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Habitual Nature

March 12th, 2009 · No Comments

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

My brother related the following story to me from his experiences as a resident:

He had an old man as a patient.  In his words, this was “one of the nicest patients ever.”  The procedure was a success, and when he came to, the first two statements he uttered were “shut up” and “motherf***ker”.  My brother went on to say when someone comes out of a state of general anesthesia he.she is in a state of confusion, and typically say things that are normal to him/her, or that he/she is used to saying.

We all have our bad habits that we refuse to give up.  This becomes a problem when the habit becomes an engrained (or engineered) part of daily life, a routine.  These routines can be masked as long as one is in a constant state of consciousness regarding his/her actions.  The problem arises when something is done in a knee jerk reaction form.  As seen in the example above, the habitual nature of the elderly patient came out after being drugged (state of lowered inhibition).

With this in mind, it should be imperitive to ensure habits are constantly monitored to ensure that the habit:

  • Has little to no negative impact on the self/others
  • If a negative impact exists, the effect does NOT spread beyond the individual (i.e. the habit ONLY affects the person who has the habit)
  • Condition positive impacting habits to offset and negate the negative habit
  • Ensure positive impacting habits are maintained, as consistency is ideal with positive impacting habits

Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but just to show the general idea.

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