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How about using mystical stories as a placebo to help people in difficult situations to cope? But telling them, IT IS A PLACEBO.

What do you think about creating Mystical placebos without deception.
In a recent study patient with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome where given a placebo pill and told: this is a placebo. And it worked! A great percentage felt much better! Researchers at Harvard Medical School’s (HMS) Osher Research Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) 2010.
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/12/placebos-work-—-even-without-deception/
What do you think about using mystical stories to help people, telling them there are just stories, not real, but, ask them to "take them"? Wouldn't that be a good way to help fragile people not to get into a sect for example?

  • Feb 3 2012: Seeing as nobody knows the cause of IBS, the findings are in question as to whether the results can be translated to other, known, disorders. It could be stress is the cause of IBS, and if so, then sure, we could use de-stressing as a valid treatment, and we already do.

    I don't understand how you jump from a placebo pill to telling fairy tales. Where is the connection? And what brings you to want to tell made up stories as opposed to real ones? There seems to be a bias against reality in your question and I'm curious why.

    It seems to me the Harvard study merely shows people who feel better, tend to feel better. The telling of fantasy stories is not a requirement for this to happen, and only increases the risk of delusion and misunderstanding between "doctor" (storyteller) and patient.
    • Feb 3 2012: Well, fragile people tend to find comfort in fairy tales told as if they were the truth. So they are victims of deception. They could be victim of escrows. Anyway, using deception In those conditions is not ethical ( for magic trick it would!)
      People who are going through a hard time tend to find comfort in stories, real stories, fictive stories.
      I got this idea about doctors saying this, but, maybe it does not have to be doctors after all.
      If real stories can be told this is even better, for sure. I do agree with that.
      But, I feel that in some cases, real stories don t work anymore.
      What if you have a blind kid, who cannot move, talk, or even eat by himself? What if you are not prepared for that challenge? What if you are lacking some sleep because of the situation, but cannot catch up because your kid cannot sleep long enough. Sometimes, it might be difficult to find the perfect good real story or other solution that will help in that situation. The help of the doctors to improve the child condition is very limited In this case for the moment. I do believe that in the future, with new discoveries and inventions, they will be able to do much more for her condition.
      My friend is thousand of miles away from my home. She is alone with her kid. I am just trying to figure out a way of helping her the best I can as she has been asking me to help her. I have no ready made answers. apart from showing compassion, caring, doing some research, and trying to find new ways.
      • Feb 3 2012: That circumstance sounds awful to be in (for all of you). I cannot offer much advice, as I have never been in a position where a friend was in need of help and I was unable to show up to help. I still think although there may be superficial benefits in fictional stories, there are both long and short term consequences to avoiding reality. It could be, in trying to find a real life story, you find a possible solution to one of your friend's issues. It comes down to the difference between search for that needle in the haystack or pretending you don't need the needle anymore. Even a miniscule chance in reality is better than a sure thing in fantasy.

