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View Diary: When homosexuality was mental illness (134 comments)

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  •  As I recall, though, that's a qualified listing (1+ / 0-)
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    At least according to what I can find online (my actual copy of the DSM-IV is at the office), it's only diagnosed if "the fantasies, urges, or behaviors ...cause significant distress in the individual or be disruptive to his or her everyday functioning."

    In other words, if someone gets off on cross-dressing but isn't disturbed by it or experiencing social and/or occupational stress because of it, there's no grounds for diagnosing an illness. (Not, of course, that it would stop someone from relying on the fact that it's in the Big Book o' Mental Illnesses in the first place to stigmatize it.)

    •  Is the "social and/or occupational stress" caused (3+ / 0-)
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      Dom9000, Transactivist, musing85

      by the "illness" or by the social stigma?

      This is the exact same argument the homophobes used for hhhaving homosexuality in DSM: the "illness" inherently causes distress. Pay no attention to the effects of stigmatization, they are not relevant.

      It's a circular argument which always circles back to the discomfort of the psychologist masqueraded as his objective "knowledge" about an "illness".

      The sick people are these gender cops, obsessed with classifying human diversity and passing laws to control it.

      •  Could be either, could be both, could be none (0+ / 0-)

        I know that much about counseling/social work/therapy--it's almost never the case that there's a single cause of anything. I would like to believe, though the tenor of comments here suggests that I might be naive for doing so, or at least operating from a less-than-adequate knowledge basis, that any competent and ethical therapist would tailor the therapy provided to such a client according to the cause(s) of the dysfunction. If the stress comes largely from social pressure, then the proper therapeutic approach should be to help the client deal with that pressure in more holistic ways, develop resistance to it, coping strategies, or what have you. If the stress is internally directed (i.e., the client is truly traumatized by his/her desire to cross-dress), then that's a different kettle of fish and should, I would argue, require a different therapeutic approach.

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