Date: 2010-06-10 10:13 pm (UTC)
Yes. Yes!

I particularly notice this with a type of cause-seeking (or, to put it less charitably, blaming) that sort of makes sense with a broken leg model but not so much with other things. For most people, leg bones don't just fracture on their own: even if someone has a predisposition to more-fragile bones, there's usually some physical trauma that casued a particular breakage. So it's reasonable (possibly overly-nosy, but reasonable) to ask how a break happened, because there's usually an answer like, "Skiing accident" or "car accident" or "tripped on the cat" or "slipped on the ice" or "attempted to create my own backyard high-wire act" or something.

(I won't say always, because there may very well be disorders that cause spontaneous bone breaks, but for most broken bones, there's a fairly clear proximate cause for the break.)

That isn't true, for the most part, of things like heart disease, or cancer, or depression, or autism, or whatever, but people insist on treating it that way. Did you eat the wrong foods, or did you not eat enough of the right foods? Were you too sedentary, or did you do the wrong kind of exercise? Were you stressed, or did you fail to have sufficient life goals to motivate you? And so on, and so on. That there must be a clear cause: you got X because you did Y, or you failed to do Z, or possibly because someone else did Q or failed to do R around you at the right, or wrong, time.

While I see this with other health issues I have, one of the simplest to explain is the fact that I have terrible teeth despite having great dental hygiene. I spent years brushing three times a day and flossing religiously and using all manner of fluoride supplement and avoiding soda and so on, and still having everyone from the dentist on down assume that there wasn't any possible way that I just had bad teeth: I must have done something bad to them, or failed to do something good to them. Until finally I found the dentist that I have clung to ever since, who noted quite reasonably that there's a genetic component to dental health, and some people just get unlucky. But the idea that All Mouths Start Off Perfect So You Must Have Done Something To Screw This One Up was so prevalent that it took years to get there.
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