Dysphoria. It’s a funny sounding word. It feels strange in my mouth. But, it’s a very important word in my world.
I’ve been trying to find a way to describe dysphoria to one who hasn’t experienced it. It’s been bouncing around in my head, even as I am dealing with the worst case of it that I’ve had in over a year, yet I simply couldn’t find the words. Given my issues with articulation, I asked around a bit until I could.
The answers I received were all over the place. I was told by some that it can be a feeling of intense sadness and anger. Others told me that it feels similar to anxiety. Personally, I feel a general unease with myself, like I am not welcome in my own body. But it is different for everyone, as you can see. Some folks don’t experience it at all, but this doesn’t make them any less valid.
But those of you that do, you know exactly what I mean. You don’t need someone to describe what it feels like. You just have to keep pushing on, finding new ways to validate your existence until it stops. It’s tough, it really is. For some, it’s new clothes or a makeover. For others, hormones can do the trick. Some have other ways of overcoming these feelings. We all handle it differently, just as we all experience it differently.
If you are someone who does not experience dysphoria, this next bit is for you. If one of your close friends is struggling with this, find out how you can help. You may not be able to do much more than offer your support and validation and this is okay. Sometimes this can be the most important and validating in the world, trust me on this.
On that note, remember: dysphoric or not, you are valid and I love you