After studying the results of a major study in Mexico, the World Health Organisation is set to remove transgender identity as a mental disorder under the International Classification of Diseases. WHO said having a transgender identity does not satisfy the definition requirements of mental disorders.
The reclassification and reconceptualisation of health conditions that affect transgender people would be useful in reviewing public health policies and reducing human rights violations against them. The new classification is expected to be approved in 2018. Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973.
The study, which was published in the The Lancet Psychiatry on Tuesday found that people with so-called gender incongruence are at increased risk for psychological distress, psychiatric symptoms, social isolation, dropping out of school, loss of employment, homelessness, disrupted interpersonal relationships, physical injuries, social rejection, stigmatisation, victimisation, and violence. However, it is the violence and social rejection that drives the distress among transgender people, and not simply their identity, the paper stated.
The study will be replicated in several countries, including Brazil and South Africa, as well as India at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi,