Chronic illnesses are as difficult to the patients as they are to get properly diagnosed. However, throughout history, there is this stigma around women with chronical illness and doctors ascribing it to “hysteria” or being told that their physical symptoms are due to mental illness. Author Suzannah Weiss took it to Twitter to share her story of how it took 17 (yes, you read correctly seventeen) doctors to finally get her illness properly diagnosed. She encouraged other women to share their stories of how long or how many doctors it took to get them diagnosed.
According to the National Pain Report sexism still exists in medicine with as much as 90% of women with chronic pain stating they feel that female patients are discriminated in the health care system. Women are often told that they are overreacting or that they don’t know their bodies and therefore are not taken seriously. This needs to stop. There is no place for sexism or any type of discrimination when in need of medical treatment. Suzzanah calls out medical professionals to do their jobs and take their patients symptoms seriously.
“As women, we’re very in tune with our bodies. If something is not right, we immediately know. All we ask is that doctors and medical professionals take our knowledge of our own bodies seriously.”
Her tweet got a lot of attention and women were not shy to share their own experiences.