You know there’s something wrong. You’re not yourself; you haven’t been yourself for weeks. Be it a pain, a sickness, or a general malaise, something’s amiss. So, you pluck up the courage to visit the doctor and lay it all on the line, only to be told:
“It’s probably anxiety.”
If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone! I’ve heard countless stories like this from my clients. Some of you are being bullied in doctors’ offices while others feel like you’re facing a wall of disinterest every time you make your concerns known.
It’s called medical gaslighting and it’s more common than you might think.
In the last couple of years, there has been an uptick in medical gaslighting due to long COVID, a condition that isn’t fully understood but causes some very real and incredibly challenging symptoms.
In an article for The Atlantic, science writer Ed Yong spoke with so-called “long-haulers” (long COVID sufferers) and found that many weren’t believed by friends, family, and healthcare professionals.
Imagine being lethargic, shivery, and suffering from numerous aches and pains, only for friends to dismiss you as a hypochondriac, family members to call you lazy, and doctors to ignore you!
Before lockdowns and PCR tests, medical gaslighting was a common occurrence for sufferers of conditions like myalgic encephalomyelitis (chronic fatigue syndrome), endometriosis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
It’s often seen in conditions that are hard to diagnose and it affects many more women than men.
When you visit your doctor, you expect to be treated with respect. You expect them to listen to you, to hear you, and to treat you seriously. But at the same time, you’re expected to accept whatever they say and do whatever they ask, even if you know—deep down—that it can’t possibly be true.
It’s no wonder that so many patients leave feeling frustrated, unheard, and unacknowledged.
Gaslighting = a form of manipulation intended to make someone question their beliefs or experiences
Medical gaslighting = when medical practitioners dismiss or deny a patient’s concerns, such as claiming the symptoms are non-existent or psychosomatic
You go to the doctor for reassurance and care. You anxiously book those appointments because you think you’ll get an expert opinion followed by diagnostic tests and curative treatments.
If you leave with no diagnosis, no reassurance, and more anxiety than when you entered, something’s wrong!
- Your healthcare providers work for you.
- If they’re not doing their job, you can fire them and find someone else.
- You don’t have to settle for dismissive answers when you know something is wrong.
- There are always other options.
One of those other options is integrative medicine and you can get started with a FREE 15-minute discovery call.
Chat with me directly about your issues and needs. It’s completely free and I promise to take you seriously.
Unlike a trip to a dismissive healthcare practitioner, you definitely won’t leave feeling unsatisfied and underwhelmed after this discussion!
So, book today and see what my wellness programs can do for you.
- Legitimizing myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: indications of change over a decade. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21641846.2020.1718292
- Interstitial Cystitis, Medical Gaslighting, and "Hysteric" Women: Hannah George's Endo Story. https://www.endofound.org/interstitial-cystitis-medical-gaslighting-and-hysteric-women-hannah-georges-endo-story
- How Women Suffer Medical Gaslighting. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-stories-we-tell/202204/how-women-suffer-medical-gaslighting