Author Topic: The Nocebo Affect & Hypochondria  (Read 1570 times)

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Offline LePatron7

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The Nocebo Affect & Hypochondria
« on: January 07, 2017, 09:13:46 pm »
Nocebo: A negative placebo effect as, for example, when patients taking medications experience adverse side effects unrelated to the specific pharmacological action of the drug. The nocebo effect is associated with the person's prior expectations of adverse effects from treatment as well as with conditioning in which the person learns from prior experiences to associate a medication with certain somatic symptoms.

Hypochondria: pertaining to or suffering from hypochondria, an excessive preoccupation with and worry about one's health

Essentially, the nocebo effect is thinking something will cause harm, then experiencing that negative effect.

Examples could include thinking Tylenol will kill you, then experiencing terrible symptoms.  Another example could involve cooked food, salt, etc. of course - fearing it and expecting a certain result could cause thinking that results in negative symptoms. 

Interestingly, in the book "Mind Over Medicine" ( ), she gives examples of people receiving sugar pills and experiencing symptoms of the medication they were told they'd receive.  For example a cancer patient receives a sugar pill and is told it could cause hair loss, naseua, etc. and they actually experience hair loss and other negative symptoms due to the nocebo effect.

Hypochondria and the nocebo effect kind of go hand in hand.  Someone continually worries everything's going to make them sick, then they experience the symptoms of how they think they'll be harmed.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.

Nocebo Effect - a detrimental effect on health produced by psychological or psychosomatic factors such as negative expectations of treatment or prognosis

Med free since 03/21/2014


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