An excellent blog post was forwarded to me for comment – an Internal Medicine physician reflects on his patients’ common underlying condition: isolationism.
Today I saw patients with the following problems:
- A person who had attempted suicide over the weekend
- A person who was possibly acutely suicidal and was abusing narcotics I was prescribing
- A person who is in an abusive relationship and has a severe eating disorder
- A terribly depressed woman in a dysfunctional marriage
- A pre-teen child whose father had suddenly died
My observation from today is that most of these people are isolated. They have difficult situations to face and the people who normally surround them are somewhat uncomfortable, not knowing what to say…
Western culture is obsessed with avoiding suffering. We entertain ourselves to avoid having to face the harsh realities of life. People die and suffer daily, and we are obsessed with the latest TV show, the latest political soapbox, or the latest self-help tool. We feel that the goal of society is to create happy and secure individuals. This is not true. The goal of society is to function as a unit in a healthy way – with the weak parts supported by the strong ones…
What I emphasized to the people I spoke with today was the need to find people who had gone through the same things. Those in the eye of the storm need to hear from people who have gotten to the other side that it is OK to feel the way they feel. Those who have gone through hard times have something huge to offer those who are going through them now – experience. You lose the pat answers when you have suffered yourself.
It is my hope that those who are struggling will find others online here at Revolution Health who can support them, and that those who have made it through to the other side will reach out to help others through our online community. Suffering is not meaningless if you harness it for good – your wounds can heal others.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.