Want don’t want syndrome


Want/Don’t Want mind is a type of desire that makes things worse for us because, when we’re under its spell, we’re wanting-even insisting-that our lives be a certain way, even though we can’t control what’s happened to us. The fact is, sometimes people get sick. Sometimes they develop chronic pain. Sometimes doctors can’t fix them. And sometimes, as a result, people have to make drastic and unexpected changes to their life plans. This can mean using various ways of calming down the pain on days where it especially hurts, from using medical marijuana (learn more over at amuse.com), to using the prescribed medication from a trusted specialist. Just because it can’t be taken away, it shouldn’t be accepted.

When this happens and we get stuck in Want/Don’t-Want Mind, waging a mental battle against the things we don’t control, we double our suffering by adding mental suffering to the physical suffering of the illness. And, if our chronic illness is a mental one, then we add a second layer of mental suffering to the mental suffering already accompanying our illness.

Third, I blamed every doctor I saw for not being able to “fix” me.

There are limits to medical knowledge, even among the best of doctors. Spending my time in a fruitless desire-sometimes insistence- that doctors fix me was only making me feel worse.

Yes, I saw some doctors who lacked compassion-who didn’t want to deal with me because they couldn’t “fix” me. I didn’t go back to them. But to blame all doctors for not being able to make me well was ridiculous. My primary care doctor has stuck with me for over 16 years of illness, accepting that he can’t magically make me better, but staying committed to helping me find ways to manage my symptoms.

One of the healthiest transformations in thinking that I’ve made has been to realize that it only made me feel worse to constantly be blaming doctors instead of appreciating the ones who are committed to helping me.