Trans developmental trajectories and selection bias in the “rapid onset gender dysphoria” paper

Zinnia Jones

Lisa Littman’s “rapid onset gender dysphoria” makes use of a very peculiar argument to advance the notion that gender dysphoria appearing for the first time in adolescence is a novel and unstudied condition that requires the further explanation offered by her hypothesis:

The majority of adolescents who present for care for gender dysphoria are individuals who experienced early-onset gender dysphoria that persisted or worsened with puberty although an atypical presentation has been described where adolescents who did not experience childhood symptoms present with new symptoms in adolescence.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Symptom clusters in chronic depersonalization

Zinnia Jones

While the experience of living with depersonalization disorder symptoms can be difficult to describe, the peculiar and specific nature of these symptoms often makes it clear that these are distinct and real phenomena, and many sufferers identify closely with descriptions of feelings such as having “no self”, looking at the world through a veil or glass, or feeling like a robot or automaton. Even more interestingly, the many varied symptoms of depersonalization cluster together into roughly four sub-areas – and those who experience a symptom from one cluster are more likely to have other symptoms in that cluster as well.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Depersonalization disorder: not just depression, not just anxiety

Zinnia Jones

When I’ve previously spoken about my experiences with depersonalization disorder, a condition common in pre-transition trans people characterized by a sense of unreality of oneself or the world, I’ve sometimes received feedback from those who believe that the symptoms I’m describing are instead simply a part of depression or anxiety. As a sufferer of both depression and anxiety, the distinction between these conditions and chronic depersonalization is hard to miss – and published studies have confirmed that depersonalization disorder is a distinct syndrome, not merely a “negligible variant” of depressive or anxious conditions.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sex hormones and genetic differences in trans people

Zinnia Jones

Research into possible genetic differences present in trans people has long been a mixed bag. Initial results finding an association between variants in genes relating to androgen and estrogen receptors have at times failed to replicate, and various other studies offer tantalizing hints but no clearly defined role for certain genes in the development of gender identity and gender dysphoria. Now, a new study of trans women appears to offer further evidence of variation in genes affecting the processing of sex hormones, with implications for the feminization or masculinization of our brains during fetal development.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Migraine headaches, trans people, and hormone therapy

Zinnia JonesFrom age 3 or 4, which is as far back as I can remember, I experienced chronic, frequent migraine headaches, just as my mother and her father have had throughout their lives. These episodes of severe pain would often happen once or twice a week, accompanied by intense nausea, with my parents often having to pick me up from school. I was typically given Tylenol or Motrin for this, but nothing really seemed to be effective against the pain, and I would generally have to spend a day sleeping it off. These attacks became somewhat less frequent after age 9, and I only had about one every week or two after that. From age 12-13 I was given daily cyproheptadine as a preventative medication due to how much school I was missing, with Excedrin Migraine (aspirin, Tylenol, caffeine) as needed. However, once I began to experience many of the most rapid and prominent physical changes of puberty during ages 14 to 15, the frequency of migraine attacks dropped sharply: for the rest of my teenage years, I would only have migraines once or twice a year. Continue reading

Posted in Biology of transition, Endocrinology, Health care | Tagged , | Leave a comment