When it comes to a medical condition where Placebos are readily used, I chose Depression. Depression runs in my family and I can see what it’s done to some of my extended family members. Depression is a well-known mental disorder, but I think many fail to realize the significant impact on various aspects of an individual’s life. Before I knew what depression really was, I always thought that a person just had to be happier, or that something significant happened in their life that they had to “get over.” This lack of realization translates into cultural misunderstanding as to what depression is, which can give it a negative stigma and make a person diagnosed with depression feel as if they’re trapped with no other options.
When watching the film “Placebo: Cracking the Code,” the doctors and researchers all agreed that the procedures and “song and dance” are what make the placebo effect so effective. This being said, a negative social stigma associated with depression can only worsen the symptoms of depression themselves, according to the placebo effect. With the use of antidepressants and SSRIs, depression can be overcome – and society knows that.
Society can play both a positive and negative role in the treatment of depression, and any other physical or mental disorder for the matter. It knows that there is a negative stigma associated with depression, but also knows that there are consistent and reliable methods of curing depression, which can put patients with depression at ease, having a positive impact on treatment. I believe society’s knowledge and confidence with antidepressants and SSRIs can help facilitate the effectiveness of a placebo that’s been prescribed to a patient with depression in place of the actual drug itself. Just as in “Placebo: Cracking the Code,” the placebo pill cured a woman of her depression and was shocked to find that she was given a placebo for the duration of her treatment. I believe this shows the strong correlation between culture, biomedicine, and a medical condition and how they can all be important factors in the healing process.