Have you or a loved one have ever been undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or had doctors dismiss your very, very real symptoms? That’s medical gaslighting. It’s harmful and all too common.
No matter how much you like a certain doctor, how much you trust them, how highly recommended they are, or even if they’re said to have the top credentials in the world, I think that society as a whole could use a dose of trusting doctors slightly less. I know that might be a hard pill to swallow for some people but keep listening to today’s topic to see why. And it’s not for the sake of thinking they’re not smart, but to remember they are human too and try not to put them on a pedestal the way our society as a whole tends to do. This also relates back to everything I talked about last week in terms of why I think the phrase “be your own best health advocate” can be misleading.
Have you or a loved one ever had repeated trips to the doctor with no diagnosis? Or no real diagnosis? Or a situation where you tell the doctor what hurts or how something feels and it seems like they barely pay attention or act like you’re not experiencing what to you tell them you’re experiencing? I’ve had all of these things happen. I’ve mentioned bits and pieces of my own story on several other episodes and today we’re pulling a lot of that together. It’s something called medical gaslighting that far too many people experience and I’m talking about it because for me, learning this term was a key turning point in having the language I needed in order to fire doctors who were failing me (time and time again) and to take back my power in regards to my health.
Medical gaslighting is when a doctor or other healthcare professional downplays, overlooks, or dismisses symptoms that a person is having.
Some examples of what medical gaslighting sounds like are:
“No, I don’t think you need that test.”
“It’s not really that serious.”
“Let’s just wait and see how you are in 6 months”
“Just try to do more yoga and eat more salads…i really think you’re fine”
“I think there’s nothing really wrong other than you might be a little depressed so let’s prescribe you something for that.”
Also in today’s episode:
• 3 main reasons why doctors hands are somewhat tied when they end up medically gaslighting patients
• Taking more of a stand for what your rights are with doctors
• Some of the ways that I was severely medically gaslit over the years by doctors and how I put an end to it.