Have You Been a Victim of “Health Care Gaslighting?
OMAHA, Nebraska. Imagine you are in terrible pain and you go to the doctor only to be told that the pain is “all in your head” or that you must be “stressed out.” For many women in America, this response is all too familiar. According to the Atlantic, researchers have found that women consistently receive less pain medication than men, and are less likely to be admitted to hospitals and receive necessary tests than men complaining of similar symptoms. In some cases, this can lead to months of pain and lowered quality of life. In the worst-case scenarios, this can lead to death or disability due to misdiagnosis and lack of treatment.
According to Psychology Today, “gaslighting” is a form of emotional abuse designed to change another person’s perception of reality or cause the person to doubt themselves. How does gaslighting work? According to Psychology Today, gaslighting can take many forms. A person might tell another person that they are “imagining” that something occurred. Or, they may say that “everyone” agrees with me about a certain situation. A gaslighter might tell other people that the person he or she is gaslighting is unstable or unhealthy or “crazy.”
Medical gaslighting can take similar forms. A doctor might tell a woman that her pain is all in her head. He or she may tell her that she is stressed. The doctor might tell friends and family that they need to help the person relax. The woman suffering from pain may be prescribed Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain medication and told to get some rest.
Yet, in recent months, more women are coming forward about their experiences. In many cases, women are most dismissed when it comes to matters of their sexual or reproductive health. Overweight women are also more likely to suffer from health care gaslighting. Minority women and women of color are also likely to have their pain complaints dismissed by doctors.
Yet, as more women speak up, people are catching their misdiagnosis before it’s too late. Others are joining social media groups to share their experiences with misdiagnosis and medical malpractice.
The truth is that medical gaslighting is a serious matter. It can lead to misdiagnosis and it can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. If you were told that your symptoms were “all in your head” or if your pain was dismissed by your doctor and you didn’t receive the treatment you believe you deserve, you may be entitled to seek damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Rensch & Rensch Law are personal injury attorneys in Omaha, Nebraska, who believe that everyone deserves a right to receive equal treatment when they visit the doctor. For many, misdiagnosis and medical malpractice is a life or death matter. However, you may have important rights. Visit our firm at https://www.renschandrensch.com/ to learn more about how we can help.
Rensch & Rensch Law
7602 Pacific Street,
Omaha, NE 68114