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The Nocebo effect

Articles excerpts taken from Time and Feel Good Time:

“Most people have heard of the placebo effect, but relatively few have heard of the nocebo effect, including the circles of the medical staff. For the first time this phenomenon, which is in fact is the evil twin of placebo effect, was named in the 1961st year. Nocebo effect is the ability of negative beliefs and expectations that cause damage, ie negative effects in the body. While the placebo effect can achieve positive results in treatment which normally should not have any effect (eg, sugar pill), nocebo effect has reverse result in terms of health, due to the worst expectations. What patient expects, unfortunately, the patient usually receives. […]

When doctors tell patients that a medical procedure will be extremely painful, for example, they tend to experience significantly more pain than patients who weren’t similarly warned. And in double-blind clinical trials of antidepressants, even those participants receiving a sugar pill report side effects like gastrointestinal discomfort if investigators have warned them at the outset that those effects are likely. […]

The observation of various scientific researches of placebo and nocebo influence, showed that the placebo effect (the belief that something positive will happen) is effective on average 33% -55%. On the other hand, the nocebo effect (the belief that something negative will happen) proved to be effective with a staggering 55% -100%. This means that we are more than twice susceptible to the negative rather than positive suggestion. […]

It is interesting to note the results of research in America which showed that since the Act of hazardous cigarette nicotine warning was introduced (cigarettes harm your health, smoking kills, smoking causes lung cancer …) – the average of the mortality of smokers increased.  Seeing the words “smoking kills” daily, has a very strong influence on every smoker health.”

… all this to remind us that our thoughts are very powerful and we should be careful not to let them hurt us – others do it well enough, no need to do it too.

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