Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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"Is Medicine’s Gender Bias Killing Young Women?"

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Kyla, May 13, 2015.

  1. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    I think I might have posted a link to this at some point, but it deserves its own thread.

    http://www.psmag.com/health-and-behavior/is-medicines-gender-bias-killing-young-women

    This article focuses mostly on Heart disease, but I think it has a great deal of relevance for ME.
    And it does touch on "CFS" briefly.

    Here is a quote:

    "This pervasive bias may simply be easier to see in the especially high-stakes context of a heart attack, in which the true cause usually becomes crystal clear—too often tragically—in a matter of hours or days. When it comes to less acute problems, the effect of such medical gaslighting is harder to quantify, as many women either accept misdiagnoses or persist until they find a health care provider who believes their symptoms aren’t just in their head. But it can be observed indirectly: In the ever-increasing numbers of women prescribed anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants. In the fact that women make up the majority of the 100 million Americans suffering from (often under-treated) chronic pain. In the fact that it takes nearly five years and five doctors, on average, for patients with autoimmune diseases, more than 75 percent of whom are women, to receive a proper diagnosis, and that half report being labeled “chronic complainers” in the early stages of their illness. Then there are the diseases, like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, that exist so squarely at the overlap of the Venn diagrams of “affects mostly women” and “unknown etiology” that they’ve only recently begun to be recognized as “real” diseases at all."


    ... for the record I realize there are many men with ME, and that you are generally treated in an equally unfair manner, but the frequent positioning of ME as a "women's illness" and the connection with outdated and misogynistic ideas about "hysteria" affects us all detrimentally.
     
  2. chipmunk1

    chipmunk1 Senior Member

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    Doctors are being trained to spot hysterics and they see them everywhere even when there aren't any.

     
  3. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    I've mentioned it a few times in the past. There is a lot of sexism bundled up in the attitudes towards ME/CFS patients by medical practitioners and researchers. Much of it inherited as part of the sexism that was integral in constructs such as 'hysteria', 'neurasthenia' and psychosomatic illness.

    Today, within the NIH, CFS is orphaned in the Office of Research on Women's Health which itself has historically been underfunded vs need/disease burden.
     
  4. chipmunk1

    chipmunk1 Senior Member

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    what i find more shocking is that many of those prescriptions aren't for clearly depressive states anymore.

    Even feeling just tired or unwell, or having pain of unclear origin, nausea, digestive problems all symptoms which can go along with many different medical conditions can result in a quick antidepressant prescription instead of further medical examination. Just complaining a lot in absence of clearly abnormal lab results can lead to a psych prescription.
     
  5. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    These are important statistics, @Kyla - thanks for bringing this article to our attention.

    -J
     
    belize44, Kyla and Kati like this.
  6. SOC

    SOC

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    Sounds like paranoia to me. Does CBT help with that? Or maybe they should just have a child to take their minds off their worrying. :p

    Do they just see hysterics everywhere :cautious: or are they actually afraid of their imaginary hysterics :nervous:? Are they hystephobes? No, that would be people afraid of uteruses, wouldn't it? Hystericophobes, then?

    They "see" a lot of hypochondriacs, too, it seems. Life must be very disturbing for them, perceiving hysterics and hypochondriacs lurking behind every rock and tree. Poor things, their lives are so hard.
     
  7. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Thank you for sharing this article, @Kyla. i tweetchat most Monday evenings on Twitter, there is a chat that pertains to bioethics, and it would make a very interesting topic of discussions. Many who come chatting are health care professionals, doctors, bioethicians, allied health, and patients.

    It would make an excellent topic to discuss. Unfortunately those who come chatting are the people who are the people you would want to deal with the most and the health care professionals who need to be there are usually not bothering....

    i haven't read the article yet but I will bookmark to read later.
     
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  8. belize44

    belize44 Senior Member

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    This explains a lot, unfortunately.:rolleyes:
     
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