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When you see a doctor for uncomfortable symptoms, the point is to find out the problem that’s causing them. If you have pain, you might take some pain medicine for a while so you can function, but that doesn’t actually fix the problem, it just minimizes your awareness of it for a while. While pain medicine can be somewhat helpful for a while, the point is to find what’s wrong and fix that so you don’t need pain medicine.

Sometimes that happens in life. Something has been going wrong, and it’s not going to get better until you find the cause of the problem. But sometimes we treat life differently than our bodies. We treat our symptoms and think or pretend everything is fine, but they really aren’t. Sometimes we need to stop doing something. Sometimes we need to start doing something else. Sometimes there’s a habit or person that needs to be “surgically removed,” as it were. Some change or another needs to be made.

If there are effects, there is a cause. While managing symptoms can be important, don’t just playing whack-a-mole with the symptoms, find the source of the problem.

Related: The Root of the Problem, Part 1 and Part 2