        Then again, your lack of success in finding a worthy real life story, may mean the time for words is over and only actions can help, now. Like I mentioned, I've not been in the position of being far away when tragedy strikes, nor have I shared a remotely similar situation, so I can only speculate.
        • Feb 4 2012: I have taken actions too. But for now, now that distance is separating us, my actions can only be limited.
          I have found good stories too but i have not found good stories when kids were That much handicapped. if you come across one, please share it!
          Only bad news keep on hiting. I just got an email this morning saying That they found that she is also almost deaf ( i first wrote death). Today, I cannot even hope that this little girl is going to survive. But I do hope this tragedy will turn out to be something that will help her mother in the long term. Maybe she can help others later. She is a psychologist.
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    Feb 3 2012: This is very interesting presuming the patient understands what a Placebo is.
    • Feb 3 2012: Thanks Leonard. Well of course, yes, we would need to explain that if they did not understand the meaning of that word. Or we could say, this is a fiction, it is not the thruth. It is a story to help you cope in life! In the old time, people would sit in front of the fire and tell each other stories, myths. Now we still tell stories to our friends and families, we watch movies and so on. We have always found the need to tell stories. But we do not necessarily fit the story to help the person. Some go either for religious stories they should have faith in, or others like scepticals go for too down to the earth stories. Many movies and stories are good cures in my opinion and some people are touched and helped by them. However, having an expert in medicine coming with his mystical story to fit the patient, that is something I have never heard of because it would be completely unethical of course. However, would something similar be ethical if The patient was told what is really going on there." The story is not real. It is a placebo, just tailored for you! "
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        Feb 3 2012: I am a little confused as to how these stories would occur, can you give an example ?
        • Feb 3 2012: Ok. Let s say there is a mum with a very handicapped kid who cannot talk, move, see. The mum is profoundly depressed, and on top of all the troubles, the kid is getting depressed to.
          Let s say that this person had no faith and felt just desperate, wanted to run away very far, was thinking about suicide, or even would be hoping her child would die.
          That person needs helps of course. She is so fragile that she could easily be opting to follow gurus to find peace.
          She could have friends empathizing. She could watch a film that could tell a story that could help her. She could read books with stories that would help her. But that might not be enough.
          How about having people specialized in medicine, telling a story tailored for her. Lets tell her the story of a mum." Once upon a time, there was a soul reincarnated in a little girl. She had no recall of her previous lifes. She did not know that when she would grow up, she would be given a special mission. She grew up hoping for a baby. But she waited, and wanted and waited and could not get pregnant. Then one day, she gets the gift of giving life to a baby. Very soon she founds out her baby is profoundly handicapped. But she could give no meaning to what was happening to her. She felt Life was unfair. Until one day, she went to see a doctor who told her this amazing story. And it gave her peace, and I gave her the strength to do accomplish her mission on earth with the help of this baby. Thanks to her baby, She would learn to be patient, she would learn unconditional love... Etc.... End of the story. Just remember, Mrs, this is not a real story, This is a placebo-story tailored for you!
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    Feb 8 2012: In the case of placebos being revealed... this answers it perfectly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2U8yfKM9nY
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    hou gc

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    Feb 6 2012: ha ha It is amazing, I am confused.
  • Feb 5 2012: this is interesting i think ther emay be a study whic h i cant properly point you towards where a doctor said this is a placebo it has been hsown to help relieve the symptoms..and to toher patients said this is a pacebo we dont know if it will help..and the people with th eplacebos labelled will help ..were more likely to feel there was a positive result than the guys just told maybe it will maybe it wont.. ive also heard healers say "it works because i believe in it" thats sometimes why they are unable to look at the facts perhaps they are scared to find out the reality of their works effects.... but i said why not tell people that...and they said no no people wont be able to understand ...i think thats a bit like a doctor saying my patients are too stupid to understand why antibiotics dont work fo ra cold so i will prescribe it anyway. and i dont agree with not disclosing the reality to oneself or otehrs... in homeopathy the head of the homeopathy she says that the effect of going to a homeopath is where the true cure lies na dbuying over the counter is not as effective..she is basically explaining the placebo effect but will not refer to it directly.... so its well known just it is taboo to break the chain of power and admit to people that it is them who are healing themselves and the healers who are helping that.... if you explain this you migh tbe pout of a job..i would like to pu tthem all out of jobs and see the power in the hands of the people ..but they say they are too stupis to handle it ..maybe they are right.

    i dont know about it helping with sects i think its difficult for people to have more than one reality which is unfortunate as there are many but most people will stick to one and close minds to conflicting stories out of fear of threat to tehri own..different levels of reality dont coexist well in ordinary people i think... it may be usefull to open up the mind to pure story to see that it is not the story which is the meaningfull part of myth
    • Feb 6 2012: Thanks for your very interesting comment Heloise!
  • Feb 3 2012: I do not know why you refer to using mystical stories to help people as "placebos."
    • Feb 4 2012: Dear Rhona, i wrote an answer to that question as a response to Edward.
      • Feb 4 2012: And that answer is....................
        • Feb 4 2012: Just below in the conversation....

