The Powerful Placebo Effect

 (Psychological Effects)

The Powerful Placebo EffectThe powerful placebo effect – It’s probably impossible to separate the pure physiological effects of any treatment from the psychological effects that accompany it. These psychological effects are commonly called The Placebo Effect.

A lot of research evidence seems to suggest that a considerable amount of any drug effect found from the use of antidepressants drugs is attributable to placebo effects.

Contrary to popular misconceptions a placebo effect is not the same as no effect.

Let me make it clear before we go any further; the powerful placebo effect is not nothing! I can assure you of this because I’ve researched the role of placebo effects with all mental health problems especially in relation to depression and antidepressants so let’s look at this first…

 The Antidepressant solution

A lot of research evidence seems to suggest that a considerable amount of any drug effect found from the use of antidepressants drugs is attributable to placebo effects.

As I said before, placebos are not nothing!

 So what are they? They’re the powerful psychological forces of expectation and hope amalgamated into a compound that embodies the belief that they will be effective.

It may surprise you to know that all treatments for depression incorporate placebo effects because the pain of depression seeks a remedy.  While the unique power of symbolisation possessed of our brains creates hope, anticipation, and the faith that something must work to alleviate the pain of depression.

The human brain is so powerful at creating a virtual reality simulation of the world that our motivation to feel better can be engaged and harnessed through imagination. Yes, really!

We can imagine that we can feel better and the antidepressant or whatever other treatment we choose is the vehicle to take us to this better place.

 Hope has immense power; profound and powerful placebo effects have been recorded.

If you want to learn more about the placebo response and the mind boggling effects that can be achieved with placebo take a look at this film:

If you have a deeper interest in antidepressant meds and the powerful placebo effects which are associated then this short film of Dr Irving Kirsch Ph.D explodes the commonsense beliefs that antidepressants are really powerful antidepressant meds as opposed to mostly a placebo cure wrapped up in relatively unpleasant and side effect producing compounds.

To be fair Dr Kirsch has encountered criticism for his book. Nevertheless he is not the first, by any means, to make these claims and there are plenty of published research reports that show similar or ‘close enough’ effects between an antidepressant and a placebo to lend substantial weight to his overall argument.

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