It’s All In Her Head
Founder Marcela Segal and M-Body host Sol Ballard having a convo on Women’s inherent power for self healing
The nature of dehumanization is the denial of another person's reality.
Let me see a show of hands. How many of us females have ever been made out to feel or look hysterical or emotional, that you're only complaining, not wanting to get better, or fabricating the pain as if it were all made up in our head? Though we can't physically see the show of hands, I can assure you that you're not alone, and hundreds to thousands of women experience this regularly.
In fact, according to the 2019 survey by TODAY, they found:
- ⅓ of women said they needed to prove their symptoms before further testing
- ¼ of women with a chronic health condition said that healthcare providers straight up ignored their issues
- 1 in 4 women with a chronic disease said a healthcare provider did not take their pain seriously…
In 2022 the word "Gaslighting," meaning to manipulate one's mind using psychological methods to question their own sanity, was Merriam-Webster's word of the year with a search increase of 1,740%. Now, it's time to bring to light a new term, medical gaslighting.
"If the coffee tastes bitter, it's bitter. It's not your tongue malfunctioning." – Doctor E. Xu.
Like gaslighting, Medical Gaslighting refers to when our concerns about our healthcare are being disregarded, dismissed, or diminished. Though we've put a word to this behavior, it's no surprise that these practices have been around for thousands of years, wreaking havoc on a number of countless women and making them believe that their medical concerns were only their hysteria.
As a matter of fact, did you know that the word "hysteria" originated from the Greek word for "uterus?" I'm sorry, come again? Yup, that's right. For centuries, it was believed that the uterus was the cause of a woman's "hysterical symptoms." This can still be true today with expressions like, "Are you on your period?", "Is it that time of the month?" or our personal favorite, "You're just PMSing." No, Chad, you're just clueless.
A study was done in 2018 that analyzed 77 high-income countries, including the US, on sex differences in pain. As a result, studies identified pain as a regular, everyday occurrence, a "natural characteristic of women's bodies." Now, that's a bunch of rubbish.
But come on now, are we really that surprised considering what we know? The hard truth is that medical gaslighting SEVERELY increases morbidity, magnifies symptoms, and causes self-doubt, confusion, anxiety, and, you guessed it, depression. The rise of severe mental illness is almost 70% greater in women than in men and was twice as likely to be diagnosed with a panic disorder. And the sad truth is this is more common for women of color, disabled women, the LGBTQ community, older women, and women of lower income.
Man Vs. Everyone Else
To us women, it's not hard to figure out that our healthcare system was made by men, for men. It wasn't even until the 1990s when women were allowed to be included in medical trials…
It's no surprise that in 2005 8 out of 10 prescription drugs were taken off the US market because they caused more significant health risks for women than men when taken. It's INSANE and even harder to believe that women were kept from scientific research regardless of male-female biological differences. – Just let that sink in.
Despite women now being included in medical studies, men still come first regarding scientific research. A great example is while 90% of women reported at least one PMS symptom, or "female troubles," five times more studies had been conducted for erectile dysfunction, which only affects 19% of males. That's pretty lame if you ask us. But not only that, Academic Emergency Medicine found that women who went to the emergency room had to wait 33% longer than men with the same symptoms!
Medical gaslighting exists to this day, but it is not necessarily conscious. We want to think this isn't always intentional, which can be the case in some matters, but not always.
Many factors could play into this, but one could be due to today's doctor-patient ratio. Doctors are overloaded with a pile of patients and are rushed to complete services in short amounts of time, leaving no room for decent bedside manners or the ability to sit down and really try to listen to concerns regarding our health.
Another possibility could be that a majority of health professionals want to help people, but they haven't necessarily been trained on sex and gender differences. Which makes sense given what history has shown us.
Despite what may be, there are a few things we can do to protect our health and sanity. Starting with writing down your symptoms in a log or journal, not only for your own keepsake but to show your physicians to see if the two of you combined can get to the root of the issue. If that doesn't work, i.e., your doctor downright ignores or belittles you — get a second opinion. Remember, you know your body best. If something bothers or feels off to you, you need to speak up for not only yourself but the women who will come after presenting similar symptoms to yours.
A Natural Way
Women worldwide are starting to wake up and smell the BS choking our voices and telling us differently from what we believe to be true. Just because the healthcare industry has been designed to silence us doesn't mean we should stay silent.
You can seek ulterior options to help add some extra comfort and ease back into your life! If you're feeling fed up, overwhelmed, or on the brink of giving up, it's time to try a secondary approach to relieving those woes. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are a few holistic approaches we personally love that can help heal the mind, body, and spirit.
For That Second Opinion
If you're searching for that second opinion, an option to consider is visiting a Naturopathic doctor. This type of doctor uses natural remedies combined with traditional treatments with some aspects of modern science to help the body heal itself. It embraces many therapies, including herbs, massage, acupuncture, exercise, and nutritional counseling. The benefit here is that a naturopath can take their time learning and understanding your body, its alignments, and you.
For That Extra Bit Of Help
Another alternative is if you're suffering from anxiety, PMS, menopause, headaches, bloating, etc., perhaps it's time to try CBD. Just as Gaslighting was trending this year, so was CBD, and for a good reason.
At Goddess Well, we offer a line of CBD supplements that women specially formulated for women to complement our inherent self-healing power! This non-psychoactive formula combines sustainably sourced CBD with a delightful blend of herbs that includes evening primrose, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, clove, and so on. An authentic, natural way to heal your body from within. You can find products specific to your trouble, such as our PMS & Menopause Relief, Hormone and Mood Support, and Urinary Tract Health soft gels, through our website.
Listen to your body’s wisdom and believe in your internal voice.
The Goddess Well Team