Who wants bad news? I sure don’t. What about you?
It’s only human nature to avoid bad news. So let’s start here: If you sometimes have the urge go into avoidance mode when it comes to your health, you’re in good company. That is, you’re right there with the rest of us.
Recently on National Public Radio, NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam discussed a recent study that showed that when a co-worker was diagnosed with breast cancer, other women who worked with her tended to avoid going for breast cancer screening, even when it was readily available and free of charge. Their avoidance was described with the term “information aversion” – that is, avoiding information because of the uncomfortable feelings it brings up.
And what about all those other conditions that healthcare experts tell us we should be getting screened for? Or those routine tests to monitor conditions that we have already been diagnosed with. Research has shown people avoid all kinds of routine testing.
It seems to me that we have similar conversations here on Diabetic Connect. For example, checking your blood can bring up a lot of feelings. Numbers within range are evidence that you are doing something right, following your diet and your treatment regimen. Great news. But if not? You may feel frustrated, or scared, and beat up on yourself for being a “failure.”
As a result, our minds may tell us to avoid that discomfort but giving us little messages like, “you can do it later,” or “you know you’re fine. Why ask for trouble?”
So you’d rather now know? Of course. But “I’d rather not know” may not be the healthiest attitude. As they say, “ignorance is bliss.” Until it isn’t.
I wrote an article awhile back on this topic. Here’s a link:
So I’m wondering if you ever get hit by the urge to avoid. If so, do you find yourself postponing checking your blood? What do you do to talk yourself into it? Need some help?
Looking forward to hearing about how you approach avoidance (no pun intended)!
Next Discussion: Dexcom g4 »