I manage wellness; not disease. Why do I say this? There are many reasons, but in this article I want to show you some numbers that you might find a bit entertaining, and hopefully enlightening.
I want to give you some perspective on how the focus on disease obscures, or obfuscates your knowledge about wellness, yourself, and your world. Obfuscate… that is a big word that most people do not know, because they have no need to know it. But I know it because of software engineering, where it is an important technique to hide your source code… or hide the ‘secret recipe’ for your software. Obfuscation is a layer of security that is not exactly security… not like a wall or a lock or a secret code… no… it is a means of making something extremely difficult to understand.
Consider these numbers:
- Most adults have a vocabulary about 20,000-35,000 words.
- At one new word a day, it would take 80 years to learn 30,000 words.
- Vocabulary growth stops at middle age for most people.
- Learning vocabulary is a hobby for some, but a torment for most.
- Most of the time we use only a small percentage of our vocabulary.
Some more amazing context:
- Shakespeare’s combined written works totaled 25,000 unique words.
- The Wall Street Journal, one of the most sophisticated newspapers of our time, used less than 20,000 unique words in all its newspapers for a decade.
Consider that most people will not know all the vocabulary of Shakespeare or the Wall Street Journal. We can mostly understand and/or enjoy such works without 100% of the vocabulary; however, to ‘mostly understand’ is not the same as fully understanding. Much of the message in such writing remains obscure to most people. In any case, we are not here to talk about Shakespeare…
I want to talk about the ICD:
International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)
The ICD (ver. 11) is the Gold Standard of global disease classification.
- 17,000 categories (Many people have a vocabulary smaller than this!)
- 80,000 concepts (More than THREE TIMES the average human’s vocabulary!)
- 120,000 terms. (About FIVE TIMES the average human’s vocabulary!)
(Plus more than 1.6 million clinical terms interpreted!)
In addition, also note that mental health has a completely different manual, the DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), in which we have some overlap (that is not in agreement!). For all fields of psychology, the DSM is the gold standard. I studied the DSM IV in college… like it was my bible… and I cannot say that I really remember much.
Then consider that chemistry, biology, physics, etc. all have unique vocabulary that is not part of the ICD or DSM… and then the fields of quantum physics, quantum biology, and others are bringing NEW knowledge all the time. All of these fields have various contradictions in some of their overlap, and of course cover a lot of unique information.
So much information… and yet… we still know NOTHING. We are still in our infancy of understanding. Keep in mind that all of that information is growing daily… along with contradictions, and recognition that our previous understandings were false. Each new day shows yesterday’s truths to be falsehoods.
So… how are you going to debate, question, evaluate or compare the recommendations and diagnosis from your doctors when it is unlikely that you can understand half of what they are saying? You can’t do a very good job because the vocabulary is an enormous barrier. This is the obfuscation, and it is a very powerful weapon that prevents you from peaking behind the curtain.
Are you getting the picture here? You can spend five or ten lifetimes just trying to understand the language… which still doesn’t help, since misdiagnosis is so high, and we are still ignorant. The vocabulary simply prevents you from confirming that the ideas are broken. If you have had any experience with a used car salesman, then you already understand what I am saying.
Perhaps worst of all is that all of those new words are used to label you, and create fear and stress. This is far more powerful and dangerous than you might imagine, and it is something that I actively fight against with my clients. Do not let them plant fears in you.
And don’t let them deceive you. Do your own research beyond the surface, and discover that you don’t need any of that crazy vocabulary, or the ideas that it applies too. If you focus on wellness you will never have to think about disease. The choice is yours. It really is.
If you still want to enter that world and play their game, consider the statistics on misdiagnosis, and realize that even the doctors, talking among themselves, will still give you the wrong treatment and advice nearly 90% of the time!
- Misdiagnosis: only 12 percent of patients receive a correct diagnosis from the first doctor they consult. Four million in the US may die or suffer permanent injury annually due to misdiagnosis.
- Misdiagnosis: diagnostic errors are the most costly and common medical mistakes and they lead to the most catastrophic consequences.
Read more about misdiagnosis here. Better yet, just do not give doctors a chance to do this kind of harm. Also quoted from that article:
…Johns Hopkins University estimates that 12 million in the US get an incorrect diagnosis each year from their primary care doctors alone, with about 33 percent of those wrongly diagnosed (about four million) dying or suffering permanent harm from the mistake.
Those are estimates, which can be tricky to turn into hard statistics. But we do have some other hard statistics that have documented confirmation behind them…
- The 3rd Leading Cause of Death: U.S. Hospitals kill 250,000+ people a year with Medical Mistakes. Some estimates say 400,000+. The numbers are likely higher because so many inexplicable deaths go unconfirmed.
Still not enough to convince you? Then also consider that U.S. Hospitals kill 100,000 people a year with HAI (Hospital or Healthcare Acquired Infections). Here too, the number is conservative.
Don’t become a statistic. Focus on wellness and you are will be far less likely to care about any of this. I don’t need all that crazy new vocabulary to help you heal, and I certainly don’t want to put meaningless labels on you that will fill you with fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Getting healthy and staying healthy doesn’t have to be so complicated.