How do you describe dysphoria to people who can't understand it?

Charry Charry
When someone doesn't understand what dysphoria is or how it feels, how do you explain it to them?
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thisisadeletedaccount thisisadeletedaccount
I usually just describe it as a sense that something is deeply wrong with my body, like I was assembled improperly, and that that sense of wrongness makes me want to curl up into a ball and not let anyone look at me or touch me because I feel so awful. This description tends to make people sad, but gets the point across.
hanjonatan hanjonatan
i don't really talk about it, and when i do i don't try to go into detail with people who aren't trans. i just say "this makes me uncomfortable" or whatever. the rest is my personal, private business.
Lucifer the Cat Lucifer the Cat
I know some people who describe the trans* experience (not only dysphoria) as "being born in the wrong body". I think it's easier for cis people to understand the notion of "a boy being born with a girl's body" or vice versa. However, I know other trans* folks who are offended by the word "wrong", and the implication that there is something wrong with their body.
nori nori
As someone who matched up with their assigned gender; I've been curious.. but I haven't wanted to ask.
Willowe Willowe
I tend to describe it as the feeling that my body doesn't match who I feel I am and the general sadness and frustration that my gender will never completely match what my body is. And, because of that, I'm not able to look at my body without feeling almost physically sick and I generally don't want to do anything except curl up and sleep and try to forget how much I hate myself.
hanjonatan hanjonatan
yeah, i don't like the "wrong body" narrative at all. i understand why some trans people use it, but it doesn't work for me at all. mostly because it implies that i got someone else's body by mistake, and like... screw that, this is the only body i've got, and it might not fit me completely but it's still mine.

i actually think that narrative is really dangerous and damaging because it encourages trans people to become even more alienated from their own bodies, whereas what we really need to do is the opposite. it's been a long struggle for me to come to terms with the body i have, and it still needs some more modifying, but it's not someone else's body that i got by mistake. it's mine.
thisisadeletedaccount thisisadeletedaccount
Originally posted by Lucifer the Cat
I know some people who describe the trans* experience (not only dysphoria) as "being born in the wrong body". I think it's easier for cis people to understand the notion of "a boy being born with a girl's body" or vice ...
I feel really wrong when I'm dysphoric, but I definitely don't describe my overall trans* experience as being born in the wrong body. When I'm in a better mood, I think my body's pretty awesome, and reflects me well.
I wish people weren't so often in situations where they have to hyper-simplify the details of their identity to be understood in any way. Janet Mock wrote a really great article about issues with the "wrong body" narrative, have you read it? Worth a look: link
DarthTaco DarthTaco
I try to simplify it as much as I can because I see it that people don't need to understand why I feel it, only that I do. With most guys, I say, "How would you feel like if someone shoved their fingers in your anus? Well, it's like that except it's 24/7, all over my body, and I feel like people can see it." With everyone else (because most people can relate) I say, "You know how you feel about (insert problematic body issue here)? Well, it's almost exactly like that, except that it's much harder/more expensive to fix, and sometimes it makes me want to kill myself." That's usually enough for people to understand.
Phosphorous Tick Phosphorous Tick
I usually just tell them I feel dysphoric- unwell, ill, off, wrong.
TheParrishism TheParrishism
I tend to try and describe it as a sort of discomfort like if you found yourself standing up to present on how high protein liptons can effect bone density, yet you only know about history. Its like that level of confusion and awkwardness.
Total posts: 11
Unique posters: 9