Thank God there some are simple solutions left: If my car has a flat tire I change it. If my leg is broken, there’s a universal treatment that works. Another example: If I’m tired I go to sleep. I think you get the point…
I lost a good friend a couple of years ago, I got suspicious talking with other friends about how to deal with it. They recommended a variety of problem-solving measures: go on a trip, see a psychiatrist, get drunk, talk to friends, write a song. I tried it. It helped. Some more than others. Some helped immediately, other after analyzing them. But I still could not „fix“ my problem. I felt that the more solutions I found to a problem, the less helpful each of them were. In other words: The lesser opportunities I had, the more worthy (effective) each of them became.
One cannot copmpare the losing of a friend to a broken leg or a flat tire, but I started to observe problem-solving not only from a subjective and immediate point of view but also from an additive and sequential perspective. Is it true that the more actions I take to solve my problem the bigger the chance of succsess become?
This is far away from a general theory about psychological self-medication, but it helps to classify actions taken and actions to be taken. In order to overcome a sudden personal crisis it might be a good idea not to change everything at the same time and prevent over-motivated actions with unknown outcomes. It’s just a thought…
- One solution with little effectiveness: getting drunk OR booking a weekend trip
- Multiple solutions with little effectiveness: getting drunk on a weekend trip
- Multiple solutions with big effectiveness: sleeping 8 hours a night, exercising, eating healthy
- One solution with big effectiveness: resign, relocate, divorce, make kids OR spend all your money (one at the time should be enough)