On Cure Evangelism

Posted by Arjen Lentz on January 16th, 2013

Jacinta wrote this awesome post and allowed me to reprint (most of) it for you as I think this very relevant on BlueHackers. What you read here is people’s own personal experience, and ideas. We know from feedback that this is appreciated and found helpful. But it is very important to remember that what works for one person may not be what another person needs – for whatever reason. So what you pick up here is possible ideas, not “the right way”. Ok, on to Jacinta’s post.

Sometimes people write or talk about their health issues. You get a tiny snapshot into what’s going on, and [...] that’s probably not going to be enough for you to know what they’ve tried, rejected, talked with their doctors about etc.

Here are some articles writing by the amazing S E Smith about cure evangelism.

“You may, in fact, have tried a variety of treatments. Perhaps you tried several different medications for your depression. You tried acupuncture and meditation and herbs. You made some dietary adjustments. You found, ultimately, that some of these things worked for you and some of them did not. You made a conscious choice about which treatments you wanted to continue, and which ones you did not, and you’re managing your depression in a way that works for you, that suits your needs, that allows you to function.

“And then someone feels the need to come along and say ‘oh, you have [condition]? Have you tried…’”

http://meloukhia.net/2011/11/cure_evangelism_again.html

also the original piece: http://meloukhia.net/2010/06/on_cure_evangelism.html

Please don’t cure evangelise. [...] There’s some ideas in the articles on how (and when) you can share your experiences but in general, if you respect the person you’re talking to, respect that they’re already making the best health choices they can.

Ask “do you have this under control?” or “Do you want a recommendation for a <medical professional>?” Not “You should see <doctor>“.

Try saying “If none of that works, let me know, because I have some ideas that might be helpful” rather than “Have you tried X, Y, or Z? No? You should!“.

Filed under: Being the Supporter

 

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