Doing Harm: Damn Right

Doing Harm: Damn Right

I’m three-quarters through Maya Dusenbery’s phenomenal Doing Harm, and it’s by far the best book about healthcare I’ve ever read. I’m lapping up every right-on-the-money page as she delves deep and raw into gender bias toward women, most who are women in pain.

This tome is stirring powerful emotions in me, so much so that I’m re-experiencing the doctor-induced trauma I suffered after becoming ill with chronic pain and fatigue at age 21. And like all good therapy, it’s ultimately helping me come to terms with it.

While the book is extraordinarily sad (hey, the topic of gender bias in healthcare is nothing but a tragedy!), the awareness it provokes is our hope for a better future. Doing Harm is a brilliantly researched and fact-based gem that’s filling in every missing piece of my journey through the abusive male-dominated healthcare system.

Many times I’ve wanted to throw the book, often finding myself trembling and yelling. Dusenbery draws a centuries-long, historical perspective about how and why women are belittled, dismissed and tortured. It’s a rough read, even for the well indoctrinated. Ultimately, this feminist author grips me with her sharing of many gut-wrenching stories about real women’s real suffering. More than once, I’ve broken down and sobbed for them. Or were the tears for me?

A key-theme of Dusenbery’s is that, though improved, gender bias in healthcare is alive and well. She emphasizes that if you’re in pain (or having another illness symptom), you should never submit to being labeled an anxious, hysterical woman. Know that what you’re feeling is real and if your doctor says you’re crazy, it’s his problem, not yours.

To my surprise and horror yesterday, I put this book’s message to practice. I thought my gender bias hell days were behind me, but not even close.

I have an anxiety disorder that was triggered by consuming potent marijuana when I was 18. My worst symptoms were de-realization (the terrifying feeling that nothing around me was real), obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks. I was able to keep my stuff together until I got CRPS, and eventually had to leave my performing career. The subsequent implosion of my future re-ignited my anxiety disorder to the nth degree. Not only were things around me unreal, even the sound of a phone ringing was so distorted I’d cover my ears. Before long, I could only lie in bed and stare at the wall wishing the cracks would appear real.

One of the most reassuring days of my life was when I was diagnosed, learning that this disorder was so common, especially among pain folk, my doctor could tick off symptoms before I could. He put me on 4 mgs. of the benzodiazepine, Klonopin – and that was my miracle drug. Not only did the anxiety lessen by about 85%, I went into a partial CRPS remission. My doctor expected this pain relief, so I got a 2-for-1’er.

Klonopin has kept my anxiety in check ever since, so I was stunned several days ago to have my prescription refill denied with no explanation. I made an emergency appointment after discovering that my internist was on maternity leave. I was assured by the scheduler that the male doctor covering for her (wasn’t thrilled by that!) needed only to lay eyes on me before refilling this Schedule IV medication.

When Dr. Hyde entered the room, I immediately sensed hostility, intimidation and an agenda. With barely a hello, he launched into a diatribe about the evils of long-term benzodiazepine use and how there would be nothing but doom and gloom if I stupidly continued down this path. He repeatedly insisted I take one of his anti-depressants (Celexa) as a common-sense replacement.

Instead of a caring exchange with a healthcare provider, this was a mansplaining intervention, one perpetrated by the all-knowing male doctor to the naïve, getting-up-there (yes, he brought up my age) frail femme. This monster suspiciously asked, “Do you even have ANY pain, anywhere?” He went on to insult my last two PCPs (both of them women) for witlessly prescribing this menace.

Hyde didn’t pause to ask why I was taking Klonopin or if it had worked safely and successfully all these years.  He didn’t bother to ask how I felt about trying something new. Instead, he capped, with righteous indignation, that it was his duty to “first, do no harm.”

In that moment, my pain spiked and I surely did feel damned harmed. I reached into my bag and held up Dusenbery’s book. He got the message with its big, bright cover title. That stopped him in his tracks.

In the end, I got my refill, but at a great cost. I felt insulted, diminished and violated. I’m dictating this post while lying in bed due to my pain flare – and am exhausted from losing a night of restorative sleep because the emotional upset triggered my chronic fatigue.

As I’ve shared in many media interviews, “these doctors stain our psyches so profoundly, I don’t think we ever fully recover.” Gender bias (dare I say misogyny?) in healthcare is still full throttle in this era of #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Please read Doing Harm. We need to get educated and sharpen every tool we have to push back conscious and unconscious acts of bias-induced harm.

