Placebos in the Future

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ff_placebo_effect_f.jpgAn interesting thing I'll remember five years from now is what the placebo effect is. All of my life, I've been given medicines that will "drain out my sinuses", or "cure this headache". After reading chapter 2, I have realized that this is not necessarily the case. As defined by the book, the placebo effect is "improvement resulting from the mere expectation of improvement".

Although I know drugs such as Advil are pain relievers, I am also aware of the fact that at least a little part of me starts feeling better before the drugs really kick in. The throbbing pain in my temples begins to go away simply because I swallowed the Advil, because I'm expecting a relief to my pain. Because of this information, I've already noticed a decrease in the amount of Advil I consume. I am now aware that simply thinking about something else in order to get my headache out of my mind will help me feel better. This will be important for me to remember in the future because taking too much of one drug can be harmful for a person's health. For example, taking too much Advil can lead to stomach ulcers, which I would really prefer to avoid. Reading this little bit out of the textbook may lead me to better health in the future.

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Interesting post! I agree that sometimes just the expectation that something will help makes it help. I think this can be seen in a lot of different ways too. For example, if someone is given an energy drink they may immediately become hyper.

I think everybody has experienced the effects of placebos! It is hard to comprehend that simply expecting something to happen may lead us to believe it is actually happening, like your example of taking an Advil. I'm glad that you realized you were taking too much and saved yourself from any potential stomach ulcers!

The placebo effect is kind of like "mind over matter." I definitely start to feel better before medicine kicks in, just because I know I will get better eventually. Something that I thought of while reading your post is the fact that some people claim they feel buzzed or drunk after having non-alcoholic beer, when really it just tastes similar to real beer. Placebo beer!

Definitely an interesting concept. I think that a lot of things are mental, pain being one that is very much so. Pain is real, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I won't feel the pain of an injury until I see the injury. Placebos are awesome because they show this quite well.

I think placebos hold such an interesting power because we are able to trick ourselves with something as simple as swallowing a pill. I think doctors could give people placebos more often and their "symptoms" would clear right up.

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This page contains a single entry by malyx017 published on April 29, 2012 10:53 PM.

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