How to recognize ‘medical gaslighting’ and better advocate for yourself at your next doctor’s appointment

Renée Onque: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The term “medical gaslighting” may be relatively new, but the practice has been affecting people’s health outcomes for decades.

“Medical gaslighting is when concerns about your healthcare are being dismissed, they’re not heard and they are minimized,” says Stacey E. Rosen, senior vice president for Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health and co-author of “Heart Smarter for Women — 6 Weeks to a Healthier Heart.”

It can be so subtle that you may not even realize if it’s happening to you.

Gaslighting, in psychology, refers to a certain kind of manipulation where you are tricked into questioning your own reality.

And in health care, medical gaslighting is pretty common, says Rosen. Especially among certain marginalized groups like women and minorities, including Black and Latino people: Those groups experience medical gaslighting more often.

For folks who belong to more than one of those groups, like Black women, it can be even worse, says Tina Sacks, an associate professor in the school of social welfare at UC Berkeley.

“Women in general in the healthcare space are invalidated because of pervasive misogyny,” says Sacks. “And then when you compound that with a profound anti-blackness that runs through all of society, these groups of people are more likely to be dismissed.”

Having your health concerns minimized can lead to serious life or death consequences, says Sacks.

Leave a Reply