Restless Leg Syndrome is an illness in which the individual feels the need to move and walk around. As described in a clip in the first lecture this week, the woman feels some kind of “electricity” running through her legs and she can no longer sit still. She claims that she must walk around in order to feel better. In our culture today, restless leg syndrome is seen as a legitimate illness and medications to help treat it is advertised everywhere. People often see commercials for different pills one can take to relieve symptoms. One pill and the person is able to sit still. There are other cultures, and even some people within our culture, that don’t see restless leg syndrome as a problem. An example is shown in the MAD TV clip in the first lecture from this week. It is a play on a commercial for a pill to help restless leg syndrome, and the woman with RLS is running through a restaurant kicking everyone and everything. This pill then makes her completely lose feeling of her legs and she must army crawl everywhere.
This current view on RLS seems to make it difficult for those suffering from it since some people do not see it as an illness that needs treatment. Therefore, it is not seen as a big deal and a lot of people don’t seek the available treatment. Most people just try to manage it themselves. My mother actually suffers from RLS and I see her get up in the middle of the night and walk around because she can’t lie in bed any longer. She doesn’t see it as an important problem so she doesn’t seek treatment for it.
I think belief plays a strong role in the process of healing. As the placebo clip in the first lecture talked about, if a placebo effect can occur, there must be something more to healing than just biomedicine. Even though there isn’t any proof for it, keeping upbeat and positive can help a person heal in my opinion. If someone has a negative outlook on life, it can suppress their immune system and make a person more apt to be sick.