No, not a psychologist! I am NOT mentally unstable!

Posted on April 7, 2017 by Ellen Defrancq

Once you have actually realized that you are trapped in the wrong body and you have dared with a pounding heart to start coming out, the time is drawing nearer for you to make concrete decisions.

Jolanda Claeys, 2pass Clinic Resident
Because the transition happens in a different way for each of us, and each trans-gender woman associates her own specific expectations with it, it is impossible to establish a fixed time line as to indicate when the best time will be to take which step. Even though it seems like an endless list of medical procedures and administrative formalities, so that you barely recognize the forest for the trees, the psychologist is one of the first addresses you should call at.

So you think, “No, not a psychologist! I am NOT mentally unstable!”. No, there is nothing wrong with your mental faculties and you will not end up in an institution. The legislator, those people whom we ultimately voted for, sought to protect us from ourselves. I know that this obligation may seem at least patronizing for some, or can be considered an attack on our right to self-determination. Yet I am inclined to argue in favor of a brief psychological counseling if only to avoid over-hasty, insufficiently informed decisions.

Stick to the facts

Your being a transgender person has profound implications on your future life and on the lives of of your family and friends. Is it wrong to be forced to face the facts in a number of in-depth discussions before hormones can be prescribed?

As a trans-gender woman, your breasts will be developed and you will get more female body curves and you will have to go through some tough emotional moments. if you elect to have genital surgery (SRS) and / or a facial feminization surgery (FFS), the effects even are irreversible. In other words, in your position, you will have to psychologically stand strong.

Intense emotions

It’s not at all easy to openly put you “deepest turmoil” on the table for a stranger who most probably is going to confront you with a plethora of unpleasant questions as well. I found those consultations emotionally very rough for me, sometimes cruelly so, and the tears were never far away. Eventually this had a liberating effect, and afterwards I was more determined than ever to continue the transition.

The fact that a diagnosis had to be made, was not only acceptable to justify the reimbursement of additional medical expenses by the mutual insurance companies. I myself also consider it as an official recognition of my being a transgender person. I’m very proud of who I am, and my gender identity is now recorded in black on white!

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