Symptom profiles of gender dysphoric patients of transsexual type compared to patients with personality disorders and healthy adults


I. R. Haraldsen, University of Oslo, Department of Psychiatry, Ullevål Hospital 0407 Oslo, Norway


Objective: Gender dysphoric patients of transsexual type (TS) have been considered to have severe psychopathology. However, these notions have a weak empirical documentation.

Method: TS patients (n=86), patients with personality disorder (PD, n=98) and adult healthy controls (HC, n=1068) were compared by means of the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90). All patients were diagnosed by structured interviews (Axis I, II and V of DSM-III-R/IV). PD patients were further characterized according to the LEAD-standard.

Results: TS patients scored significantly lower than PD patients on the Global Symptom Index and all SCL-90 subscales. Although the TS group generally scored slightly higher than the HC group, all scores were within the normal range.

Conclusion: TS patients selected for sex reassignment showed a relatively low level of self-rated psychopathology before and after treatment. This finding casts doubt on the view that transsexualism is a severe mental disorder.