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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.[1]

In psychiatry[edit]

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 (especially dysthymia or major depressive disorder) or bipolar disorder as well as the dysphoric symptoms themselves.[citation needed]

The 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) defines dysphoria as "an unpleasant mood state, which can include feelings of depression, anxiety, discontent, irritability, and unhappiness."[2]

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

Dissatisfaction with being able-bodied can be diagnosed as body integrity dysphoria in the ICD-11.[3]

Gender dysphoria[edit]

Gender dysphoria is discomfort, unhappiness or distress due to the primary and secondary sex characteristics of one's sex observed at birth. The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5, uses the term "gender dysphoria" where it previously referred to "gender identity disorder." Other dysphoria may include body dysmorphic or dysphoria that may be based on social constructs like nationalism.

Related conditions[edit]

The following conditions may include dysphoria as a symptom:

Drug-induced (dysphoriants)[edit]

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[edit]

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. ^ "Dysphoria definition | Psychology Glossary". Alleydog.com. Retrieved 21 December 2023.
  2. ^ "MB24.7 Dysphoria". ICD-11 for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics (Version 01/2023). World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved 2 August 2023. An unpleasant mood state, which can include feelings of depression, anxiety, discontent, irritability, and unhappiness
  3. ^ "ICD-11 - Mortality and Morbidity Statistics". icd.who.int. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  4. ^ 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.
  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.

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