The British Journal of Psychiatry
Psychiatric characteristics in transsexual individuals: multicentre study in four European countries
Gunter Heylens, Els Elaut, Baudewijntje P. C. Kreukels, Muirne C. S. Paap, Susanne Cerwenka, Hertha Richter-Appelt, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Ira R. Haraldsen, Griet De Cuypere
  • Declaration of interest

    None.

Abstract

Background

Research into the relationship between gender identity disorder and psychiatric problems has shown contradictory results.

Aims

To investigate psychiatric problems in adults fulfilling DSM-IV-TR criteria for a diagnosis of gender identity disorder.

Method

Data were collected within the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview - Plus and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Disorders (n = 305).

Results

In 38% of the individuals with gender identity disorder a current DSM-IV-TR Axis I diagnosis was found, mainly affective disorders and anxiety disorders. Furthermore, almost 70% had a current and lifetime diagnosis. All four countries showed a similar prevalence, except for affective and anxiety disorders, and no difference was found between individuals with early-onset and late-onset disorder. An Axis II diagnosis was found in 15% of all individuals with gender identity disorder, which is comparable to the general population.

Conclusions

People with gender identity disorder show more psychiatric problems than the general population; mostly affective and anxiety problems are found.

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