THE PATIENT AND HIS SYMPTOMS
The doctor asked his patient, 'How are you feeling?' The patient said, 'Woe
is me! I'm shivering all over, which has me very worried.' The doctor assured
the patient that this was actually a good sign. The next time the doctor asked
the patient how he was doing, the man replied, 'I feel awful: I'm suffering
from a high fever which has me confined to bed.' Again the doctor said that
this was a positive symptom. Finally a member of the man's family asked, 'How
are you doing, my dear brother? I hope you get well soon!' The man replied,
'I'm dying of positive symptoms!'
The fable shows when people want to console someone who is suffering, they
usually encourage him by saying things that are not true.