Is a person eager to continue his life? Many people, apparently, are not. It is not too difficult for a physician to discover this basic attitude, which is more or less decisive for the doctor’s success or failure. A diminished attachment to life may be a symptom of temporary dissatisfaction or of temporary conflicts; it may be a simulated attitude to hide anxiety or guilty feelings; but it also may be the firmly established and irreparable result of the process of living or of a constitutional inability to enjoy life. Intelligent optimism is always a good sign. Boredom—man’s deadliest disease—aggravates every ailment.
How does a person manage himself? Has he attained a poor or a competent measure of self-realisation? Does he indulge in illusions or is be aware of his limitations—and of his capacities? How far has he developed his potential capacities? Is he wasting his energies or using them wisely?
How does a person act under stress? Is he wasting his energies or using? Is his stress-reaction panic, exhaustion, acceptance of defeat? Or is it increased attention, adaptation, and reorientation? How does he behave in physical or emotional distress? Is he addicted to self –pity? How does he react to illness? Does he protect himself by the correct calculation of his reserves, by the acceptance of loss and handicap, by the avoidance of strain and exposure, by a sound effort toward rehabilitation, by faith or will power? Does accept unavoidable processes like aging and dying, or does he rebel and flee from them?
How does a person behave toward his environment? Does he like himself, does he like people? Is he loved, is he willing or wanting to love? Is he ready and eager for communication, or is he hostile and bitter? Is he stingy and property –conscious, or generous and willing to pay full price? Does he feel caged and dependent, or free and independent? Does he recognise common duties and responsibilities?
How does a person face his future? Does he believe that he has a future? Does he do anything to prepare for it? Is he afraid of it, or does he looks forward to it? Does he show evidence of intellectual curiosity?
The “yes” or “no” to these questions may explain why antibiotics fail or why fractures don’t mend.