Self-Diagnosing

Standard

The thing about self-diagnosing is this: it almost always does more harm than good.

When you’re too cheap to call in to the doctor’s office to report a problem, the modern recourse is to search the interwebs for a solution. WebMD is allegedly helpful, but 99.9% of the time, that and other sites will tell you that you’ve got cancer. You could be checking for symptoms of a sprained ankle after falling down the stairs, and the site would try to convince you to talk to an oncologist.

False diagnoses lead to worry, not solutions. You’ll prescribe yourself ten different supplements and make lifestyle adjustments only to find out you never had a problem after all, and now you’ve got a stomach ulcer from worrying too much.

This is especially a problem for those with active imaginations. Once a good imagining latches into a person’s mind, that’s all they can think about. This person may quickly diagnose themselves with lung/brain/stomach cancer and immediately start mentally penning letters to loved ones spelling out their final goodbyes. Then there’s the bucket list. Then the weeping over an imagined funeral.

Goodness, why do hypochondriacs do this to themselves?

There is within all of us the desire to control our circumstances. When we can’t control them—an increasing problem in an increasingly chaotic world—we try to control other things. Like our health. We want to be in control of something, so we self-diagnose, not wanting the assistance of a licensed physician (for whatever reason) and choosing to fret about the problem instead. Really, this helps no one.

There’s a lesson in here, somewhere. In life, it’s much harder to let go of control than to keep things under control. Sometimes—in fact, at all times—it’s better to trust God instead. To be safe to the Rock that is higher than I. After all, He’s the One Who wrote the story. He knows the beginning from the end. It’s always better to trust the guidance of the One who drew the road map than to forge a path of one’s own. 

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