A doctor may sometimes be pretty strict towards a patient, when he or she thinks that the patient’s life is in danger, or at other times, depending on the situation and on the communication between doctor and patient.
This is sometimes necessary, of course, and in many ways reassuring, if the doctor is competent and if he or she makes the right decision.
We should take into consideration the fact that even doctors make mistakes, and I don’t think we have to chop off their heads every time because of this. Even expertise has a limit. Politics these days is not really stable and many politicians are not really knowledgeable, and they still make decisions about systems at work, administration, also for doctors, hospitals etc, systems which stress efficiency and money – too much.
Still doctors try to do their best, I hope and I think, although of course, as in every line of work, there are different personalities and different levels of competence. Basically, when I think about my own health, I trust a doctor’s competence, but I also trust myself. I know my own body and soul, and my own life, and the doctor knows his or her science. A doctor ought to know his patients too, and the better your doctor knows you and understands your life, he better she is cable of helping you.
But I may have other ways of dealing with my own health than pure medical methods, and every doctor will, I hope, applaud a patient who takes care of his or her own health. There are discussions going on about alternative medicine, non-Western medical traditions of health thinking, acupuncture, herbs, and many other things. I only have some meagre references, basically from Norway, I am not a health expert, but I have had a lot of health problems myself and have had to deal with them. I understand that the mix of body and soul is a field in Western medicine that is not really thoroughly researched, we have a lot of new conditions and diseases that doctors don’t quite know how to deal with or even define, sometimes.
To me it seems plausible that the mix, the interaction between mind and body is partly different from person to person and also from culture to culture, it also probably differs across class, in society.
We have a lot of knowledge of physical disease.
There are also very clever psychologists and other types of therapists for mental problems. I’ve tried a few, and I have a lot of good to say about most of them.
One way of living which can be questioned today is the habit of living straightforward, seeking happiness through family, friends, work if possible, and not thinking too much about it all except how to get there, how to bring home the bacon, as some Americans say, and how to do all the other stuff.
When speaking about health in society I believe this is becoming an expensive habit, and a habit which is not always too practical when it comes to preserving health, not only healing disease.
You have habits which you feel are reasonably ok, healthwise, and when you get sick you call the doctor and hope that she will fix the problem.
Some of my experience with psychiatrists, not psychologists, were that they were too much interested in the disease, finding it, I guess making a diagnosis, and then curing it.
This is not always a very productive approach or attitude towards the patient, even if the therapist needs this kind of knowledge. When the patient is over-sensitive (which you normally are in some ways when you have serious mental trouble), you may end up feeling really sick and dig yourself deeper into the abyss or outright destroy things that were in the process of mending.
The psychologists’ and the nurses’ attitude were more like seeing a normal person with problems, rather than a sick person. This meant that they had the strength to speak to you as a normal person, like a friend would have done, almost, focusing more on the things which actually worked already, the healthy or functional parts of your mind or life, and building your life or solving problems from there. Therapy could be talking or it could be doing concrete practical things – in the hospital, going for walks were a simple activity, but not bad at all, there were activities of hobby things, more or less, which i sometimes liked and sometimes not, but for me the social side of everything was almost always good. The other patients became friends, and we tried to help each other in basically the same ways as I described the work of the nurses and the psychologists, with the difference that we knew and shared much deeper experiences of personal problems, and the professionals had more systematic knowledge of diseases and generally about the problems of life that were marring us, and they also often had more experience, of course, in solving problems, for their patients.
There is mental disease, I think, monsters that really attack you, and there is a flock of what everybody would call problems and which exist in every or any life, but maybe not to the extent that a psychiatric patient have them. They can be simple in a life or a person which functions “normally”, or bloody complicated. Sometimes the difference between a patient and a non-patient is simply “can you cope with it” – or not. What a breakdown does to you can be understood and conceived in more or less normal concepts, unless you are very ignorant or uninterested when it comes to everyday psychology, but it may still be such a mess that it more or less stops your life when it happens.
If you take this way of thinking into the realm of physical health and physical disease and problems, one parallell would be that the basic thing is to take care of your own health and watch yourself as you go, and make adjustments of lifestyle yourself, trying to be up front, instead of waiting until serious disease comes to the surface.
This takes a certain awareness of yourself, I would say both of your body and your soul, your feelings, your real reactions as opposed to what “everybody else” thinks, etc. Knowledge is no drawback, whether of the traditional medical type or more alternative or popular traditional ones, but for me, in the end of every problem, there is consideration which also includes an intuitive approach. I prefer to stay away from the doctor as much as I can, both because I am stubborn, because I am used to coping with myself and my own troubles to a great extent, and because I feel both old-fashioned thinkers among patiens and doctors, in cooperation, make trouble out of some things that could be solved more easily and often cheaper. I need doctors sometimes, and sometimes I need to stay away from their profession. This goes for physical problems too, for me actually sometimes even more than for mental ones.
It can be a mean thing to ask people to simply lay off habits and change their lives, but I think in many countries old-fashioned thinking is a problem, not least when it comes to health.
I have to finish this later.
Sorry, I am editing this text a lot even after publishing.