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Towards a sociological understanding of medical gaslighting in western health care (2021, Sebring)

Discussion in 'Psychosomatic research - ME/CFS and Long Covid' started by SNT Gatchaman, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Towards a sociological understanding of medical gaslighting in western health care
    Jennifer C. H. Sebring

    In recent years, the term ‘medical gaslighting’ and accompanying accounts of self-identified women experiencing invalidation, dismissal and inadequate care have proliferated in the media.

    Gaslighting has primarily been conceptualized in the field of psychology as a phenomenon within interpersonal relationships.

    Following the work of Paige Sweet (American Sociological Review, 84, 2019, 851), I argue that a sociological explanation is necessary. Such an explanation illustrates how medical gaslighting is not simply an interpersonal exchange, but the result of deeply embedded and largely unchallenged ideologies underpinning health-care services.

    Through an intersectional feminist and Foucauldian analysis, I illuminate the ideological structures of western medicine that allow for medical gaslighting to be commonplace in the lives of women, transgender, intersex, queer and racialized individuals seeking health care. Importantly, these are not mutually exclusive groups, and I use the term bio-Others to highlight and connect how those with embodied differences are treated in medicine.

    This article indicates the importance of opening a robust discussion about the sociology of medical gaslighting, so that we might better understand what structural barriers people of marginalized social locations face in accessing quality health care and develop creative solutions to challenge health-care inequities.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9566.13367
     
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  2. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    (Abstract split for ease of reading)
     
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  3. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thank you @SNT Gatchaman for this.

    When I start to look for gaslighting, it's everywhere. Denying one's feelings and reality. Of course it's deeply embedded in society.

    ETA: And, the article looks like it would be interesting to read.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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  4. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, and then when I've read it I'm going to post it on Twitter, with #woke and sit back with my popcorn. :whistle: :thumbup:
     
  5. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Straight white men suffer from medical gaslighting too. We have all seen it with ME. Groups may have problems but it is the culture of BPS ideology running through medicine which is the root of the gaslighting problem. It gives a justification for not believing patients because patients are seen as being in denial about the real psychological cause of their physical disease.
     
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  6. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Oh, definitely. It's more subtle and less woo but the end result is the same: GTFO.
     
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  7. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Female patients have tried challenging gaslighting, but in a relationship where the doctor has all the power what can women do?
     
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  8. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think it's just a gender issue. After all, there are a lot of female doctors and therapists who treat pwME. Some of the worst offenders in the UK are women - Crawley, Chalder, Moss-Morris ....
    And there are a lot of men with ME being gaslighted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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  9. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Link : https://www.theguardian.com/educati...ed-does-medical-science-have-a-gender-problem
    Title : 'Women have been woefully neglected': does medical science have a gender problem?

    My emphasis...

    I realise that people with ME, both male and female, are gaslighted. But when it comes to reproductive health it is clear that women are the poor relations.
     
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  10. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Though men with ME may be gaslighted, I suspect that on average we are better treated than women with ME, and also had ME not been a condition that predominantly effected woman would men with ME be better treated than they are.

    Also the fact there are woman clinicians does not guarantee they have not been taught the prejudices of their professions.
     
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  11. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Agree with @Peter Trewhitt. I think of our men (including myself) as secondary victims / collateral damage of the historical and still pervasive medical misogyny. While I have experienced a little of this (and of course the stalled research and treatments affecting us all) I am in no doubt that the women have it worse. I've observed the default social response given female colleagues with ME who should have received the sympathy and care that I experienced.

    Also as he and @Trish point out, internalised misogyny appears a real factor. It must be doubly painful to be a female patient experiencing this – I imagine it feels like an even worse betrayal.
     
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  12. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Misogyny is important to ME because it was hijacked by the theory of mass hysteria. Women as creatures with fragile psychology was so embedded in the culture that putting forth the idea that "being a woman" was a valid risk factor for hysteria and all its many children.

    Move on and many repetitions had added a scientific gloss to the idea, it was considered fact so that an epidemic among mostly female nurses and doctors was easily seen as mass hysteria. I am sure this coincided with the cultural notion that women should stay at home not venture into the world of work where their brains would be overheated and neurotic.

    The true fact that women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases has left us with being a woman as a risk factor and vice versa - a disease where more women get ill is more likely to be neurotic.

    I don't believe there is the same misogyny at work today. It got us where we are but it has continued because it is presented in a different form as a proven medical fact that illness without disease exists and patients with that have to be gently led to understand the truth so they can be brought back to health.

    If you accused a doctor nowadays of believing women should stay at home as their brains were not capable of taking the stimulation of the outside world they would be offended.
     
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  13. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The pervasive belief that our thoughts control our health with positive thinking, mindfulness and such like being a form of medicine means that there is no thought given to how baseless the BPS theory that the doctor has more insight into the patent than the patient does actually is.

    If marginalized groups get equal access to health care they will still face the relentless onslaught of FND and the IAPT. There is no benefit to being able to get the same care if that care is useless.
     
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  14. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Stopped reading right here. Medical gaslighting is an important issue, and I'm sure on average it's a bigger problem for women than for men. But I simply can't bear to see it hijacked as a vehicle for Foucauldian nonsense. This article is so full of buzzwords one of my students could have written it in an attempt to get maximum points from their cultural studies lecturer.

    You do that.

    EDIT: She's a master's student. I wasn't far off.

    EDIT 2: Damn I can spot these cultural studies students a mile off. Here's one of her other papers:

    https://www.researchgate.net/public..._The_Little_Mermaid_and_The_Little_Mermaid_II
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
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