Unveiling Sharon Stone’s Insights on Medical Gaslighting After Her Stroke

Sharon Stone Reflects on Near-Death Stroke and Medical Gaslighting

Sharon Stone, the Oscar-winning actress, recently opened up in an interview with Vogue UK about her harrowing experience with a stroke that nearly claimed her life in 2001. Stone revealed that during her ordeal, she encountered dismissive medical professionals who doubted the severity of her symptoms.

The Basic Instinct star recalled, “They missed it with the first angiogram and decided that I was faking it.” It was only after her best friend insisted on a second angiogram that the truth was unveiled: she was experiencing a brain hemorrhage. Stone emphasized, “My vertebral artery was ruptured. I would have died if they had sent me home.”

This ordeal exposed Stone to medical gaslighting, a phenomenon where doctors undermine and invalidate patients’ symptoms, often leading to delayed diagnoses and inadequate treatment. Insider reports that medical gaslighting disproportionately affects Black people, patients with obesity, and women.

Stone attributed her mistreatment to gender bias within the medical system, stating, “What I learned through that experience is that in a medical setting, women often just aren’t heard, particularly when you don’t have a female doctor.”

Against all odds, Stone survived the stroke thanks to a life-saving procedure called endovascular coiling. However, her road to recovery was arduous, marked by struggles with speech, mobility, and depression. She recollected feeling constantly beaten down during the initial years of her rehabilitation.

Stone expressed gratitude for the unwavering support she received from friends like Michael J. Fox and Steven Spielberg, who motivated her during the darkest moments. She admitted, “I hid my disability and was afraid to go out and didn’t want people to know. I just thought no one would accept me.”

Emphasizing that her disability does not define her, Stone declared, “I think many people identify with their illness as ‘I am this thing,’ and it cannot be your identity.” She added, “I lost so much, and I could have allowed that to define me. But you have to stand up and say, ‘OK, that happened, and now what? What am I made of?'”

In her memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice (2021), Stone recounted her near-death experience during the stroke. She vividly remembered thinking she was going to die, even urging her mother to rush to the hospital. She described a surreal “white light” encounter and a sensation of falling while seeing departed souls.

During the same year, Stone faced another distressing incident with her medical team. According to a 2021 interview with the Times, Stone discovered that her surgeon had increased her breast size without her consent during surgery to remove benign tumors.

Stone confronted the surgeon, who callously explained, “I thought that I would look better with bigger, better boobs.”

Despite the challenging journey, Stone has found solace in her wellness routine, which includes prioritizing eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to prevent seizures. Additionally, she has embarked on a flourishing second career as a painter, experiencing a personal renaissance.

In the September 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia, Stone enthused, “I feel like this is the most exciting and creative period of my life.”


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