Symptom profiles of gender dysphoric patients of transsexual type compared to patients with personality disorders and healthy adults

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2000 Oct;102(4):276-81. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2000.102004276.x.


Objective: Gender dysphoric patients of transsexual type (TS) have been considered to have severe psychopathology. However, these notions have a weak empirical documentation.

Method: TS patients (n = 86), patients with personality disorder (PD, n = 98) and adult healthy controls (HC, n = 1068) were compared by means of the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90). All patients were diagnosed by structured interviews (Axis I, II and V of DSM-III-R/IV). PD patients were further characterized according to the LEAD-standard.

Results: TS patients scored significantly lower than PD patients on the Global Symptom Index and all SCL-90 subscales. Although the TS group generally scored slightly higher than the HC group, all scores were within the normal range.

Conclusion: TS patients selected for sex reassignment showed a relatively low level of self-rated psychopathology before and after treatment. This finding casts doubt on the view that transsexualism is a severe mental disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Transsexualism / diagnosis*
  • Transsexualism / psychology*