Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition in which the person suffering from it has an urge to get up and more in an effort to stop an uncomfortable sensation. Unlike what the name of the condition states, this can also at times be felt in a person’s feet
or arms. Those that suffer from the condition describe the sensation as a tingling, crawling, aching, or creeping feeling in the affected area. There are currently no methods to test for RLS and it is found to be more common in patients who suffer from other illnesses. The reason that I chose this condition to discuss is because of the clip
shown in the lecture of the women trying to describe her discomfort. As with most subjective medical conditions, the symptoms a sufferer endures is difficult to convey to medical professionals and can vary from person to person. This can be seen in the woman’s testimony as she struggles to explain what the sensation feels like and give specific locations as to where that sensation occurs.
Culture and biomedicine can influence the illness experience by providing a reference for people to compare their symptoms in an effort to self diagnose themselves. The influence of culture and biomedicine in the illness experience can also be seen in
whether the condition is viewed as either a valid illness or, as the saying goes, “all in their head.” The view of the condition has a large influence on its management and treatment. If a sufferer feels as though society doesn’t accept the disease as a valid illness, it could prevent them from seeking medical treatment or an explanation in fear of becoming looked down upon by society. From a biomedical point of view, if a sufferer looks for treatment from a physician that personally feels that the condition isn’t classified as a medical illness, then that person might not receive the proper treatment they need, if a form of treatment is available.
I feel that a person’s belief can ultimately affect their healing. The double-blind study and antidepressant research discussed in the film shows the mind’s power in healing
and if the use of a placebo can help relieve a person of their symptoms then its use should be more widely accepted. After all, a doctor’s main goal is the relief of their patient’s symptoms.
PubMed. Restless Leg Syndrome. 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001810/