How Negative Feelings about Gender Identity Contribute to Drug Abuse and Depression
Gender identity is the personal perception of oneself as a male, a female, both male and female or neither. Every human possesses his or her own gender identity, and the process of understanding and accepting this identity is a major milestone in one’s psychological development. Transgender and transsexualism refer to conditions where an individual develops a gender identity inconsistent with his or her anatomical and genetic sex. While some individuals may be anatomically born and labeled “female,” they instinctually develop an identity of a male or vice versa. This can include wearing clothing of the opposite sex, preferring playmates of the opposite sex and displaying characteristics, behaviors and interests of the other sex. Cross-gender behavior, transgender individuals, transsexualism and other gender identity issues come naturally to the individual, but traditional values and beliefs have caused society to judge, discriminate and ostracize people with gender identity issues like these.
Effects of Negative Gender Identity Issues
Individuals with negative feelings about gender identity are highly prone to substance abuse and depression. For individuals to be told that their perception of themselves is not correct according to society is quite simply demoralizing, no matter what their beliefs or values are.
With society playing such a massive role in transgender and cross-gender issues, many individuals with gender identity issues are put under a great deal of pressure and influence to stray from what feels natural to them. Parents, friends, peers, teachers and the general public may all work to change an individual’s mind about his or her “contradictory” identity. When individuals are made to feel bad or insecure about their own identity, serious problems are likely to follow.
Negative feelings about gender identity are negative feelings about one’s entire self. An individual can experience confusion, guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, self-loathing, sadness and low self-esteem. Gender identity issues can cause major relationship problems and lead to a world of isolation and worse, including bullying, discrimination and hate crimes. Some individuals are willing and have enough support to live true to their gender identity, but it is not uncommon for these individuals to experience challenges and discrimination that cause negative feelings at times. Others may have to hide their gender identity because of fear, and this can be extremely difficult.
Low self-esteem, stress, isolation, negative emotions, rejection, relationship problems and distress can all contribute to the high correlation between gender identity issues, drug abuse and depression. Drug or alcohol use may stem from an individual’s desire to numb painful emotions, including symptoms of depression or other mental health issues, or to break social barriers. Substance abuse can also be an attempt to commit self-harm or commit suicide.
Help for Drug Abuse, Depression and Other Issues Resulting from Gender Identity Problems
If your gender identity issues have resulted in substance abuse, depression or other harmful consequences, we can help. Our recovery professionals are available 24 hours a day to help you find individualized treatment and recovery services that are right for you and your unique needs. Recovery professionals are ready to answer your questions, address your concerns and provide you with all the information you need on treating substance abuse, depression and other issues resulting from gender identity issues. From insurance information to treatment options, we can help. To learn more and to speak with a recovery professional, call our toll-free number today.