From A Journey Through The Fog.
Trigger warning; the examples of medical gaslighting highlighted in this post may be distressing to some.
There is growing awareness around the prevalence of medical gaslighting, especially amongst female patients. Last week tens of thousands of people took to Twitter to share their horror stories of neglect from medical professionals under the hashtag #PatientsAreNotFaking, following a disturbing viral video that was posted mocking certain patients.
However, medical gaslighting is not a new phenomenon, it has been going on for centuries. Historically, women have always been pegged “hysterical” and “mental” by men and the predominantly patriarchal medical profession. And I’m sure many of my readers have their own personal stories of disbelieving doctors.
But what is medical gaslighting, and how does it pose a risk to patients?
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, and narcissists.
The term comes from the 1938 stage play Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights (which were powered by gas) in their home. When his wife points it out, he denies that the light changed.
Gaslighting is an extremely effective form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts and sanity, which gives the abusive partner a lot of power. Once an abusive partner has broken down the victim’s ability to trust their own perceptions, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship.
I have experienced gaslighting myself in past relationships, from people who I regarded as friends, on social media, from employers, and most worryingly from medical professionals.
To read the rest of this story, click on the link below: