Many women with PMDD can testify about medical gaslighting. Gaslighting is an expression that stems from the film Gaslight from 1944 with Ingrid Bergman in the lead role. Gaslighting is a term for a certain kind of psychological manipulation where a person distorts, omit or gives false information. This can make you doubt yourself and your own perception of reality. To say that you’re exaggerating or that you’ve misinterpreted something is examples of gaslighting. Being a doctor or gynecologist and downplay symptoms, to mean PMDS isn’t a real disorder or being the same thing as PMS can, in other words, be gaslighting. A question to ask is whether or not the actions are indeed intended or not. Whatever the intention of the effect for the woman seeking help will still be the same.
When reaching out for help when you’re vulnerable, and often in desperate need for help you deserve to be taken seriously. While we do appreciate that doctors and gynecologists only are human they do have an ethical responsibility that comes with their profession to truly listen and take the patient seriously is sometimes just as important as finding a solution. Having someone that believes you and listen, dedicated to following you on your journey to find a solution is not something to hope for, it’s something we should expect in healthcare.
As said in the video, it’s enough to suffer from the symptoms of PMDD, no one should have to despair due to being downplayed and not believed. It’s another grief and struggle that is fought in vain.
This is one of the reasons we never should keep quiet about PMDD. It needs to be recognized for what it so keep posting about it, keep talking about it, keep informing people about it. Every time you tell someone we’re getting one step closer to public recognition and that you will ease the gaslighting for another woman in the future.