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View Diary: Can We Talk About Fatal Cases of Depression? (226 comments)

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  •  Yeah. For me there's the contributing factor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, Aji

    of being trans. Not just that the struggle with being trans is depressing, although there is that. But also, there seems to be a growing amount of evidence that trans people have brain structures that match our gender identity. Untreated, we have brain chemistry that matches our body.

    So if there's a structure/chemistry mismatch there, it's probably having an effect of some sort. I've often wondered if it contributes to my odd responses to psychiatric drugs and painkillers.

    •  Yeah, that's why I mentioned it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      I thought possibly brain structure correlated more with gender identity rather than with the body of one's birth, so to speak.

      Could very well affect the painkiller issue, too - there's a fairly large body of evidence suggesting wide disparities in gender responses to pain and to to specific treatments for it.

      Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

      by Aji on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 04:10:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but there's some complexity there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aji

        If it is in fact the case that even untreated trans people react differently to meds, that would be good to know - but the answer wouldn't be as simple as just prescribing meds in accordance with our gender, because there'd still be the issue that our existing brain chemistry corresponds to our birth sex.

        Not sure what the answer is.

        •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          I don't know how much research there is out there in this area, but it's certainly necessary.  I remember 15-20 years ago when it came out that drug therapies and other treatments were being tested as to how well they performed on men - with no research into whether or how they actually worked in women - how shocked and outraged everyone was.  And every now and then I see a reference that suggests that that sort of blinkered approach is still going on, WRT either gender, gender identity, race/ethnicity, whatever.  at least now that science is beginning to show how individualistic each person's brain and its responses tends to be, I'm hoping that it will begin influencing treatment protocols and prescribing patterns, too.

          Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

          by Aji on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 05:00:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's a bit from column A, a bit from column B. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      There are some studies that have found that certain regions and certain microstructures of the brain in trans people (both m2f and f2m) more strongly match the brains of their gender identity than that of their body; I've seen at least three covering different parts of the brain.  At the same time, there are studies that show that other parts of the brain, as well as whole-brain size, shift in response to hormones.  Being trans doesn't mean that the entire brain correlates with that of the opposite physical gender.  But there are key regions that do before hormones, and after the administration of hormones, almost everything does.

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