Medical gaslighting: The women not listened to or viewed as overdramatising or catastrophising

Dr Marie Theresa Ferretti, neuroscientist, co-founder and CSO of the Women’s Brain Project, says the same symptoms that tend to be attributed to organic disease in men, are much more likely to be diagnosed as anxiety or panic attacks in women. Women with acute pain are less likely to get opioid drugs and more likely to receive sedatives. Dr Ferretti views the recognition of mental health issues in women as a positive, but she argues that it becomes problematic if doctors dismiss the original symptoms because the women may end up with an incorrect diagnosis or ongoing pain.

See here for full Irish Times article >>>

The Girl Who Cried Pain: a research paper

by Dianne E. Hoffmann & Anita J. Tanzian from the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 29 2001

“Medical schools must endorse, and teach students, an approach that best elicits the concerns of any patient in pain — an approach that does not discount the patient’s subjective reports of pain. This will require attentiveness to the emotional aspects of a patient’s reports of pain.

Women’s pain tends to be viewed as more emotionally based and thus less credible — or, likewise, less credible if indeed it is emotionally based.

That is, women may: (1) have their pain complaints erroneously dismissed as being emotionally-based and therefore “not real” when there is no significant psychological component to the pain; (2) have the likely psychological components that accompany chronic pain be misidentified by health-care providers as the cause, rather than the result of their unrelieved pain, leading to a discounting of the pain; or (3) have the psychological problem that is the source of their pain be discounted and not adequately addressed. All three are inappropriate and reveal a disdain for psychosocial contributors to pain over evidence of organic causation.