Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is a perfect example for misunderstood diseases. The condition is often times downplayed in the minds of most people because the effects being similar to nervous habits of high energy people. Also, to those who do not have, or claim to have depending on the point of view, the disease doesn’t seem apparent because they themselves do not have to live with the effects. This doesn’t allow much empathy to be experienced for the person without the condition. Within our culture, although the disease is often times mocked, medical professionals can diagnose people with this condition as well as prescribe effective medication to fix this syndrome. These medical professionals prescribe all sorts of medicines to fix these ailments, but what may also play a factor is the belief that it will work. When a person believes strongly that a medication will work, the placebo effect generates a reaction from the body. The sheer willpower to change with the guise of a pill provides a change. In our lecture and materials, we learned a bit about the placebo tests done. The tests showed results of both positive and negative reactions to the test. If those believed that the supposed medication worked then the tests showed positive results. If the patient did not have strong faith in the test, the results ended with the patients condition declining. Some people in this culture believe that the more expensive an item is, the more effective it will be. In this case, the more expensive an item might mean a better response to the medication. Restless leg syndrome fits in with a disease that could be treated with the placebo effect, at least in some individuals. The disease is often times underplayed, but some medications do seem to have an effect in a certain percent of patients.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Adam Feuerstein says:

    My original perception of restless leg syndrome is that the illness was made up because of the fast past world we are living in rather than a real issue. I think so many people are saying they have RLS or ADD today because this generation is growing up with technology that is far more advanced than years before. People become addicted to moving and doing something because they have so many options. I thought if people really tried to focus on things and take time to relax we would see a major improvement. I think this still may be the case in some individuals for which a placebo pill would be great at “curing” those who suffer. However, after watching the class lectures I do understand some people really are suffering and have other symptoms, such as pain that make them feel they have to keep moving. I also would think if an in depth study was done we may see restless leg syndrome to be a culturally bound illness. I think in places that do not have the advancement in technology or higher pace life style the amount of people affected would be drastically less. Our social class in America has created this and our family and friends see it as a common thing so we may be over simplifying the illness. Overall my idea about the illness has changed slightly after the class material but it has mainly stayed that it is common and hose afflicted don’t seem different, but this has lead to people thinking they may have the illness when the do not.

  2. Ben Caldwell says:

    Admittedly, I am one of the people who is guilty of not acknowledging Restless Leg Syndrome as a serious condition. My position is not based in experience as I do not suffer from the condition, so it surely isn’t fair of me to write off sufferers of the syndrome so quickly. The author of this post addresses one of the reasons for my skepticism, which is that the perceived symptoms of RLS mimic behaviors of high energy people. However, another one of my concerns is based on the drug culture that exists in the United States. Because pharmaceutical companies can market directly to the public, they can increase their profits by convincing the public that they have a condition, and that they, the company, can provide the cure. While it may be argued that the doctor can stop this chain of events by not writing prescription, the doctor wants to keep his or her patients, so appeasing them is in his or her best interest. Switching away from a fee for service program could help prevent this, but that is a separate issue. My family and friends influence my viewpoint mostly in the way that I don’t know anyone who suffers from RLS so I cannot sympathize on a personal level with sufferers of the syndrome.

  3. Ashley Start says:

    My previous perception of restless leg syndrome was strongly influenced by biomedical and cultural perceptions of this illness. I always believed that restless leg syndrome was just another way of describing a person’s twitches or a habit of moving their legs all the time and I did not realize that it was a condition that is very frustrating to its sufferers and can cause them to not be able to sit still for long periods of time or even be able to sleep well. I was also skeptical that there were even legitimate treatments for restless leg syndrome or even that it was a real medical condition but more information led me to be convinced that restless leg syndrome is real and that it can be very detrimental to sufferers of restless leg syndrome. My perceptions of restless leg syndrome were influenced by its mentions in the media, such as jokes made about it on TV or commercials about restless leg syndrome. I also was doubtful of people I knew who claimed to have restless leg syndrome and believed they just wanted attention or something to complain about, rather than understanding that they were suffering from a real condition that can be very frustrating.

Leave a Reply