Being transgender myself, I have experienced my fair share of dysphoria and depressive thoughts. It can be hard to cope sometimes. The thoughts become overwhelming. Sometimes it becomes hard enough that you feel like you’re being swallowed whole. I find solace in my friends who have accepted me for who I am – but sometimes even that isn’t enough.
Feeling outcasted by society is one of the bigger things that bugs me, and for good reason – younger transgender people are three times more likely to be excluded from their peers , and in one study, harassment in schools led about 15% of studied individuals to consider dropping out of school entirely.  I would frequently find myself on some random forum thread online, and would come across some random comment thread about people arguing about transgender rights and social issues. It always annoyed me, even before I found out I was transgender. I would think to myself, Why wouldn’t these people want them to have rights just like anyone else?
Truly, the social stigma surrounding transgender people and the whole LGBTQ+ movement can be disheartening – but it is only one of the many reasons trans people like myself can experience depression. One of the other major reasons is gender dysphoria – which is basically the state of feeling unhappy with your gender (as the name self-describes). I find it difficult to explain dysphoria myself, and the symptoms differ from person to person, but many have described it as a gut-wrenching, degrading experience that leaves them feeling incomplete. I could agree with that statement – it’s rough. For me, it’s like my brain and my body are completely disconnected. When I look in the mirror, I don’t really see myself. This type of pain makes me and so many others depressed and distressed.
Thankfully, I had resources at my disposal, and as the years go on, more and more are becoming available to me. There are more local LGBTQ+ groups than ever, and sometimes even more specific transgender meetup and support groups. The internet is usually where I would go to find most of my support resources, but I’ve noticed that as I’ve grown older these resources have spread out into the public, from local libraries to grocery store pamphlets. There are so many good people out there who organize groups and events and share their stories about their experiences of being transgender – and I am eternally grateful for them.
If you are in need of these resources, I wouldn’t hesitate to look for them if you haven’t already – they’re very easy to find! Try to steer clear of hate groups and negative campaigns (yes, they exist) and instead focus on the groups that radiate a positive energy. If you’re struggling, or even if you think you might be struggling with dysphoria, I heavily encourage you to read about, meet, and talk with transgender individuals and hear out their stories. It’s also advised that you seek out a therapist, as well. Get out there – you can do it!
 – “Gender Expansive Youth Report” Human Rights Campaign, http://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/Gender-expansive-youth-report-final.pdf
 – Jaime M. Grant, Ph.D., Lisa A. Mottet, J.D., Justin Tanis, D.Min., and others. “Injustice at Every Turn” National Center for Transgender Equality, http://endtransdiscrimination.org/PDFs/NTDS_Exec_Summary.pdf