The misunderstood illness I chose was Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) which is an illness in which someone experiences feelings of pain or discomfort (mainly in the legs) that prevents them from being able to relax or sit still. I picked this illness because I have a personal friend who suffers from this. Before she sought medical attention she was constantly getting up to move around and could never relax for long which interfered with her daily life. For example, she was constantly getting up in the middle of the night to walk around and relieve her discomfort and she didn’t like go to see movies in a theater because she couldn’t comfortable stay seated throughout the whole thing. Both culture and biomedicine influence this illness because it is a medically treatable illness and you can receive a prescription from a medical professional to treat RLS which can provide suffers with hope for treatment and the relief from their symptoms, but culture tends to mock this disorder, which could be seen in the parody from this weeks lecture, which may cause some suffers to not seek medical treatment and be ashamed of having this illness and chose to try and muddle through their symptoms.
I think that belief and healing are intertwined and depend on one another. For example in the clip shown in the lecture different placebos have different effects, like if the patient believes the placebo was something that was going to help treat their symptoms they showed signs of improvement and if they thought it would have no effect or make things worse, their condition worsened. Also even aspects like price and size effected the outcome of placebos. For example society tends to follow the mindset that the more expensive the medication the better the effects will be, which could explain why in the clip placebos with a higher price where more effective than the cheaper alternative. I have also have heard of similar effects because my mother is an oncology research nurse and work on varying cancer treatment trails where patients where put on trials where they were randomly selected to either receive a placebo or actual medication. The patients were not told if they were receiving the placebo or not (they knew before starting the trail that they would either receive real medication or placebo). In some cases the patients who were receiving placebo treatments showed greater improvement than patients receiving the medication.