          But I can copy-paste it for you:

          Well, fragile people tend to find comfort in fairy tales told as if they were the truth. So they are victims of deception. They could be victim of escrows. Anyway, using deception In those conditions is not ethical ( for magic trick it would!)
          People who are going through a hard time tend to find comfort in stories, real stories, fictive stories.
          I got this idea about doctors saying this, but, maybe it does not have to be doctors after all.
          If real stories can be told this is even better, for sure. I do agree with that.
          But, I feel that in some cases, real stories don t work anymore.
          What if you have a blind kid, who cannot move, talk, or even eat by himself? What if you are not prepared for that challenge? What if you are lacking some sleep because of the situation, but cannot catch up because your kid cannot sleep long enough. Sometimes, it might be difficult to find the perfect good real story or other solution that will help in that situation. The help of the doctors to improve the child condition is very limited In this case for the moment. I do believe that in the future, with new discoveries and inventions, they will be able to do much more for her condition.
          My friend is thousand of miles away from my home. She is alone with her kid. I am just trying to figure out a way of helping her the best I can as she has been asking me to help her. I have no ready made answers. apart from showing compassion, caring, doing some research, and trying to find new ways.
      • Feb 7 2012: Manue, One way you can help her is to send her a box of wonderful gifts she can enjoy. Also, you can send her currency anonymously (or not). Perhaps you can send a fabulous musical instrument or high quality music-playing device for the child. I am sure there are many things you can do to elevate the joy level of your friend and her child. Just use your creativity and positive will. You will succeed in accomplishing this goal in ways that may surprise and delight you. You have power right now to accomplish this goal of yours. Right on, dude! Happy Today.
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    Feb 3 2012: People put a lot of merit into fabels and stories from the bible to help confirm a belief in god and these stories even manefest themselves as miracles or even disasters in the real world ...
    I think story telling as a form of cognatitive therapy could be effective, I don't know enough about this but I'm sure this is probably a valid method for recovery especially mental health issues like stress and depression.
    But tell a story with a fake happy ending ? could this be dangerous as you will enforce the patients dismissal of a problem... We protect children from pesemistic outcomes but should we do this to adults ?
    • Feb 3 2012: Yes it could probably be dangerous.
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    Feb 3 2012: Perhaps the act of looking for a result ( negative or positive ) after a milestone event in itself is what motivates recovery ?
    "Ok I know that was just a Placebo but the doctor seems to think this treatment has merit, do I feel any different now am I better or worse than yesterday because of this ?"
    Or is it the faith instilled by the administrator ?
    • Feb 3 2012: What ever it is, from the results, it works much better than doing nothing! I don t think all the administrators believe it had to work? Maybe they did. Maybe they should select the most skeptical administrators and add a study with: " I am giving you a placebo for the experience, it's is like a joke, I don't believe in it, but, hey, I am just doing my job"... and compare the tests!
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        Feb 3 2012: I love the idea of this sceptical doctor... "Yeah I'll give you this, it won't do a damn thing but, you are now part of a study into placebo effects. Good luck !"
        ha ha
        • Feb 4 2012: your answer made me laugh too! I did need to have a laugh today! Thanks
        • Feb 5 2012: it depends on what the doctor says if he says it wont do any good ..it is lesslikely to do good...if he looks at you with doom in his mind then you will pick that up and as we are biofeedback mechanisms and we go to soctors to close the loop if they feed negativity into our feedback loop we wil get more ill..or feel mor eill even if the condition is being cured because placebo has a lot more to do with perception than whetehr a treatment is effective or not...if you perceive something to be a certain way i guess it effects your whole system your healing and everything... so it svery important that doctors be honest but also that that be totally honest which would be to tell people the real truth ...which perhapso they don tknow ofr believe themselves... and even healers wont do this they will cling to some outer thing like an angel or something when in fact what they should be telling you is that telling you good things even if i make them up is good for you...even if there is no god even if there isno cure that science knows telling you good things will help you feel better and feeling better will help you get better and getting better is what its all about from all angles...