If you regularly watch the E! Network or VH1, you're likely very, very familiar with Dr. Drew Pinsky. He's made a name for himself
exploiting helping struggling celebrities by hosting such reality TV gems as Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew, and Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House. He is also a board-certified internist with a degree from the Keck School of Medicine at USC, where he currently serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.
This last part is especially amusing in light of the comments Pinsky made during a recent episode of Loveline. Here's what went down: A man called in to seek advice from Pinsky on how to deal with his fiancée's medical issues. He explained that his fiancée was suffering from endometriosis, lactose intolerance, interstitial cystitis (chronic inflammation of the bladder wall), and a lack of stomach lining. Before he could finish his thought, though, Pinsky interrupted the man with the following:
"These are what we call sort of functional disorders. Everything you mentioned, everything you mentioned, are things that actually aren't discernibly pathological. They're sort of — they're what we call 'garbage bag disorders,' when you can't think of anything else, you go, 'Eh, well it's that.' So, it then makes me question why is she so somatically preoccupied that she's visiting doctors all the time with pains and urinary symptoms and pelvic symptoms, and then that makes me wonder, was she sexually abused growing up?"
Seems like a pretty big jump, no? When the man said his fiancée had, in fact, been sexually abused, Pinsky cut him off, triumphant, and launched into this:
"When people have unexplained pain, particularly pelvic pain, it's called somatoform dissociation, and the only way her body, which was suffering during those early experiences, can tell its tale of woe is with pain. And she really needs to see a trauma specialist, not a urologist. Know what I'm saying?"
Not surprisingly, the Internet responded swiftly and angrily, taking to Twitter and Facebook and flooding the comments section of Loveline. Pinsky has since apologized, but not before countless women shared their stories of what it's like to suffer from diseases like endometriosis. This one is from the Loveline comments section:
One good thing to come out of this, of course, is that diseases like endometriosis (a widely-misunderstood condition that affects an estimated five million women in this country — many of whom are accused by their doctors of lying or fabricating symptoms) are finally being discussed by the women who suffer through them every day. After all, five million women can't be making up a "garbage bag disorder" in their heads.