What’s Wrong With Me?

sickThe young man on my stretcher exclaimed: “I just want to know what’s wrong with me!”

It wasn’t a question. I thought, I paused, I looked at him. Then I said, slowly, “Your problem isn’t medical.”

You’re depressed,” I said. “You drink to self medicate. That makes your depression and anxiety worse. This all aggravates your bleeding ulcer. Then it just spirals down from there.”

He looked up at me. Our eyes met. “No one has ever told me that before.”

The medical system doesn’t know how to tell you this,” I replied. “Your issue is emotional and spiritual, but you can’t fix it yourself.

And this was the beginning of an even deeper conversation – with more eye contact and less shame…

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