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Species Dysphoria is a condition in which a person feels that their body is of the wrong species. Many with this condition believe it is because their body does not reflect their inner identity. As a result of this, the person person may feel discomfort or confusion.[1]

 Origin and Use 

The experience of species dysphoria was often referred to as “homesickness” in the pre-2000 era. References to this can be found in the AHWW archives[2].

Although the term is commonly used in otherkin and therian communities to describe their experiences, it is not exclusive to these communities, and it is not necessary to be a part of these communities.

 Species vs. Gender 

Though species dysphoria has been a topic discussed in the community, it is not related to and its origins are separate from gender dysphoria.[3]

Gender dysphoria is when a person feels distressed by their assigned sex and gender not matching their gender identity. Although they sound similar, gender dysphoria is recognized by scientists and psychologists and has medical treatments, unlike species dysphoria.

Another thing that separates them is, unlike Gender Dysphoria, people with species dysphoria do not have the brain structure of the animal they identify as.

 Species vs. Body 

A common misconception about species dysphoria is that it is the same as body dysmorphia, this is not true.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one’s appearance.[4] So people with BDD are focused on one characteristic that they perceive as ugly and obsess over, whereas people with species dysphoria are focused on their species.

 Treatment 

Many with species dysphoria find comfort in a form of transition, whether physical or social. There is little to no research in surgeries to look like another species, but another way to physically transition is to dress like the species. This is commonly seen amongst the otherkin, therian, and furry communities.

Ways to socially transition are limited but not nonexistent. One good way of doing this is to find a safe group of friends, that will not bully or judge, where you can act as your preferred species. This is commonly seen amongst the otherkin and therian communities and is referred to as “packs”, it is also commonly seen in the furry community during conventions.

 References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_dysphoria
  2. "That incredible longing feeling" September 19, 1996. https://groups.google.com/d/msg/alt.horror.werewolves/Pkj6IkdsAwU/cUv_kq4CPwUJ
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_dysphoria
  4. https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd