I hate to have to be the one to say this but…..

Statistically, it’s been shown that if a woman presents with chronic pain that doesn’t have an immediately diagnostic cause, she’s more likely to be seen as having a mental health condition than to be referred for further tests. She’s much more likely to be dismissed with a recommendation of a sedative or an antidepressant medicine than an analgesic or opioid pain medication, which men would be offered.

What we haven’t done, I don’t think, is looked at those myths and asked, “Well okay, how has this actually interrupted and steered how we understand women’s health?” Those myths perpetuate because we just haven’t spent enough money, dedicated enough research, given enough visibility to representing women in knowledge in the contemporary era of medicine.

There is a logical possibility here. That more cases of chronic pain in women do have mental rather than physical causes when compared to men.

I don’t insist that this is true, only that it is logically possible. Therefore it’s something that needs to be studied in order to decide upon it.

13 thoughts on “I hate to have to be the one to say this but…..”

  1. That men are expected to tolerate pain up to a certain level is well-known. So a number of men with mental health problems that cause them to imagine chronic pain will choose not to report that pain to the doctor.
    Mathematically this results in a higher proportion of women than men reporting chronic paid due to mental health problems. So a higher proportion of women reporting chronic pain than men reporting chronic pain have mental health problems.
    Feminist disregarding arithmetic/elementary algebra when it does not suit her.

  2. I have a number of friends who are handicapped to some degree or another. The men are largely cheerful and upbeat. Their impediments come from trauma for the most part. Service related (jumped out of too many airplanes), sport, (Damn I loved motorcycles, I coulda sworn the pool was deeper), or misadventure (fucker shot me in the back and THEN took my wallet!) (All true stories). That, or diabetes, and they are the only ones I know who get clinically depressed.

    The women I know with disabilities incurred them from auto accidents, long term illness, or, frankly, obesity. They are all depressed, and largely bitter.

    My sample size is too small to make sweeping generalizations. I will leave that as an exercise for the student.

  3. The total age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 35.2% from 10.5 per 100,000 in 1999 to 14.2 per 100,000 in 2018, before declining to 13.9 per 100,000 in 2019.
    In 2019, the suicide rate among males was 3.7 times higher (22.4 per 100,000) than among females (6.0 per 100,000).

    So Donald J Trump stopped the rot. Surely not.

  4. One reason this may be is that men who present with chronic pain with no immediate cause are also likely to be men who’ve spent lives of physical exertion where tiny little traumas and episodes of over-exertion add up over time.

    That’s why they’re prescribed painkillers and sent on their way.

    I don’t really know why doctors don’t give women a couple of Motrin and send them on their way – except that extra scrutiny in prescribing painkillers (especially opiates) means they’re not gonna if the possibility of an alternative is available.

  5. It could also be that male patients are just more certain about what they want when they go in and are not shy about asking the doctor for it.

    Women seem to have issues with ‘negotiations’ when it comes to compensation for their work, to name just one area.

    To the point that a lot of them have been demanding that negotiations go away altogether because they can’t stand up and claw out every cent they’re due – so you can’t be allowed to either.

  6. Opioids, eh?

    Didn’t the US have a weeee lil’ problem with that stuff?

    There’s a reason most GP’s do. not. like. to prescribe them.. And certainly not for slight discomforts.
    Or big ones for that matter… Dunno how it is elsewhere, but here in Clogland you’re in broken bone territory or worse before they even contemplate breaking out the opioids.

  7. @ Agammammon
    I think you you have a different meaning of “immediate” from the one I was taught at school.
    Men with chronic pain with no immediate cause included some of those invalided out of the trenches in WWI who went back into action when they got out of hospital. By the time I went to school that was 40 years later so the cause was not immediate. [And they didn’t get the new-fangled pain-killers like paracetamol, they just put up with it]

  8. • Registered doctors by gender and specialty in the UK 2020 …
    https://www.statista.com › statistics › registered-doctors-…
    05 Jan 2021 — In 2020, out of the 300 thousand registered doctors in the United Kingdom, 160 thousand were men and 140.5 thousand women.

    I suspect that women have a slight preference for a female GP. It’s possible that as many as 50% of those evil, insensitive to women’s needs doctors are women, who delight in denying their female patients the succour they need.

  9. @ Southerner
    A lot of women have a preference for a woman doctor and there are certainly some men who prefer a male doctor (I, for one). It is more likely than not that a majority of women have a female GP.
    However, that does not mean that a majority of those doctors recommending a sedative or antidepressant are females.
    Based on my, fortunately limited, experience of female doctors I suspect that a lot of female doctors prescribe analgesics more often than is necessary, so sensible male doctors dealing with a minority of females could be (correctly) refusing analgesics/opioids on more occasions than the female doctors dealing with the majority of females.

  10. @Southerner: you’re looking at all doctors, which will include the specialists in hospitals and clinics, who are still disproportionately male. Female doctors tend towards GP work because of the easier hours, more availability of part time work etc, and as such there is already a significant female majority in GPs, 35k to 27k. So a woman seeing a GP at her local practice will already be seeing a woman well over 50% of the time, purely at random, before any self selection bias of asking for a female GP. So the majority of the time it will be women making all the assumptions mentioned in the article, not men.

    It never ceases to amaze me that the NHS is about as female dominated as an organisation employing over 1.5m people can be, and yet the disconnect between this female domination (a doubleplus good thing we are told) and the state the NHS is in never gets mentioned. I am convinced that although the NHS is a socialist nightmare and as such would always tend towards failure and chaos, if it were staffed entirely by men it would function infinitely better than it does as a female dominated organisation. Men work well in hierarchical organisations, and get on with shit. Women spend most of their working day gassing with half their colleagues while studiously ignoring the other half because they’ve fallen out with them. Its no wonder the NHS is falling apart.

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