The WHO (World Health Organization) has made a historic move for transgender people on Monday that they will no longer be classified as gender dysphoria (gender incongruence) as some sort of mental illness.
The WHO has declared that with the newest version of ICD-11 (International Classification of Disease), guidelines will be adopted globally to diagnose diseases and various health conditions.
In the updated ICD-11, the diseases of gender dysphoria have transferred from mental health category to sexual health category. Coordinator, Dr. Lele, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO, said, “We had a clear perception that the disease was not actually a mental condition, and it has been a humiliation for people experiencing this condition.”
Holding gender incongruence in the updated ICD guidelines i.e. in ICD-11, still as a health condition, shows that people who are experiencing this condition can opt for healthcare service to discuss the condition with experts and feel more comfortable about themselves; and they can even opt for various treatments like consuming hormones such as testosterone and estrogen or can opt for surgery to augment or remove breasts or restructure genitals.
However, for general people, the change from one health category to another is not a big change, but it is for transgender individuals. Ady Ben-Israel, Ph.D., Sexuality, says, “It’s been so many years that people are working towards not treating transgender individuals of both gender.” “Neutralized gender diversity is the fundamental requirement to stop gender discrimination in the society; and, this is the goal of a new classification.”
A lot of times, transgender individuals are required to get a clearance note from the mental health therapist after being diagnosed and cleared by a general therapist to access their hormone session or surgery. These additional steps make the process difficult to achieve for lots of individuals; with this new classification, the chances of getting treatment is expected to become a lot more possible.