A quotation by Descartes popped up twice in my reading for the week, in two different sources. I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something.
The quotation in question is the second of four points that Descartes made in 1637 in part II of his work Discourse on Method:
“The second, to divide each of the difficulties I examined into as many parts as possible and as may be required in order to resolve them better.”
—René Descartes, as quoted by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Divide and conquer. Makes sense, yes? I immediately thought of my post-concussion syndrome problem. Big problem, hard to tackle, yes?
But what if I divide this large problem into smaller parts? For example, one smaller part I identified was the problem of which doctor to see. My neurologist told me to see a psychiatrist, while my psychiatrist told me to see a neurologist.
This problem was also too big for me. So I divided it into a smaller problem: talk to people in your trusted circle of friends and family to see if they have insights on whether to seek out another neurologist or another psychiatrist.
I spoke with two people, explaining my problem in detail, and they both resoundingly said, psychiatrist.
Okay, so then I divided this problem into a smaller problem: how can I identify psychiatrists who specialize in post-concussion syndrome who are in my area and who take my insurance?
I discovered that the online version of Psychology Today has a web page that offers such filters.
Have I solved my post-concussion syndrome problem? Not there yet. But I’ve come a long way from where I was a few weeks ago. I now have a psychiatrist who specializes in post-concussion syndrome who says he can help me.
I’ll take it.
What large problems do you have? Can you break them into smaller parts and solve them one by one?