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Last week I explained what medical gaslighting is. Today I’m giving you 11 ways to empower yourself if you find yourself being medically gaslit.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn how to shift your preparation, language, and mindset so that you’ll never leave the doctor feeling defeated or hopeless again.

 
Listen to the full episode to make sure you get all of the details, but if you need a recap of all of my suggestions on how to handle medical gaslighting, here’s the summary:

But what do you when you’re being medically gaslit by a doctor? 

1. Go with the attitude that you are a knowledgeable, empowered, proactive person, as opposed to a distraught victim (even if you really do feel that way). This alone can shift the energy in the room and possibly get your doctor to take you a bit more seriously.

2. If you are seeing a doctor who has limited time slots, have notes ready ahead of time. Be ready to tell them to top 3-5 symptoms that you are feeling — the physical symptoms, not the emotional symptoms. This is very important.
 
Examples: pain in my chest, dizziness, digestive issues, etc. (the physical symptoms) and the length of time it’s been happening. 
 
3. Be cautious of talking about anxiety and depression if you’re with a general practitioner and that’s not your main issue. As soon as they hear that, they will instantly want to give you a drug for anxiety or depression — I’m not saying I’m against those drugs because they certainly have their place — but there is a very likely chance that there is a ROOT CAUSE (like thyroid, autoimmune, or hormonal issues for example) that will never be fixed with drugs for anxiety/depression. You’re not deficient in depression medication, but you might be deficient in a certain hormone or vitamin.
 

4. Don’t let them try to tell you that nothing is wrong if you truly feel that something is wrong. They might absolutely believe that nothing is wrong with you but that’s because their knowledge or training is limited. If you know that something is wrong, maintain your confidence to fully believe it, and don’t let them convince you that you’re “fine”.

Don’t let your fear-based voice take over either. Or the fact that you don’t have a medical degree and they do.
Remember, you know your body better than they do. If your doctor doesn’t believe you, remember that your ability to get them to take you more seriously is directly proportional to the amount of conviction you have. If you feel that you have given it all of your conviction and they still don’t believe you, it’s definitely time to find a new doctor.
 

5. Phrase things to get them on your side. If they’re dismissive and say “Oh, well that’s normal”, one way that you can phrase things is to emphasize that what you’re feeling is not normal for youThat alone makes it valid. Emphasize that you’re concerned about your health. (Factually, not emotionally.) Get them on your side by saying something in a sense that you want to work WITH them, not “you need to fix this for me”.

 
6. If you feel that they’re glossing over important things, dismissing what you’re feeling, not being clear or eager to write you a prescription and send you out the door, here’s what I need you to say: “Is this addressing the root cause of the issue?”
 
7. Most regular doctors don’t really know how to admit when they don’t know something and most patients are scared to tell doctors “I think you’re wrong”. That’s a troubling issue with the current medical system.
 
If you feel up to challenging them as I did, (although prepare for them to possibly get defensive) is “Do you think I’d have more success in feeling better if I worked with a functional medicine doctor?” 
 

8. Whether you’re seeing a regular doctor or even a functional medicine doctor, they are going to diagnose, prescribe and the rest is on you. Whether or not you choose to accept the diagnosis or prescription that’s up to you. ALL of the time.

 

9. You might have to do extra lab testing on your own. Just like I did. You can do so here. 

When you ask for a test, (like a full thyroid panel, for example when they only want to order T4 instead of the entire thing) and the doctors says “I don’t think you need that”, here’s what you need to do:
· Say: “Are you refusing to do it?”
 
· Tell (not ask) them to note on your records that you requested certain tests and that it was denied.
 

· Tell them that you’d like a copy of where it’s stated.

· Get the copy before you leave. Do not let them tell you they will send it later.

 

10. Just because they refer you to a specialist, it doesn’t mean that’s the next best step to take. It might mean they simply don’t know what else to do next.

 

Do not be fooled by this medical system. If you’re not stepping outside the same system, it’s highly likely they will keep on the same downward spiral that you’ve already been on.

 

11. Pay attention to when your doctor doesn’t directly answer your questions or when they give an answer that leaves you still feeling lost. Try not to get discouraged or let them feel that they are superior to you, or that you’re stupid because you don’t understand everything they’re telling you.

 
The medical world is complex. If you do encounter a gaslighting doctor they might use their knowledge of complex terminology as a way to overpower you.
 
You are smart. You do know your own body better than they do so don’t let them take the wind out of your sails. Or if they do, let that absolutely be THE SIGN that you need to fire them and find someone else, preferably with credentials in functional or integrative medicine. 

I’m Kelly Wilson, owner of fitfizzstudio.com and I’m a personal trainer, nutrition coach, behavior change specialist, autoimmune disease educator and I’ve worked in the health and fitness industry for over 25 years.

I’m here to help you ditch the gimmicks, finding strength through your struggles, give you the knowledge for making the smartest choices for your own health and to remind you to celebrate victory all along the way. 

 

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The information shared is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be interpreted as an intent to diagnose, treat, cure, heal or prescribe.

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Ep. 78: Dealing With Doctors and Medical Gaslighting (Part 2 of 2)