Stay strong, fellow sisters in pain…

Cynthia Toussaint founded For Grace in 2002. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing awareness to gender disparity in the treatment of pain. She is also a frequent contributor to the National Pain Report.

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25 Comments on "Doing Harm: Damn Right"

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Been there!! I love this piece and you!!

Ooo Cynthia! I feel so bad for you to have to go through that! You have been through so much already! But, I relate to it 100%! Been there, done that! I’m so glad that you have that book with you and… Very proud of you for quickly reaching for it and putting it in his face! You go girl!
I too have been through the ringer with offensive doctors, have cried my way home from appts far too many times, all the while sensing my pain levels skyrocket, obtain the fatigue by the time I reached my home and was immediately put to bed in overall despai for the remainder of those days.
Having become a nurse in the early 70’s I was taught to greatly respect Doctors but having become a person with CP in 2004 I have bit my tongue over and over. Now in 2018, I greatly recognize my rights as a patient, a human being and a respectable person even more so that I’ve begun to speak up for myself more and more.
Kudos to you and I trust and hope that you will have no more problem with your Klonopin (a drug now also unfortunate seen as yet another abused one).
Keep strong and feel better soon, beautiful Warrior! Maureen

I am truly sorry for all of us that are caught up in this so called “opioid crisis.” I am afraid it’s going to get much, much worse. Male/female, adult/child, black/white and everyone in between will be sucked into this mess. One commenter mentioned money as a possible equalizer. I think that might just be a possible motivator. If seeing a doctor that has no regard for your feelings, your pain, your healthcare concerns and life in general, you can pretty much guess he or she isn’t going to help you. I say it is time for people to start to say to such insensitive know-it-alls, You’re fired! And then get up, roll out or crawl on the floor to get out of their offices. No payment required. Then spread the word! When people take their lives back and stop going to these so called “doctors” then there will be a huge drop in their financial pockets. Might take time and a lot of effort on the patients part, but what comes around goes around. When they can’t make their bills and their performance reviews tank maybe these folk will begin to look inwardly as to why this is occurring. Some may get a clue and start to act like a real doctor again, listening, being compassionate, and fighting for their patients. Those that don’t will continue to do what they do, will have low patient visits, poor reviews and hopefully get fired from their group or hospital affiliation and fade or move away. One thing that doctors hate the most is getting poor reviews, especially from previous patients. Kinda works that way on auction websites where when just a few customers complain, it drops their honesty numbers. It actually can ruin their business when others shop their site and read the positive and negative reviews. Just a few negatives and the shopper moves to another seller. Simple as that. Hey, we are all healthcare consumers and in the situation we find ourselves in today, we must use every tool in the box. Just saying…

While I can relate to the treatment she received from this so called Dr, what I don’t agree with is glher gender bias diatribe. I’m a male and if you think we have it any better, think again!! I’ve had to fight for everything prescribed because I’m male and we should be able to handle pain!! Yeah, right! My last Pain Dr actually asked me why I use a wheelchair!!! Not just once but also on the next 2 visits. Had he bothered to go over the huge pile of my records he’d of never asked, maybe. I got the impression he didn’t believe anything I stated concerning my use of a wheelchair. He was downright rude!! He was terminated once I finished 9 weeks of radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

I used to have a good team of doctors. Right before the government got into this ‘opioid epidemic’ baloney, my internal doctor of 20 years took an early retirement – knowing what was coming, and not wanting to become a part of it. The doctor I have now keeps saying, and I quote, “it’s because you’re old”. That’s when I was 54. All of my problems started in my early 30’s, and one apparently at birth that was never diagnosed til much later. Old? I cannot tolerate ignorant doctors, and have spoken to my neurologist about this. She has suggested other physicians at the same clinic – but that clinic refuses to prescribe pain medications – for anything. I’m pretty much non-functional without some pain relief. But, apparently, my age is the problem. Not the sjogrens, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, mitral valve prolapse, and severe migraines, along with the inability to lift anything over 5 lbs. because it causes such pain. Nor all of the fluid retention in my feet, along with complete numbness and inability to even move my toes or feet or have any function in them. Yes, he’s a male doctor, and utterly incompetent.

The driving force behind this “Dr Hyde” and others like him, is an addiction to the use of force. Somewhere in early childhood, the Hydes of our world got the idea that being brutalized and compelled to do things, was somehow wholesome and healthful. Certainly there are extreme cases in life, where we have to choose pain or discomfort, to avoid greater pain later. Whether one is jumping from a burning building or having surgery to remove cancerous tumors, one is intentionally investing in some present pain to avoid a future pain.

