Here is Why Medical Gaslighting More Prevalent in Women Than Men

Although it appears like something that won’t occur in a medical setup, medical gaslighting is common. Here is what it means if you feel you are not receiving adequate attention from your doctor or have at some stage thought that the healthcare provider misdiagnosed your disease. 

What is gaslighting in the medical field?

When talking of medical gaslighting, we are referring to a situation where the patient believes the doctor dismissed their symptoms as insignificant or considered them mainly psychological. If this happens, it could result in ineffective treatment, medical trauma, and missed diagnoses. Surprisingly this could happen to anybody, but it is prevalent in people of color and women.

A publication in the Academy of Emergency Medicine indicated that women are more likely to be gaslighted than men. Women’s leading causes of medical gaslighting today are social and psychological influences. Surprisingly, men tend to be more consistent and vocal about their concerns than women, which explains the disparity. In contrast, women experience challenges advocating for their problems of resisting. Women paint the picture of suitable patients and accept what doctors say, which is disadvantageous since they deprive themselves of a say. 

Research shows that people of color are victims of gaslighting and receive port medical care services. For instance, physicians often label African-American as agitated or non-compliant relative to white patients. As a result, this might lead to healthcare disparities.

Here is how to spot gaslighting  

Although it is difficult to point out gaslighting, you can spot it if the doctor keeps interrupting you, downplays your symptoms, avoids discussing your symptoms, appears rude, and refuses to order additional lab tests to prove or rule out a diagnosis. 

Interestingly you can avoid gaslighting by asking questions when the doctor gives new information, focusing on the most pressing issues, or bringing a trusted relative or friend as a support person. If you feel the doctor is not taking you seriously, change providers, contact a patient advocacy group if you are getting care in a hospital or join a support team for helpful resources.

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