Availability Heuristic


(Drew Leavy [CC / Flickr])

“How was your day, darling?” asked Olivia.

Stuart groaned. “Three bipolar, two PTSD and one so batty I don’t even know what to call it,” he said.

“Don’t they have to have a diagnosis before they send them to you?” asked Olivia.

“Oh, he had a diagnosis. The notes said depression. That’s what they put when they don’t know what to make of it and there’s no tickbox next to ‘mad as a box of frogs’.”

“Poor you.”

“No, I don’t blame them. It’s all about the availability heuristic. You know, things at the front of your mind seem more significant. When a GP sees a lot of depressed people, everything they can’t call something else starts looking like depression. They can hardy do a detailed diagnosis in an eight-minute consultation, so they go with that.”

“So what was wrong with him?” asked Olivia.

“Christ knows. Mad as a box of frogs.” Stuart spoke automatically while his mind was waking up to something about Olivia’s manner that he should have noticed the moment he set eyes on her. “Is something on your mind, Liv?”

“What makes you think that, darling?”

“One, you married a psychologist. Two, you keep calling me darling. You only do that when I need to apologise for something. It would help if you’d tell me what it is.”

“If it wasn’t for the availability heuristic, darling, you wouldn’t need me to tell you.”

“I’m sorry?”

“You’ve had a difficult patient, so he’s at the front of your mind. Your entire mind is focused on working out what to do for a man who’s as mad as a box of frogs. That’s why there’s nothing left of it to remember it’s our wedding anniversary. Darling.”

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle
One comment on “Availability Heuristic
  1. Frank says:

    Saved as a favorite, I love your website!

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