The benefits of ignoring bad advice

I had started to write a post about the terrible agonies of bad medical advice. Then I stepped away and thought about it, and it occurred to me that it would be much more enjoyable to write about the positive aspects of ignoring bad advice.

Everybody has an opinion, obviously. And some stink worse than others. The thing to keep in mind is that even doctors’ opinions are just that – opinions – and though they may be learned and educated and what-not, they are still just people who may or may not be up to date on the latest literature.

The same goes for just about all people. As well-intentioned as they may be, sometimes they’re just plain wrong. They may be experts, they may have lots of degrees and letters after their names, but in the end, they are as fallible as the next person.

So, while it’s always nice to have the input of a trusted source, we all have to keep our own counsel to some degree. And not become too dependent on the guidance of others. Gurus are great. Experts are wonderful. But in the end, we come into this world alone and we go out alone, and sometimes we’re the only ones who can keep us from exiting this world prematurely — and against the advice of our experts.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

3 thoughts on “The benefits of ignoring bad advice”

  1. Here is an example of medical advice I wish I had ignored: you are just depressed so see a psychotherapist. This came after I thought something was wrong with my brain but I was pretty certain I was not depressed. Psychotherapy, while beneficial under certain circumstances, can wreak havoc in the life of a person who recently suffered a TBI. Bringing my repressed anger so close to the surface when I was susceptible to impulsivity and emotional lability, had disastrous effects on my personal and professional relationships. Thank you for your insight.


  2. That is an excellent point, Alyson, and it’s one that I hope others can pay attention to. I know a number of psychotherapists, and they are very keen on deciding what is wrong with people — and discounting what others say about themselves. In mTBI especially there seems to be a lot of territorialism about what causes what malady — trauma/psychologist specialists are convinced that it’s trauma that causes the problems, while neuro folks often seem to weigh in on the side of physical medical issues. I think there’s a “both” element to this, rather than an “either-or”. Both TBI and trauma factor in — it’s a combination. I really believe there’s no one single culprit – it’s all so closely intertwined.

    That being said, I am a firm believer that physical injury in TBI precedes the mental disturbance part, and a ton of issues can get resolved by focusing on the day to day healing of the injury itself. It’s amazing what can happen when the body has a chance to heal and right itself again.

    Thanks for writing.


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