculiar understanding of comorbidity, the co-occurrence of two or more conditions. For example, untreated gender dysphoria is known to be often accompanied by conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidal ideation, while treatment via medical transition typically results in a reduction in these conditions.

ROGD proponents turn this entirely on its head:

The problem lies in differentiating those who truly are, from those who have other issues that lead them to believe they are transgender.

All other potential causes must be considered and eliminated before resorting to radical, risky and irreversible medical interventions.

The problem is that the ROGD universe encompasses a nearly endless variety of proposed “potential causes” of gender dysphoria. These include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • ADHD
  • “Post-Traumatic Stress Disroder” [sic]


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About Zinnia Jones

My work focuses on insights to be found across transgender sociology, public health, psychiatry, history of medicine, cognitive science, the social processes of science, transgender feminism, and human rights, taking an analytic approach that intersects these many perspectives and is guided by the lived experiences of transgender people. I live in Orlando with my family, and work mainly in technical writing.
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