5 Alpha Reductase Deficiency

5 Alpha Reductase Deficiency is a condition that results in genetic abnormalities relating to the Y-chromosome. People with this condition are genetically male but have some female reproductive organs. As a result, they are considered intersex. It is not unusual for someone with this syndrome to be raised as one gender, but then choose another gender once reaching adulthood.

Although the syndrome is genetic, it can cause psychological issues at any age, including feelings of isolation, confusion and not fully identifying with either gender. These feelings can lead to additional mental and emotional problems.

Signs & Symptoms

People who have 5 Alpha Reductase Syndrome may experience the following psychological issues:

When is it Time to Get Help?

Experiencing anxiety, depression, intimacy issues or self esteem issues can have a very negative impact on your physical and mental health.

Generally speaking, if symptoms are:

  • Impacting your relationships with family and friends.
  • Impacting your intimate or sexual relationships
  • Affecting your ability to function at work or school
  • Motivating you to seek “self medication” in the form of alcohol and drugs.
  • Motivating you to engage in other self destructive behaviours such as: shopping/over spending, excessive porn use, excessive gaming, etc.
  • Impacting your physical health – sleep disturbances, over or under eating, excessive weight loss or gain, etc.

Anytime your emotional health is impacting your ability function in your daily life, it is time to seek help.

Treatment Approaches for Dealing with 5 Alpha Reductase Deficiency

There are many therapies that can help to alleviate some of the signs and symptoms of dealing with 5 Alpha Reductase Deficiency. There are various therapies that have been successful in treating anxiety, depression, intimacy and self-esteem based issues such as:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based approach to treatment that focuses on how your thoughts, emotions and beliefs influence your behaviour and how you perceive yourself, others and the world. CBT has been shown to be effective in dealing with anxiety because it helps you to change those negative thoughts, feelings, emotions and projections on a subject matter or circumstance and help you to learn more effective ways of dealing with your anxiety. This approach uses sound techniques to slow down, halt and eliminate your own learned reactions. Ultimately, CBT deals with those circumstances and events that you’re aware of, rather than dealing with circumstances and events relating to your unconscious. Through a sound therapeutic process, you’ll learn to respond differently to issues and circumstances, and you’ll learn healthy coping mechanisms.

Mindfulness Therapy combines cognitive behaviour therapy with meditation techniques. It was originally used to treat depression, it has shown to be effective in the treatment of other conditions as well. Clients use mindfulness techniques to interrupt thoughts and automatic body processes (sleep disturbances, for example). This type of therapy helps clients to see that their thoughts can become their reality and they are taught how to disengage from negative thoughts and thought patterns.

Psychotherapy is a broad term that encompasses numerous styles of therapy and employs verbal or nonverbal communication with a client to help get to the root of the problem, behavioral issues, personality disorders, and various other types of emotional distress. This form of personal counselling is based on an interpersonal relationship, as opposed to the alternative chemical or physical forms of therapy. As the therapist creates dialogue, you are able to learn more about your moods, behavior, feelings, and thoughts. Understanding these factors helps you to control your life and handle certain situations healthily.

Your therapist will work with you to determine a therapy approach that will work best for you given your unique needs and concerns.

What Will I Get Out of Treatment with Insight Psychological?

Although dealing with 5 Alpha Reductase Deficiency can be challenging, it’s important to know that you are not alone and can find support to alleviate the affects on your mental health. You can gain confidence and contentment by addressing some of these challenges with a trained professional.

Insight has therapists who specialize in gender identity, sexuality, and intimacy. If you are struggling, please contact us and we can help you find a therapist that’s right for you.