Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Making Decisions

Why is it that some people are seen as being good decision makers?  What qualities do they possess that earns them this title?  Can anyone be a good decision maker?  Would it benefit you following your diagnosis to become a good decision maker?

We could spend hours, days, months, probably even years discussing the biology of decision-making.  Leave it to say that a lot of it is done in the prefrontal cortex.  The thing that Jonah Lehrer points out in his book How We Decide ,  is that it’s the information in the brain cells coupled with our emotions.  Seems like a fairly straight forward explanation, the trouble is what happens when you’re overwrought with emotion or are too cut off from your emotions?

This is where achieving a level of balance is important in making decisions.  When you’ve had enough life experience you may hear yourself saying that you know intuitively what decision to make.  That’s probably true in most life decision-making moments because you’ve had plenty of practice and practice leads us to learning all the moves.  Our capacity for learning is important in decision-making. 

The problem arises following a diagnosis of a chronic or life-altering illness because it’s entirely new to our experience.  Most people don’t have a data bank of information to rely on regarding the decisions made regarding their previous diagnosis.  That means one thing, a steep learning curve and mistakes.

One way to gain the information you need without having to have lived the experience is to hear the stories of others.  Support groups and autobiographies written by famous people who have overcome adversity, particularly as it applies to health and healing is a huge wealth of information.  If you are willing to put in the time and the patience to absorb all the information, you’re decision-making skills will be greatly enhanced.

You have a great opportunity to become a better decision maker following your diagnosis.  Learn how to incorporate all the tools to increase your energy and to make your journey to wellness an easier process.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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