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Well-Being

Information about your state of mind, as well as emotional and spiritual well-being. Standards of care Therapy Self-acceptance Gender tests Spirituality Coming out Family issues

Monday, October 01, 2007

Transsexual therapy, insurance, depression

 

A reader notes:

Up until very recently I would never have gotten in touch with any other transexual people, but it is sites like yours that have helped me get over an immense hurdle in my life.  I’m finally coming to the point where I can start seeing a therapist a get on the road that will lead to my greater happiness.  I’m only 20, and still in college so I’m terribly worried about things like peers, my parents, and financing my transition.  Thankfully, your site has been the most helpful resource I have found on addressing these three issues.  I was wondering if you could answer a question for me though.  If not that’s ok.  I’m really worried about asking therapists about documenting my treatment as “treatment for depression.” I know that you said on your site that most of them will be ok with that, but how do I ask them this question?  I know that might be a stupid question, but it’s just been worrying me.  I would really appreciate your reply just for some extra strength in starting out.  grin One more thing, your site has also been very helpful for giving friends of mine more information on what I’m embarking on.

My reply:

I’m very pleased my info has been useful! As far as worrying about therapists’ responses, I say just ask in a straightforward manner at the end of your first session. If a therapist is not willing to state you’re being treated for depression, find another. No reason to work with someone who won’t be responsive to your needs.
You’re at a great age to get going. Make the most of it and find what will make you happy. Don’t let fear hold you back from what your really want!

Related information:
* Transsexual transition and insurance
* Choosing a therapist


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 10/01 at 11:39 AM
Real WorldWell-Being • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, September 28, 2007

How do I determine if transition is right for me?

 

A reader notes:

Your site is wonderful!! Informative and assuring.
I’m in a major crisis as to how to live with my feelings.
I believe I’ve created a masculine gender hell and feelings and dreams of being a woman are flooding me more intensely than ever.
I’m really scared.
t is nothing new, it goes back as far as early puberty.
The fear is, because I’m really facing this in the real world for the first time.
Now at 33, I’m no longer deceiving myself, but how do live with this? i know this is not the objective of your site, but I respect the way you addressed the issues you do cover and I can relate to your approach much better than many others.

My reply:

I recommend seeing a good therapist. Oftentimes, talking aloud about your feelings can give you a greater sense of what you want. The main thing is to realize that transition doesn’t make you a better person or change certain things about your life. It doesn’t take away all your problems. It doesn’t let you start over. If you have realistic expectations and a good level of self-acceptance, you’ll be in a much better place to decide what’s right for you.

Related resources:
* Choosing a gender therapist
* Transgender forum list


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 09/28 at 09:12 AM
BasicsWell-Being • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Turning transition hopes into tangible goals

 

A reader notes:

Your plans and organizational presentation have put a peace on me that just show me that I have recently been very disorganized and even disoriented about this whole transition adventure. I am not nearly as young as you but I surely feel so much more relaxed knowing the hope is real. I have been scared and even frightened with the thoughts of wondering what am I heading for. Your pages have enlightened my heart and I feel oh so very happy knowing you have become so very pretty. I am not only happy for you. And I genuinely mean happy for you. But I feel absolutely wonderful about the future. Planning and maintaining the goal looks very important to me at this moment. Your comments on keeping hidden and low key about what you do in front of others until you go full time is so very very special and has a depth of meaning that you pass on so well. I feel it inside and I know I have been directed to your page for help and confidence about my future. I am all alone and very much afraid of what is coming. But now feel confident I can do it and it is right. It is definitely right for me to go on. From the bottom of my heart Thank You for being available to me. Thank You for being so practical and real at a time when I needed to see something real for a change. It all sometimes just seems so very unreal and expressions others put on things and advice just don’t match reality.

My reply:

It wasn’t until I met a couple of women with whom I could identify that it became real for me, either. I think having a role model or two is what it takes to turn a fantasy into a reality.
Since I have put up my site, there have been several women who have documented their own transitions. Each has a different set of challenges, and I hope readers will find among the sites out there someone whose life seems close to their own. I hope that if you stumble across any tips or advice you think might help others, you will add them to our collective wisdom to make it easier for those who come after us.
I’m honored that my example has helped you make a dream into a tangible goal.

Related resources:
* Customizing your transition timetable
* Self-acceptance


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 09/28 at 09:04 AM
BasicsWell-Being • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Transition in a small town?

 

A reader notes:

I am 23, and have been dressing as a woman for a long time. I truly want to be a woman but I live in a small town and everyone is closed minded so I keep things to myself. I am asking if you would, please email me and help my self esteem and me get used to or the courage enough to follow through on who I really want to be. Female. I really hope you write. I will send a pic if you want if you write me which I hope you do. I am scared. you probably know the feeling.

My reply:

I know people who have transitioned in very small towns with no problem. In some ways, it’s safer than big towns. The main problem is usually finding resources like electrolysis, therapy, etc.
I recommend finding a good therapist and talking through your fears. It’s good to have concerns-- it shows you’re being realistic. However, you may find in therapy that some of your fears are unfounded.
You can transition if you really want to. Don’t let unrealistic fears stop you. Best of luck!

Related resources:
* Choosing a therapist
* A List of Therapists Experienced in the Treatment of Transgender Persons (via Dr. Becky)


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 09/26 at 12:26 PM
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Finding the courage to transition

 

A reader notes:

How does one build up the courage to undergo transition?  Im 29 year old recently divorced professional who lives in a small city in the heartland.  I have suffered from gender issues for as long as I can remember and I really need to do something about it.
I am wondering what options I have for making myself look more feminine.  I am 5’ 6” tall, over weight, and look too much like a guy.  Should I go for facial feminization surgery (do you know of any surgeons in my area?) or should I try to go on hormones instead, or should I try both (plus dieting and exercising)?  Does one need to be referred by a psychiatrist to undergo facial surgery?
I’m terrified of transition because I look too much like a guy, and I can’t handle the thought of people staring at me.  How can I make myself passable?  I would do anything just to look like an average woman.
Your web site is extremely informative and has given me alot of ideas about what direction I want to go.

My reply:

I recommend setting out a long-term plan based on your finances and goals. Do hair removal first. Diet and exercise (your height is perfect already!). Work on your voice. Start therapy. Look into plastic surgeons (check drbecky.com for TS-recommended surgeons in your area). You may need to travel. Figure out if your hairline is OK.
The courage comes from dealing with each tiny step. The confidence comes with each day you move closer to your goal. It’s scary at first, but a little every day is the way to get over the fear.

Related information:
* Self-acceptance and transition


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 09/26 at 10:15 AM
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