But those are extreme cases. In normal, everyday living, we don’t need to choose the lesser of the evils. We choose instead to do the greater of possible good.

What drives the Hyde mentality is the sense that there’s something wrong with all the normal people out in society who live their lives without any violence at all. Misogyny ties to it, because the biology of human reproduction makes the mother into both a protector and nurturer of unborn humans for nine months, and usually a protector and nurturer of the children for many years thereafter. The Hydes of this world are terrified to return to their first childhood experience of violent coercion, as they were the victim of it. They likely think of their mothers as having been powerless to protect them from it…and thus view women as worthless. By embracing the evil that terrorized them as children, and imposing it upon others, the Hydes reassure themselves that they are powerful and can not be made to suffer again.

That’s why I characterize Hyde behavior as addictive. Hyde has to keep repeating the bossy behavior. It’s how he pretends that he was never the terrified victim of it once.

Hyde’s sick. He needs help. But first we have to remove him from power so he stops harming others.

Oh, Cynthia, yet another nightmare and another chance to come through it, as you always do. I am currently fighting with my new health insurance (surely no improvement but I had no choice but to change) and every refill since Jan 1 has been a nightmare. I now make a habit of asking my pharmacist to fill all my scrips on date and I’ll pay cash if I have to until it gets straightened out. IF it gets straightened out. What, am I just supposed to go cold turkey here? There are random possibly non-medically trained people rubber stamping NO NO NO. Luckily, my PCP, who has been my doc for over 30 years, is the best guy around. He listens. He hugs. He cries with me once in a while. He fights for my meds and then is told that his PA wasn’t enough. UGH UGH UGH. Lots of love to you.

Thank you thank you! I am writing this in super flare with migraine, with ibs and all nausea and pain over top. Ive been wondering how to write up this past episode that started around Christmas and will continue for months.as the specialists tell me. Today
I’m fighting an eviction notice due to being railroaded illegally while I’m recovering from Achilles’ tendon rip. No surgery. My doc said at 64 I was not Kobe Bryant a 30 year old athelete. Ripped right off but attached at one tiny point and given a tordol shot and 18 additional 10mg-325’s of my normal 4 x daily chronic pain fibro/arthritis/pots/etc. I know my pain. I’m supposed to suck it up.
At the Er, where the male doc gave me an x ray of my heal to humor me, he came back looking rather pale and sat and held my hand and asked,” what led you to come to the Er today?”
I replied,”I know my chronic pain. I can’t do this!” Then he told me. Got my referral to the right docs. Cynthia I read all of your posts. You encouraged me. Thank you!

Cynthia, good for you. I think many men, physicians or not, think of a benzodiazepine as a drug prescribed for a ‘woman who must be hysterical or very high strung’ and it’s unacceptable. An antidepressant is not a substitute, particularly since many of us are not depressed! We can be sad over our pain experience but sadness and depression are two different conditions.

Gender bias in medicine is VERY real! I fear it’s driving many women to illegally purchase their prescription medicine on the dark net rather than endlessly fight with a string of male physicians determined to see them as “hysterical females”.
How dare those of us with a “lesser” (read: non-medical) education question their god-like knowledge? They KNOW what’s best for us; we should shut up and do what they say.
I do want to challenge the author’s belief that a negative experience with cannabis brought on her anxiety disorder. The experience may have made her more aware of a condition that was previously unrecognized, but I seriously doubt if it *caused* the years of suffering she’s endured.
Until recently, it was nearly impossible to get federal permission to even *test* cannabis for its effect on the human body and mind. Now, we’re discovering the many ways it can contribute to healing and help overcome trauma. Certainly, it’s possible there may be a serious pharmaceutical downside to cannabis, but I’ve never heard of it being responsible for permanent mental or physical damage.

This past weekend Walgreens hijacked my klonopin Rx this weekend for 3 days and I have been on them for 25 years! (PTSD) I also suffer from chronic pain and am unable to work. I really need to read this. Thanks for the article.

Cynthia, I’m so sorry for your condition and what you went through and I wish you the best. But I’ve got to say I’ve been treated like this and worse from a female doctor. I’ve told my story before and I honestly feel like in this current atmosphere of hysteria over treatment options for chronic pain patients and those with various illnesses, that male AND female doctors have crossed the line from care to abuse. Just as we have many male & female doctors who deeply care and are trying to help. I honestly feel gender has nothing to do with it.

