From the recommended reading file: Being well or being sold an alternative concept of well-being?
To be well is not the same as to feel well....Most symptoms are not so extraordinary....Most of us, most of the time, cope on our own...we are bombarded by advice and advised ceaselessly to avail ourselves of all kinds of unctions and potions and widgets....All this "help" is a cultural phenomenon fostered by legions of purveyors, a cultural phenomenon with roots in antiquity and with inventiveness across time and cultures that boggles the mind.
It's a waste of money to participate....For most of us, most of the time, our symptoms improve no matter what we do....Are many of us destined to seek out someone who offers to fix, heal or cure the "last straw" and ignore all else that is making it so hard for us to cope?
We all need to get beyond the traditional complaint of "what's wrong with me, Doc, that I have this symptom?" and move on to more rational discourse, such as "is there any important disease that is causing my symptom? If so, can it be treated? If not, can we discern why I can't cope with this episode?"
For nearly all the predicaments of life we're discussing, a medical doctor can determine quickly if a terrible disease is lurking, often just by taking a history and doing a physical examination, and occasionally some simple testing....Don't let doubts trip you up; if the doctor's approach was thoughtful and still came up empty-handed, get on with life and coping.
And don't leap to swallow "symptomatic treatment."....
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