Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nocebo - The Opposite of Placebo

How we think and what we believe can lead us down very different roads. Our state of mind is a very powerful phenomenon.

Case in point, we all know what the Placebo Effect is - where health benefits can be produced by a "non-real" treatment.

But did you know there is a Nocebo Effect - where something that is ineffective causes ill health?

While the Placebo Effect refers to health benefits produced by a treatment that should have no effect, patients experiencing the Nocebo Effect experience the opposite. They presume the worst, health-wise, and that's just what they get.

Not much is known about how the Nocebo Effect occurs, but theories of origin include biological
and psychological factors.

For more on this, read here or this article in Science Daily .