"My experience of sexism in treatment." - Peter Gillet

This is my story of sexism in mental health treatment. 

I am a man, and I have suffered my entire adult life with a number of health issues, mental and otherwise.  After university, I started work and took on a regular physician.  I kept having different health issues, which he would treat separately. 

When I was 25, I had become suicidal.  My physician diagnosed me with clinical depression and prescribed anti-depressants in combination with psychiatric therapy.  I seemed to pull back from the worst of it.  The therapy seemed rather useless, except for a couple of nuggets of wisdom.  I had none of the standard issues which seemed to preoccupy psychoanalysis.  I just got tired of the therapy, especially its cost. 

As the years passed, more health issues cropped up and were treated individually.  The depression was never completely gone, only managed. 

When I turned 28, I met and fell in love with a wonderful woman, and we were married a little over a year later.  We had decided even before our wedding to stop using birth control.  After two more years of unsuccessfully trying to have a baby, we had ourselves checked.  There was nothing wrong with my wife.  My health was a different matter. 

A simple hormonal blood test revealed that I had five times the prolactin of a nursing mother.  With a follow-up MRI, a non-cancerous tumour was discovered on my pituitary gland, and a month later I was in for brain surgery to have it removed.  The cells of that gland are so tightly packed, however, that they could not safely remove the entire tumour.  I will be on medication for the rest of my life. 

In a follow-up appointment with my physician, my wife pressed him for an explanation.  He actually apologized for not catching it sooner.  He admitted to us that had I been a woman, his diagnosis of clinical depression (six years earlier) would have been followed up with that same simple blood test of my hormone levels.