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Sexual, Gender Identity, and Substance-Related Disorder

Sexual, Gender Identity, and Substance-Related Disorder

Author: Sophia Tutorial

This lesson will identify, describe, and differentiate between the symptoms for sexual and gender identity disorders and substance-related disorders.

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What's Covered

This lesson is going to cover two disorders that have received a lot of study in recent years:

  1. Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
  2. Substance Related Disorders

1.  Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders

Sexual and gender identity disorders are different kinds of psychological issues related to sexual identity, sexual adjustment,  and impaired sexual functions. When talking about mental disorders, it  is important to remember that they are maladaptive. This means they impair a person’s day-to-day life  and their ability to adjust to different kinds of situations.

Term to Know

  • Sexual and Gender Identity Disorder
  • Psychological issues related to sexual identity, adjustment, and impaired sexual functioning.

Did You Know

This is a contested area of psychological disorders. The DSM originally identified homosexuality as a mental disorder within the DSM III, and it wasn't removed until the 1970s.Many of these disorders might be contested within different areas of society. Some of these areas are not necessarily considered abnormal or dysfunctional by different people that might have them.

There are many different kinds of sexual and gender identity disorders that we might look at. Here are a few specifically:

  • Paraphilia-is when a person becomes sexually aroused by things that don't normally stimulate people like non-human objects.
  • Dendrophilia- is a psychological disorder where a person is sexually aroused by trees.
  • A person may be sexually aroused by non-consenting people
  • Exhibitionism-where a person enjoys having sexual encounters out in public places
  • Voyeurism-when a person likes to watch a person, generally when they aren't willing or they're unaware of being watched.
  • Pedophilia-being sexually aroused by children

Another category of sexual disorders is sexual dysfunction. This is when a person particularly has psychological problems related to their sexual desire and arousal. They're unable to become sexually aroused by normal sorts of ways. This is not necessarily biological impotence which is specifically something within their body that impairs function, but rather any kind of mental issues that result in sexual dysfunction.

This also includes gender identity disorders which is when a person's sexual identity within their minds or psychologically doesn't match their physical sexual identity. This can result in things like transsexualism which is when a person has feelings of being a different sex or gender than what they are physically. People with this disorder may try to change themselves surgically to match their psychological identity.

2. Substance-Related Disorder

Another category of mental disorders is what is called substance-related disorders. This is the  abuse of or dependence on different kinds of substances that a person might take an affect their brain and their mental states.

Term to Know

  • Substance-Related Disorder
  • Abuse of or dependence on substances that affect the brain and mental states.

The term that we used to refer to any kind of drug that affects the brain is a psychoactive drug. The most common of these are ones that you're probably familiar with like alcohol or caffeine, which are the most widely used psychoactive drugs. It also  includes nicotine and THC, the active ingredient within marijuana, and other kinds of drugs as well  like opiates, morphine, or cocaine. It also includes amphetamines, like methamphetamine, and hallucinogens, like LSD.

These drugs need to be considered because they have large effects on our brains and on our mental states. One of the important things about substance-related disorders is that they can often result in physical dependence. This means if they stop using after a prolonged period, they might suffer withdrawals. Symptoms can include shaking, vomiting, sweating, headaches, and sometimes even death.

Now, there can also be psychological dependence, which is to say it might not be a physical characteristic that might result. A person still might have a strong feeling of need or an intense craving for something. It is so much so that you almost can't control yourself, and you must use that substance. That's one of the hallmarks of a substance-related disorder.

Recent studies show that a lot of substance-related disorders, and what is called addiction mayactually have a very strong biological component. An example of this is people within families with a history of alcoholism, may be more likely to actually develop alcoholism themselves. knowing someone may be biologically predisposed for addiction can help treat them in the future.


Sexual and Gender Identity disorders are psychological issues related to sexual identity, sexual adjustment, and impaired sexual functions. This is only relating to mental disorders that are maladaptive.  Substance related disorder is the abuse or dependence on different kind of psychoactive drugs. This disorder can lead to physical or psychological dependence, and a person may be genetically predisposed to it.

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Erick Taggart

Terms to Know
Sexual and Gender Identity Disorder

Psychological issues related to sexual identity, adjustment, and impaired sexual functioning.

Substance-Related Disorder

Abuse of or dependence on substances that affect the brain and mental states.