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While the term “gaslighting” has become widely popular in our society, the term “medical gaslighting” is also gaining traction. Merriam-Webster’s word of the year in 2022 was “gaslight” and according to The New York Times, the term “medical gaslighting” gained popularity on Instagram and has thousands of posts now. Medical gaslighting is a newer term to describe a problem that has been impacting patients for decades. This article will define what medical gaslighting is, and strategies to combat it’s potentially harmful effects. At Carrara Treatment, our physicians and healthcare providers work from a compassionate model. We collaborate with our patients to thoroughly understand their symptoms and take the time to avoid patients feeling dismissed. Research is limited pertaining to medical gaslighting and patients with substance use disorder. There is a growing mental health pandemic. There is a need for qualified practitioners to treat patients who have experienced this abuse. Carrara Treatment has treated many victims of medical gaslighting with our trauma informed comprehensive care. Patients have been able to regain trust by reparative experiences with our dedicated team and integrative practitioners.

What is Medical Gaslighting?

The experiences of having one’s concerns dismissed by a medical provider, often referred to as medical gaslighting, can happen to anyone, according to The New York Times. According to Harvard Health, “Medical gaslighting describes when health care professions seem to invalidate or ignore your concerns. This can be linked to misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, and poor health outcomes. It might damage your trust in the health care system and make you less likely to seek care.

Signs of Medical Gaslight

According to The New York Times, gaslighting can be subtle and is not always easy to spot. When seeking medical care, experts recommend watching for the following red flags.

  • Your provider continually interrupts you. They do not allow you to elaborate and appears to not be an engaged listener .
  • Your provider minimizes or downplays your symptoms, for example questioning whether you have pain.
  • Your provider refuses to discuss your symptoms.
  • Your provider will not order key imaging or lab work to rule out or confirm a
  • You feel that your provider is being rude, condescending or belittling.
  • Your symptoms are attributed to mental illness, but you are not provided with a

mental health referral or screened for such illness.

How Patient’s Deserve Be Treated:

According to Durbhakula (Durbhakula, S., Fortin, A.H. Turning Down the Flame on Medical Gaslighting) Patients who feel heard, understood, and cared-for will not feel gaslighted; and with proper dialogue, it is more likely that physicians will order the right tests and therapies when they are indicated. 

The Carrara Difference:

Carrara treatment is not only known for its luxurious and serene atmosphere with a trauma informed spa, but we pride ourselves in offering every patient with an individualized approach to get to the root causes and guide you through your healing journey. Each patient is treated with the upmost respect and assessed within the safety of their treatment team. This has been extremely productive for patients who were victims of medical gaslighting. Depending on past experiences with gaslighting, treatment plans are created to target what a patient’s needs are. This is especially important since they have often been overlooked with “medical gaslighting”. We place a heavy emphasis on meeting those needs for patients to heal from past medical trauma and begin to regain trust in healthcare. Patients are partnered with physicians and licensed therapists trained to delicately and empathetically be a part of their reparative journey with healthcare. Patient care, attention to needs, concierge care, integrative programming, holistic services, and trauma informed modalities are all used to promote healing, trust, safety, and wellbeing. We see you and we hear you!


Caron C. Feeling Dismissed? How to Spot ‘Medical Gaslighting’ and What to Do About It. The New York Times. July 29, 2022. Accessed 17 September 2022.,less%20likely%20to%20seek%20care.

Durbhakula, S., Fortin, A.H. Turning Down the Flame on Medical Gaslighting. J GEN INTERN MED 38, 3426–3427 (2023).

Moyer MW. Women Are Calling Out ‘Medical Gaslighting’. The New York Times. March 28, 2022. Accessed 17 September 2022.

Benjamin J., Newton; Southall, Jane L.; Raphael, Jon H.; Ashford, Robert L.; LeMarchand, Karen (2013).“A Narrative Review of the Impact of Disbelief in Chronic Pain”. Pain Manag Nurs. pp. 161–171.

People experiencing gaslighting often begin to question their own reality or may feel “crazy”, particularly if the person gaslighting them has greater authority or personal power.[

McKinnon, Rachel; Kidd, Ian James; Medina, José; Pohlhaus, Gaile (2017). “Gaslightingas epistemic injustice”.The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice. Taylor & Francis. pp. 167–174. ISBN978-1-351-81450-8.

Take the first step with Carrara Treatment