How educating yourself about issues can sometimes leave you more ignorant and confused than before…

 

I just read an article by a blogger about the Lancet medical journal’s stance on meat eating. It contained some interesting avenues about health such as the concept of metabolic health which I found intruiging. I thought I might look further into it.

Then I thought no! 

I think in so many circumstances educating ourselves about issues can lead us down chicanes, dead ends and blind alleys.

I think back to the time I was involved in the harm reduction movement for mental health. I supposedly ‘educated’ myself about all the issues, read books, watched you tube videos, had coaching sessions, attended events (Invested a lot of time, money and emotional energy). I was convinced the psychiatric medication was an evil and needed to be replaced with yoga, feng shui and herbs (pronounced in that annoying American way ‘erbs’) which I think is actually the subtext of harm reduction kickass gurus. What a mistake all that turned out to be!

When I eventually faced a crisis I reverted back to psych meds because they were the only thing that worked. In fact if I hadn’t been so infatuated with the premises of harm reduction I might have turned to conventional medicine earlier before more damage was done.

I’m not blaming harm reduction per se. Just that it didn’t work for me at that time. If I hadn’t gone on a huge mission to read, watch, like and post about every aspect of harm reduction. If I hadn’t been so blinkered. I could have sought more appropriate help more easily.

I think particularly with health issues when we get obsessed with any one modality it can suck us down a blind alley. It’s difficult because I think whilst I would advocate everyone trusts a licensed medical professional there are valid criticisms to be made of allopathic (conventional) medicine. 

I just think using our will power to go on a huge reading or research spree about a particular topic will not necessarily bring us any greater illumination. 

It might be that it’s me. Maybe the way I am going about researching things is vague or one sided. There probably are ways to arm yourself with information that bring more enlightenment. 

I can’t help thinking that often people (including me) seek information that confirms their own prejudices and just end up going down certain chicanes. It’s maddening because there is a lot to critique in conventional medicine but if anything alternative and complimentary medicine are even more flaky. And that’s just medical issues. I think there is the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Maybe I’m overthinking again. 

 

3 Comments

  1. I believe that the world would be a better place if people were more curious, asked questions instead of always thinking that they knew the answers. As with everything… balance is helpful and that’s easier said than done. But it is when we keep our hearts and minds open that amazing things can happen. Sure, sometimes they don’t, and we come away frustrated, alienated, defeated, disillusioned… But even in those moments, a shift has happened that has at least provided us with some sort of movement, and from that movement can spring progress. But when our seeking, our being curious and asking questions, our keeping our hearts and minds open leads to fruition… it can take us forward, into a space where possibilities await, and profound change occurs. A great point that you made was about seeking information that confirms our prejudices. This is where mindfulness and curiosity are helpful. When we know ourselves, we become mindful, and when we back that up with questions to challenge ourselves, to see if beliefs, perceptions, rituals, whatever, are still adequate, still helpful – are true, it gives us the chance to avoid going around in that circle, where we look to confirm our own bias 🙂

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    1. Hi Fall Fraust. I like to think I challenge myself. I am constantly buying books from Apple books. I read Buddhist philosophy, stoic, poetry, humour. I like to challenge myself and increase my knowledge. In my original blog post I was thinking mainly about mental health research. For example researching alternatives to psychiatric drugs which can potentially lead to more disaster than the psychiatric drugs themselves cause. I think it applied to any health research. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing sometimes.

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      1. I understand what you’re saying. I was just sharing a bit of my view. I think that there is plenty of room for everyones perspectives, and that is the main thing – that we each determine what works for us. And sometimes we arrive at what works for us through others sharing their own views 🙂

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