Your article should be force-read and forwarded to all Dr. Hydes and government acronyms and pharmacists and healthcare providers.

The same thing has happened to me. A male. I hope you recover. Being attacked by a doctor or nurse was something I was not prepared for. The story you recounted shook me up.

Even if you have Cerebral Palsy caused by healthcare providers
in 1962 after birth who failed in almost every possible way following , they show no mercy even though, like you, one doctor found a near-cure for my panic attacks, spasticity, pain and shyness. And it was xanax along with an opioid. He left and my subsequent doctors went and are still going through unimaginable histrionics. The verbal abuse I wish had been recorded. I saw my PCP last week, same verbal abuse as I fight for my very life. And this is a fraction of my healthcare provider horror story.

Will read the book, I am sorry for what happened to you. It is outrageous that almost none of this is being reported on by major news outlets. And by the way, the most intelligent, caring providers are usually women. And I am a veteran in the pain and panic wars.

(If this double-posts, forgive me; it wasn’t intended.)

As a female, I bristle at the idea that women get short shrift at the hands of medicine.

My husband is the one in my family who suffers at the hand of medicine…and suffer he does. He endured a bout of undiagnosed (through no fault of our own)—and therefore untreated—HSE nearly 15 years ago. Just prior to the HSE, he had received a diagnosis of dystonia, so the waters were muddied (though dystonia doesn’t generally cause personality changes, muscle fasciculations, talking in third person, sleeping around the clock, high fever, etc.). We saw a p-doc, three different GPs, and four neurologists, and it was the final neurologist at UCLA that finally figured out what was wrong…six months after the fact, since that’s how long we had to wait for an initial appointment.

For those unaware, HSE, if untreated, has a mortality rate anywhere from 65%-85%. But it’s hard to feel lucky when, as a result (of not dying from the HSE, I suppose), my sweet, stubborn husband now has fairly severe ME/CFS, permanent brain damage, and unremitting pain. But through it ALL, he still works.

If women are so overlooked by the medical industry, then why is breast cancer one of the highest funded, most well-researched disease ever? Or what about the HPV vaccine (which I wouldn’t suggest to anyone)? Boys don’t suffer much from HPV; no, that vaccine was ostensibly developed to help WOMEN avoid potential cervical cancer, not men.

As for “preferential treatment” for men, I call B.S.: Americans seem to have no problem genitally-mutilating their sons, but we are horrified (rightly) when done to girls. My son was “blessed” with Tourette’s Syndrome (which affects far more boys than girls), a dysfunction with few treatment options and even less public awareness. Breast cancer has had far more than its share of attention, our cervexes are swabbed yearly (I refuse all screenings anymore…the closer they look, the more apt they are to find. No thank you.), and we get more than our fair share of head-shrinking. I’d bet that the vast majority of healthcare dollars is spent by women. WE aren’t wielding our power adequately, and that’s no one’s fault but our own.

I’m sick of this feminist bleedover from academia into virtually every other arena. I, for one, will not support a feminist author.

I could relate to your humiliation from your abusive physician. As I mature, I am more prepared for such terrible episodes. I loved the way you handled the situation. I have resorted to ALWAYS bringing my 20 year old daughter to all my appointments and I have her record my visits, by use of her smart phone. I am an empathetic sensitive person, so I hesitate to read her book, to avoid consequencial pain. I appreciate your arrival and efforts to speak out, when so many women won’t.

Great article however my comment is regarding the new guidelines.

This new guideline of 90MME is a disgrace. Patients with OA were studied, not CRPS or nerve damage. My choice is either to leave my Pain Management doctor and get a pump or titrate back to 90. I’m LIVID that these decisions are being forced upon us.
I have titrated back aggressively in the past for various reasons so I know I can do it, but that should be a decision for MY doctor and me not politicians or bureaucrats.
Not to mention how this will impact our Disability Insurance Claims, who knows?
The problem is NOT with compliant pain patients who are closely monitored and have to do regular UA’s but with illegal drug trafficking. What’s being done about that? NOTHING!

Why would One reply when that reply when the apprrpriate reply to this piece will not be posted .
Shame on You , Joe !

Cynthia,
I can assure you that this current situational attack against those in persistent pain does not have a gender bias. As a male, I have had the same doctor for 3 years, 12 years total with the same hospital group. After 3 years of continuous hammering to lower my pain medication, I have contracted an additional condition called “White Coat Syndrome”.

