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Dysphoria (from Ancient Greek δύσφορος (dúsphoros) 'grievous'; from δυσ- (dus-) 'bad, difficult', and φέρω (phérō) 'to bear') is a profound state of unease or dissatisfaction. It is the semantic opposite of euphoria. In a psychiatric context, dysphoria may accompany depression, anxiety, or agitation.

In psychiatry

Intense states of distress and unease increase the risk of suicide, as well as being unpleasant in themselves. Relieving dysphoria is therefore a priority of psychiatric treatment. One may treat underlying causes such as depression or bipolar disorder as well as the dysphoric symptoms themselves.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) categorizes specific dysphoria in the obsessive–compulsive spectrum.

Dissatisfaction with being able-bodied can be diagnosed as body integrity dysphoria in the ICD-11.[1]

Gender dysphoria

Main article: Gender dysphoria

Gender dysphoria is discomfort, unhappiness or distress due to one's assigned sex. The current edition (DSM-5) of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders uses the term "gender dysphoria" where it previously referred to "gender identity disorder", making it clear that they no longer consider the gender identity to be disordered, but rather the emotional state of distress which results from the gender identity.[2]

Related conditions

The following conditions may include dysphoria as a symptom:

Drug-induced (dysphoriants)

Some drugs can produce dysphoria, including κ-opioid receptor agonists like salvinorin A (the active constituent of the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum), butorphanol and pentazocine,[8] μ-opioid receptor antagonists such as naltrexone and nalmefene,[9] and antipsychotics like haloperidol and chlorpromazine (via blockade of dopamine receptors),[10] among others. Depressogenic and/or anxiogenic drugs may also be associated with dysphoria.

In popular culture

Against Me! released the album Transgender Dysphoria Blues in which the lead singer Laura Jane Grace shares her experiences of gender dysphoria.[11]

Shane Neilson released a book of poetry entitled Dysphoria (Erin, ON: The Porcupine's Quill, 2017) in which he explores the experience of dysphoria.[12]


  1. ^ "ICD-11 - Mortality and Morbidity Statistics". Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  2. ^ Fraser, L; Karasic, D; Meyer, W; Wylie, K (2010). "Recommendations for Revision of the DSM Diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder in Adults". International Journal of Transgenderism. 12 (2): 80–85. doi:10.1080/15532739.2010.509202. S2CID 144409977.
  3. ^ Abbess, John F. "Glossary of terms in the field of psychiatry and neurology". Archived from the original on 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
  4. ^ Borderline personality disorder
  5. ^ Lyubomirsky, S.; Kasri, F.; Zehm, K. (2003). "Dysphoric rumination impairs concentration on academic tasks". Cognitive Therapy and Research. 27 (3): 309–330. doi:10.1023/A:1023918517378. S2CID 14204781.
  6. ^ Rosa RR, Bonnet MH (2000). "Reported chronic insomnia is independent of poor sleep as measured by electroencephalography". Psychosom Med. 62 (4): 474–82. doi:10.1097/00006842-200007000-00004. PMID 10949091. S2CID 24557015.
  7. ^ Chapman CR, Gavrin J (June 1999). "Suffering: the contributions of persistent pain". Lancet. 353 (9171): 2233–7. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(99)01308-2. PMID 10393002. S2CID 32348469.
  8. ^ Lemke, Thomas L.; Williams, David A. (24 January 2012). Foye's Principles of Medicinal Chemistry. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 682–683. ISBN 978-1-60913-345-0.
  9. ^ Lowinson, Joyce H. (2005). Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 648–. ISBN 978-0-7817-3474-5.
  10. ^ Wu, Hanjing Emily; Okusaga, Olaoluwa O. (2014). "Antipsychotic Medication-Induced Dysphoria: Its Meaning, Association with Typical vs. Atypical Medications and Impact on Adherence". Psychiatric Quarterly. 86 (2): 199–205. doi:10.1007/s11126-014-9319-1. ISSN 0033-2720. PMID 25164199. S2CID 6831656.
  11. ^ Thompson, Stephen. "First Listen: Against Me!, 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues'" NPR. NPR, 12 Jan. 2014. Web. 27 May 2014
  12. ^ "Dysphoria". The Porcupine's Quill.