You may have heard about the Placebo Effect or maybe even the Nocebo Effect, where the anticipation of something happening, either positive (placebo) or negative (nocebo) has a direct impact on the outcome. It might sound a little fishy at first, like how could this possibly be? However, over and over science has replicated research that shows it is real, it is powerful, and it is based on belief.
A few years ago Scientific America posted an article that stated drug companies were having problems making new pain killing medication because more people were responding from the placebo aspect than ever before. What does that mean? It means that when someone was given what they believed was medication and it wasn’t, that they got better nearly as often as those given actual medication. Simply from their belief that they would get better if they took something.
Antidepressants are another class of drug that has been blown out of the water by the placebo effect. Starting as far back as 2008 the medical community started to uncover that the pharmaceutical companies were manipulating data to make their drugs look better. A meta-analysisshowed that the placebo effect outperformed the drugs more than half the time and the difference in the depression rating of the patients was so miniscule that it could have been accounted for by a side effect of sedation the meds caused. Again, people got better because they believed they would.
Why is this important, other than it’s a great reason to find other ways to treat and heal things beyond medication? Well, my point is that what we believe affects our lives. It affects how we heal, our quality of life, and what goes on in our lives. If you hold in your mind a belief, it will find a way to manifest itself in reality. This goes for every area of our lives. If we believe we are stupid we will act that way, if we believe we deserve to be treated poorly we will find a way to make that true.
What do you believe? What beliefs do you carry with you that are manifesting in your life right now? Are they expansive and encouraging or are they dragging you down? How do they affect your interactions, your choices, and if you are able to live an authentic life? If you are interested in learning more about how belief affects our lives I invite you to listen to our podcast, Beliefs: Both the Conscious and Unconscious Saboteur. If you don’t know how to move beyond the beliefs that are holding you back please reach out. We have many services and programs that can help you let go of what doesn’t serve you and embrace the things that will brighten your path.
Irving Kirsch et al., “Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, “ PLoS Med5, no. 2 (2008): e45 doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045.