With two men, there can exist a continuous state of male ego between them, especially when one is in a superior place of power over the other. I have become accustomed to having anxiety attacks the day before my office visit, not knowing what lies ahead of me when we meet. I now start to show signs of stress 3 days before each visit again never knowing if this will be the visit when I’m brought down to zero for pain medication.
It was so bad this past visit that I was involved in my first traffic accident in 40+ years of driving. Thank God it was minimal as it was in a 25mph intersection, but none the less, I had a car hit mine. I can assure you that the chief reason was anxiety.
I am 6’3” and used to be rather imposing. Not anymore. Now I’m a quivering 6’3” man terrified by my 5’6” Doctor who’s hands hold my life and future. They call it the Napoleon Complex. I call it torture.

As another example, an earlier Doctor sent me to a Neurosurgeon for a possible surgical remedy. The Neuro sent a letter to my Doctor explaining that any surgery would not alleviate my pain. My Doctor ordered me to demand the Neuro perform surgery on me and when I questioned the logic of such a ridiculous request, he immediately kicked me out of his practice.

Trust me, it’s no cake walk being a man either.

Ms Cynthia,
Can certainly relate to your story in some aspects. A few years back one of my heart doctors said, “Your physician has you on all kinds of crap, doesn’t he?” I just looked at him, never said a word. I knew he was referring to my pain and anxiety medication. My physician is said to be among the smartest men in the medical field in our city. Several other doctors have stated such as well. He had a major part in opening a much needed after hours clinic for those that couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment on the spot. The heart doctor has since retired but that particular day I’ll not forget how belittled he made me feel. There are also times when I’ve been in severe pain and the comment received has been, “Well your anxiety is worse due to certain events taking place in your life therefore that’s why you’re hurting more. At times I disagree strongly. One example, my knee pops out of it’s socket for a few days, then finally pops back in rendering it aching and throbbing days later, I don’t think it has anything to do with anxiety. Anxiety didn’t pop my knee out, it’s just something that happens when I walk or stand up at times. Few months back was dealing with another provider in another field. Could see them relax greatly when I told them I started taking anxiety meds due to hyperthyroidism and a complete hysterectomy. That’s when it started and at time of diagnosis; there was no “drama”. I just know when my thyroid is off I become more anxious, also a complete hysterectomy can have devastating effects on some women. At the time no one told me this or I would have opted for a partial. It’s bad enough when your body is racked with pain, then someone blames anxiety as being the major cause when in all actuality it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve heard many times anxiety can worsen pain. Perhaps true it doesn’t explain countless wonderful days spent drama and anxiety free; racked with pain. I agree awareness needs to be raised that just because God made us different from men that the severity of our pain should not be blamed on anxiety when we know anxiety is not the case at said time. It’s bad enough the government looking at us so strange, but when a provider who is not your physician makes you feel guilty for taking the medications you’ve been prescribed; that’s a whole other story. I thank God that He always works the situation out for me, no matter what someone else believes. With many prayers for you.
Ms. Terri James

… (continued)

A male Allergist was going to prescribe prednisone and when I asked him to split the dose in half so I could take half in the morning and half at night, he told me it doesn’t work that way – you take it in the morning and it lasts all day. I said that “MY EXPERIENCE” was that if the dose was split, then I breathed better during the day and could breathe better while sleeping at night (when I’m lying down/stuff is draining). He stood in front of me, while I was seated, put his hands on his hips and said, “I’M THE EXPERT.” I walked out on him. His colleagues wrote that I walked out because he wouldn’t give me prednisone. I got branded a prednisone addict and couldn’t get access to meds when I was in distress. The on-call doctor listened to me gasp and said that she sees that I have a “problem with prednisone.”

I have had wonderful male (and female) doctors. The quality they typically had in common were that they listened and valued me as an individual. We don’t have to see eye to eye.

I’ve had my fair share of paternalism, too. It strips me of the ability to gain knowledge, and therefore is disempowering. I will not stand for it. When I learn about my diagnosis through requesting my medical records, then the doctor is NOT doing his/her job.

This burns me up. Why should he call into question a treatment that you’ve obviously been stable on? I think it burns me up because I’ve experienced this in spades. It’s a real disgrace.

Oh, I’m fat, too. So as a fat woman, I have DOUBLY less value/input. Oh, and the “F” word, as I call it (fibromyalgia) has warranted me more dismissive treatment, too.

