Dysphoria that comes and goes…

  • Creator
  • #110242
    Stephanie Mac


    I have had feelings of wishing I were a girl since I was 13 or 14, 39 years old now, but the intensity of those feelings increases and decreases, almost to the point of going away.  It’s kind of starting a downtrend for me now but this is so cyclical that I know it will just come raging back.

    The periods in between may be as great as a year but the periods have started to reduce in length.

    Wondering if this means I am more fluid than binary or if I truly would be happier as a woman.

    How many of you have had the dysphoric feelings come and go and what do you make of them?



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    • #114758

      When the feelings fade I believe it’s when I’m most at ease with myself, and when they are loud and persistent when I am most at odds with myself.
      Good question and something I’ve thought a bit about as well.

    • #114342
      DeeAnn Hopings


      For the record, I will state that I either have no dysphoria or so little as to go unnoticed. My gender identity is rooted in a combination of male and female perspectives, energies, preferences, etc.

      That said, from what I understand, folks have yet to figure out how gender fluidity happens. To my layman’s mind, I liken it a bit to multiple personalities in that something triggers a shift. What that trigger is has yet to be understood in some consistent manner.

      It is also interesting in that some crossdressers have said something similar regarding the desire to dress. It comes and goes with a clear indication or assignable cause. Just another one of those mysteries so far. I can understand how a high level of demanding activity can cause a suppression of desires, but I suspect that it isn’t the only mechanism…

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    • #114339

      I’m 45 and completely understand what you mean. I had one of the most extreme feelings of dysphoria this morning which lasted well into the afternoon. This has been happening more frequently recently. It has resulted in me joining this forum and seriously considering attending the Gender Identity Clinic for the first time. I have always repressed my feelings well until a couple of years ago, and coped fine, but the cycles of dysphoria are getting more intense lately. I wonder if it’s a male hormone fluctuation as I’m aging sort of like the male equivalent of the menopause with surges in hormone levels causing this. I don’t even know if I’m transgender for sure or maybe have some other psychological disorder. It’s hard to be subjective about myself. Having just been on holiday for 2 weeks with my wife and kids I have not had any time for my girly side to be allowed out so that’s probably contributing combined with the impending return to work stress. I have an almost overwhelming drive to paint my nails, put on makeup and get some pretty clothes on as I know I’ll instantly feel more relaxed then, but I still haven’t got the privacy to do so and it’s driving me crazy. Deep breaths and some personal CBT is helping a bit!

      I hope you feel better soon x

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    • #110282

      This is exactly how I’ve been feeling! I’m so glad someone else shares this. I’ve always wished I was a boy when I was younger and “female” has always felt like the opposite gender to me. When I was 15 I leant the term “trans” and thought I may finally have a name for how I feel. Now I’m in my 20’s I’m experiencing disphoria worse than I ever have. Yet it does still come and go and some days are worse than others.

    • #110255

      i think this is almost the norm, at least for people who aren’t making big changes in their gender path very early on. i think it can be assumed these feelings will never go away. what’s very hard is not knowing where they end. i am going through that right now, trying to find my conclusions. the idea of changing a lot about my body is really unappealing, but the idea of having to spend another 50 years as a man (i am 34) is also terrible. i see older men, and i just don’t want to be like them ever. they say women lose their “value” as they age, but i have seen some older couples where the man has aged a lot more gracefully than the woman and i know i would rather be her.

      i don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, but it can feel like trans women whose conclusion is so much clearer don’t have a lot of respect for those of us who don’t jump to it as soon as we feel that envy.

      the worst part is the way that women – or at least cis women, and certainly my wife can’t compartmentalise. she knows i have complicated feelings about my gender, and i know i need to explore. while she says she wants me to not hide anything, i don’t know where the honesty outweighs her anxiety at the thought of “losing” me.

      i hope you find some answers. i don’t think they’re always that hard of adjustments, but that doesn’t mean we’re all prepared for them.

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    • #110244


      I suspect the feelings of Gender Dysphoria coming and going in intensity is the normal, not the exception.  You are 39 now and have been living in a “Life Style” predominately based on male type expectations.  Hopefully you were successful in your employment and education during your adult years.  Hopefully you developed survival skills to get to where you are, as everyone does or fails (even cis-people).  At 39 years old you are an early 80’s baby; you grew up in an anti-trans world, so you had to learn to survived.

      I am 68 and retired.  I have had many short and long periods of time when my powerful desire to be a “girl” would slip into a: lets say a closet (actually a good analogy).  These were ALWAYS times of intense involvement of the other very real elements of who I am / was.  I was the Commander of Veterinary Services for Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia in 97′.  Months and months of intense activity with attention demands that required the soldier in me to take over, so the “girl desire” gently waited.  My command didn’t require me to be a male or a female; it did require all my attention.

      I am a veteran of 4 different military actions since 1970, and this was a common response to the intense moments of those deployments.  Same thing happened while working on my dissertation during my PhD program, and again during medical school.  Not all the time, but during those time of the need to focus on the “other pieces of me” to step up and perform.

      I found that as my career developed and I earned / could afford more and more leisure time, my desire to be a girl came roaring back.  Even as a practicing veterinarian I would sometimes throw myself into some professional program and become so involved that the “desire” slipped back into the closet for a while.  I couldn’t walk around wanting to be a girl all the time.  I had to want to be a soldier; male or female.  I had to want to be a veterinarian; which requires 4 years of student hell.  I had to want to be a good surgeon, a good hospital organizer, a good boss, etc.  I spent the last 33 years trying to be a good husband.

      I sincerely believe that my “girl” greatly influenced how I approached all of these jobs.  So, not all of my “girl” was in the closet; just that part that wanted to sing out and dance a “Happy-Girl-Dance”.  I believe I was more sensitive then most of my fellow male friends.  It was fairly often I was told that I was the best boss some people ever had; a direct result of my “girl” shining through my male role.

      There were also times when I forcibly shoved my “girl” into the closet.  During the 70’s and 80’s when being transgender was almost unheard of by most of society I would have runs of powerful desire that were phenomenally stressful.  I remember lying in bed and self-mutilating myself where my vagina should have been.  I couldn’t keep doing that; I had to develop survival techniques to save me from my “girl” screaming to get out.

      So, when you are calm, at peace with yourself, and envision your immediate and distant future: do you wish you were a man or a woman in that future.  Both I and you learned to be a “man”; so this training is sometimes hard to see through.  In my quiet moments I am always a “girl”.  I hope you find whom you are.



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