A patient goes to the doctor because she hopes to improve her health. The doctor looks at her and says: ‘Your health is terrible. First of all, you have a fever. What were you thinking? You should have come to me before starting to develop that fever on your own initiative. And here you have red spots. Can you handle absolutely nothing at all? You can’t go walking around like this. Go and fix your fever and spots and come back to me afterwards.’ The lady replies ‘I didn’t do it on purpose! I did nothing wrong to get that fever and those spots!’ The doctor frowns and says ‘Don’t defend yourself, look at your healthy friends; you are clearly struggling to keep up with the same standard of general health that they are maintaining. I suggest you double your efforts.’
Being in a downward spiral is like gyroscopic precession in the presence of friction.
The lady goes away and tries to get rid of her fever and spots somehow but it’s not that easy. She resents the words of the doctor and doesn’t like him for it. She buys some make-up to hide the spots at least, as she can’t think of a way to hide the fever. She thinks to herself ‘how come I got ill? Am I really that bad? How come other people are all healthy? I must be the dumbest person alive.’ At home, her husband criticizes her too. ‘You are just ill because you are going about things the wrong way in general.’ The wife defends herself again but all of the stress is making her more and more ill.
The downward spiral continues until one day she visits a different doctor. The doctor notices that the lady is feverish and that she has red spots on her arm. This doctor however knows that these type of symptoms usually indicate a certain disease and knows what medicine to prescribe. The lady takes the medicine and her health improves overnight! What a miracle doctor! She was so lucky to meet him because now her life has turned around. She is healthy just like her friends! Her husband stops complaining about her health and she is no longer stressed at all. In fact, she is really confident now. What a difference between criticising the symptoms and treating the disease.