When Doctors Brush You Off Because They Don’t Know How To Treat You



By Saidee Wynn in The Mighty.


In the TV show “Golden Girls,” a two-part episode titled “Sick and Tired” depicts the character of Dorothy, played by Bea Arthur, approaching a doctor while out at a restaurant. This doctor had earlier dismissed her symptoms as being all in her head and sent her on her way without any help or words of encouragement. She later finds another doctor who diagnoses her with chronic fatigue syndrome, showing her symptoms really did exist and were not, in fact, all in her head.

While this particular scene may not be a common reality, the story she tells is all too common. This episode was aired in 1989, and yet, not much has changed in terms of being diagnosed with a chronic illness. All too often, patients, particularly women, have their symptoms overlooked and dismissed. We are told “it’s all in our heads” and sent home still in pain and still confused about what is happening to us.


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