I’ve been told:
“Nobody is surprised when it’s the obese lady’s obituary in the newspaper” (by a male gynecologist as he was doing a pelvic exam – Yes, fat. I’m fat. But there are professional ways to express “concern.”)

A male podiatrist refuses to prescribe orthotics and tells me to just “try not to walk” when he says he’d give orthotics to anyone else with the same foot conditions. Why? “Because you’re going to be in pain anyways.” (from fibromyalgia)

A male rheumatologist lectures me about the history of the word “hysterical” and how it has been applied to women. But says he doesn’t think I’m hysterical. He proceeds to offer me anti-depressants, tell me that I need a psychologist if I’m going to continue seeing him, then tells me he doesn’t LIKE my (female) psychologist when he talks AT her by phone (she said she sees why I have difficulty with him and that he “likes to hear himself talk” and she could “barely get a word in edgewise”). This rheumatologist goes on rants about how the “guy down the hall” who is an “expert” on fibromyalgia gets all the respect, and writes in my medical records that I came to him because I didn’t agree with the approach of the fibromyalgia expert doctor. (never said that… just said I couldn’t get regular appointments because the guy is really booked up). He ends up telling me that I’m “lucky to have him” because “most doctors see depressed patients and want to run the other way.” (I believe that was my last appointment with him, thank goodness!)

My first (male) rheumatologist didn’t tell me that I had fibromyalgia. He wrote it in my file and cc:’d my PCP. I followed up with my (male) PCP at the time, who had been out of the office due to shoulder surgery. He said I wasn’t his patient. News to me. I saw his colleague while he was out, so he sent me to her. SHE never told me my diagnosis either. There was a letter copied to her from the rheuamtologist clearly stating my diagnosis. She told me I was “just depressed” – shoved antidepressant script in my hand and walked out of the room while I was mid-sentence telling her I hurt and was exhausted.

Yes : This from a Make yet I believe it to be an objective one and life long provider to both genders who also incurred transgressions from the Medical Profession with respects to obtaining treatment for His CP issues : It is irrefutable that , even adjusted for longer average life span of Women , in dollar value You/They continue to use more in health care than Your male counterpart .
Cynthia ,I am so struck that since beginning to read this book You have given up Your usual positive tone .
Just to assure You, respectfully ,that You are not alone in Your all to obviated anger no matter what gender .

I am going to get that book! You brought up EXACTLY what happened to me for years before it came out transvaginal mesh was defective. I felt raped by this stuff.
For all of us who were implanted were mutilated with this product with edges like steak knives that sawed through tissue like butter. And the damn drug company knew it. Mesh was fast tracked. The only thing it had been implanted in before it was implanted in women was a sheep! I had one urologist tell me if I was able to stand a pelvic there was no reason I shouldn’t be able to have sex!
Oh yes! Doing harm is alive and well in America, and I am afraid its just going to get worse. We no longer strive for excellence in health care. All it is is a money making torture pit. The only real power we have is our money and where we take our business, but precious few of us can do without medical care, no matter how rotten it is. Anyone have any suggestions?

Although I certainly agree that the Doctor was a tool, I wouldn’t automatically assume it was because of he was male and had an agenda against females. I’m a 50 something male with Fibro, CFS, Depression and severe anxiety. I just had a female Doctor do almost exactly the same to me this last week, she told me about the evils of long term benzo use, (15 years on Ativan) when she got done with her screed I asked how many diabetecs she tried to wean off Metformin? or how many asthmatics she tried to have give up their inhalers?
Needless to say I got my new script. But being put in the position of having to justify getting the meds that make life bearable is beyond asnine! I really think this war on opiods is trickling down to a war on all invisible illness, and the Doctors are caught in the middle between government overregulation and provider demands to reduce pain and anxiety prescriptions. In this war, we the patients are the losers!

I’ve been on klonopin for anxiety and panic attacks. Keeps them under control. It has never done anything for the chronic pain I have from multiple injuries and back surgeries that landed me on disability at age 36.. I’m 55 today . The surgeries left me with severe nerve damage and paralysis in one leg along with low back pain that never eases even with what pain medication that hasn’t been taken away leaving me unable to manage my pain daily. . I don’t doubt your pain, just don’t understand how klonopin helps yours. Could you enlighten me on this? My current dosage is only 1mg up to 3xday plus extended release pain Med and muscle relaxer . Getting harder to care for myself since chronic pain patients are the guinea pigs for Med reductions