Long COVID Patients Feel Gaslighted by Their Doctors

By Lou Portero - Last Updated: May 23, 2022

People with long COVID are facing an uphill battle convincing their doctors that their symptoms are real. Long COVID is a collective name for symptoms patients feel long after the COVID infection has cleared. The symptoms can range from physical, psychiatric, and psychological issues.

Heidi Ferrer, a 48-year woman, who presented to the hospital with symptoms such as Parkinson-like tremors and chest vibration making it difficult to breathe, reported feeling dismissed by her doctor. According to Heidi, her doctor, instead of addressing her complaint, brought up his struggles with depression, assuming that is what was at least partly the reason for her symptoms. Heidi committed suicide the next day after telling her husband that she felt she was not going to improve and had no path forward.

There are so many other patients like Heidi, and some of them are stepping up to share their ordeals. Patients report being told by their doctors to “suck it up” or sometimes chalk it up to their imagination.

Asides from gaslighting, patients report that the sheer disregard for long COVID cases has led to them being bombarded with hefty medical bills, unsuccessful insurance claims, and medications that can, in some cases, worsen their symptoms, as well as rejections from clinics studying long COVID because they have been overwhelmed with demand.

While some parts of the medical community blame the dismissal of long covid patients, others blame lack of awareness. According to Dr. Benjamin Abramoff, director of the Post-COVID Assessment and Recovery Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, “we’re all kind of learning on the fly, with guidance coming out on a day-to-day basis.” 

As patients continue to report feeling dismissed by their doctors, research on long covid is beginning to gather steam. However, for the most part, there remains a paucity of data on long covid sufferers. 


SOURCE: Yahoo! News

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