Everyone knows that downing a 6-pack of beer every night just to fall asleep, or splurging on donuts whenever you can’t get thoughts of your ex out of your head, is a matter of self-medicating. It’s clear that these aren’t healthy coping mechanisms; continue such behavior and your problems are bound to get worse.
See the following excerpt for an edited version of a message I wrote to someone a few months ago. It details a current trend which is wreaking havoc on the West’s collective wisdom on sexual and racial politics:
I got testicular cancer a few years ago. After I had surgery to remove the infected testicle, my initial CT and blood test came back clear; I didn’t have to undergo chemotherapy. But the statistics said that I had a 20% chance of relapse over the following 5 years. In an effort to figure out how to alter my habits in order to decrease the likelihood of such an outcome, I asked the doctor, “What causes testicular cancer? What should I do in order to avoid relapse?” He explained that the medical community knows a few risk factors, but that by and large the causation is a mystery. He said that my best course of action was merely to get periodic CTs and blood tests. The sooner a relapse is caught, he explained, the better my prognosis would be.
If our brains had to run a full calculation on the cause-and-effect fabric of reality relating to every action that we took, that would be quite a resource burden. Instead, our brains contain a rich and delicate system of pre-built heuristics.