transgender / adhd

by mary alice

My son was a normal 23 year old college student in Northern California that was diagnosed with ADHD a little over two years ago he has been medicated since then.

In the fall of last year out of the blue with NO behavior, indication, symptom, told us that he is a trans gender. He has been dressing as a girl for the past two months. He had a normal childhood with regular ups and downs and never displayed an interest in dressing or acting out as a girl.

The family history has a few (2) suicides and bipolar in his father, his uncle his paternal grandmother and a cousin on his mothers (me) side of the family. He was initially medicated with Adderall he decided not take medication over the summer and began taking Concerta in the fall when he returned to school.

He never displayed any gender identity issues as a child or until last fall. He is a good student and we sought help on the question of ADHD because one of his professors wondered why he studied so hard and was not seeing the results in his grades. After he took the Adderall he improved markabily in his grades.

This trans gender issue is so out of left field we wondered if he may have something going on. He saw a psychologist and after one or two 50 minute visits with her she diagnosed him as a trans gender. We went to meet with her to try and understand how she arrived at this diagnosis so quickly and she told us that she ran a list through her head and saw that he made more eye contact and was happier when she agreed that he was trans gender.

We need help to be sure he has had a proper diagnosis. Are we wrong to question this diagnosis? HELP!

Hi Mary Alice

No. You are never wrong to question a diagnosis. However, I am not an expert on trans gender issues. In fact, I know little to nothing about them. I think your impression of the psychologist not giving you a persuasive answer or thorough explanation of the issue is at the crux of your uncertainty.

Perhaps it may good to express directly to your son your concern about the psychologist and asking for some more information from him about what he has experienced. Obviously this is a sensitive area and subject for him. It may also be helpful , or be helpful to first consult with a specialist in trans gender issues who may have more information on how this originates.

Good luck to you.


Kristen McClure

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Comments for transgender / adhd

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Aug 01, 2012
Transgender & ADHD NEW
by: Alex Drummond

I appreciate your confusion and can see you are upset by these revelations. As a clinician in the field with clinical and research interests in ADHD and transgender I would firstly start by reassuring you that both conditions are perfectly natural variations of the human condition and according to the latest research (both in the UK and Holland) surprisingly common in partnership. If ADHD normally occurs in around 4% of the population we discover around 14% co-existence in the clinical population presenting at gender clinics. In making sense of where the whole 'being a girl' thing has come from we might wonder how acceptable it would have been for this young person to present as female -perhaps fear of bullying or rejection kept it hidden? Please feel free to email me via my website if you'd like to discuss further.
Alex Drummond MSc(Dist) MBACP(Snr.Accred) BA(QTS) SGD(Accred)

Oct 14, 2011
by: Dr Martin Fahy

It is not possible to give a diagnosis of trans gender if there is an underlying condition. Bi polar family history is a concern and definatly Adhd. TG fulfills his answer for Why am I different. I would report the psychologist. I would also go to a clinical psychologist, not a trans gender therapyst as their mind is already made up. This is just an incompedent lazy therapyst, and very dangerous.

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