Laurie Edwards’ new book, In the Kingdom of the Sick (Walker 2013) probes the history and cultural assumptions about chronic illness that have led to misdiagnoses and skeptical attitudes towards pain–particularly women’s pain.
In an interview with NPR, Laurie advocates for a needed shift in our understanding of chronic illness and gender:
“There is a long-standing connection and perhaps bias about patients who are female,” she says. “[I]t’s very easy to say, ‘Oh, well, she’s just hormonal, she’s emotional,’ and that was sort of underlying the [historical] nervous exhaustion diagnosis, and it’s certainly a big part of the attitudes towards [women] with these conditions now. … [I]t’s just an iteration of a long-standing attitude.”
Congratulations on your latest book, Laurie!