Friday, March 06, 2009

What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger....


So I was bitching to Roy (What, me bitch?) and he responded with "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Or some version thereof. Roy, Nietzsche, one of those smart guys said something like that. They actually even kind of look alike.

One thing about being a psychiatrist is that most of us believe that what we do, or hope to do, relieves suffering. We believe that the treatments psychiatry has to offer make people better and relieve their psychic torment. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, and sometimes "the remedy is worse than the disease" (--Francis Bacon).

In medicine, the patient's history begins with the "chief complaint." As doctors, we often view our job as being to address that complaint: hopefully to make it go away. Often it is an ache or a pain, physical or mental. And yet, our society clearly values Growth through suffering. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. When we take away the torment, do we stifle the soul?