I’ve always maintained the doctors constantly dismiss women’s pain. When I first got sick my pain was dismissed by the first 5 doctors I saw who all offered antidepressants as a cure. I was fascinated when I found out about a study that confirms everything I always thought. Women have a much higher risk of developing painful conditions, and according to a 2011 study published by the Institute of medicine women’s pain was also much more likely then men’s to be dismissed. Plus in 2008 a study was published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine which found that women were 23-25% less likely to receive opiod pain medication in the ER, and if they managed to get some they waited on average 16 minutes more.
I see evidence of this all the time. Both my sister and I suffer from confusing chronic illnesses and both of us have struggled to find doctors to believe us, treat us like human beings, and provide adequate pain medication. Yet my spouse who is healthy as can be goes in for an ingrown toenail and gets a bottle of narcotics, unbelievable! I’m no bra burning feminist, but I do believe the world is still heavily prejudiced against women. Women are often seen as emotional whiners and over reactors where as men are characterized as tough and stoic. I laugh at that stereotype as every man I know is a complete baby when they get sick whereas most women I know could (and do) manage their household from their deathbed. Yet women are seen as over emotional which must mean that they exaggerate and can’t nearly be in a much pain as they say they are. It seems we still have a long way to go with how we view and treat women.
* Source: New York Times