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  • Jenn Jones

The Mental and Emotional Toll of Medical Gaslighting

Updated: Apr 12

Grief, like the tide, rolls in waves, catching me off guard at unexpected moments. It's the tears that fill my eyes, the weight that settles in my chest, the overwhelming emotion that washes over me. In these moments, I allow myself to feel, to acknowledge the pain that courses through me.

I grieve for those among us who bear the scars of medical gaslighting – those whose symptoms were dismissed, whose concerns were belittled, whose suffering went unrecognized until it was too late. I mourn for those who have lost their lives as a result of stigma – stigma that perpetuates silence, shame, and isolation, making it difficult for individuals to seek the help and support they desperately need.

And I grieve for all of us who have been labeled as "drug seekers" simply because we seek relief from our pain. It's a cruel irony that in a society where pain is pervasive, seeking relief can be met with skepticism and suspicion rather than compassion and understanding.

But amidst the grief, there is rage – a righteous anger at the systems that perpetuate these injustices, at the structures that refuse to change, at the complicity that runs deep within our society. I'm angry that we live in a world where "wait and see" is the best response we can hope for, where our health and well-being are sacrificed at the altar of bureaucratic inertia.

I'm angry at the toll that this takes on us – the exhaustion that seeps into our bones, the weariness that weighs us down, the dreams deferred and the futures altered. And I know I'm not alone in this anger, in this grief. I know there are others who, like me, find themselves sobbing in their cars after yet another fruitless visit to the doctor, who lie awake at night staring at the ceiling, their minds racing with worry and fear.

But in the midst of it all, I hold onto hope – hope for a future where we can grieve together, heal together, and build a world where compassion, empathy, and understanding are the cornerstones of our society. It's a dream born out of necessity, fueled by the knowledge that we keep each other safe and we heal in community.

So, to all those who find themselves caught in the grip of grief and rage, know that you are not alone. Know that your pain is valid, your anger justified, and your dreams worth fighting for. And know that together, we can create a world where healing is possible, where solidarity is the norm, and where no one has to suffer alone.



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