Posted by SLS on March 26, 2012, at 7:19:16
In reply to Re: new pdoc says there 'are no answers' » SLS, posted by zazenducke on March 25, 2012, at 19:31:39
> > What's your opinion?
> I don't know. I don't think anyone really does.
Well, the placebo effect has not remained unexplored in science. Dr. Frederick Quitkin performed some formal investigations of the placebo effect. He addressed its phenomenology and quantizisation. If you are interested, you can find his writings on the Web. Also, I have written quite a bit regarding the placebo phenomenon and what I believe to be its unintended inflation statistically resulting from poor screening for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The issue of placebo effect is complex and deserves more consideration than what I am disposed to give it here.
> Because how can you really prove it with something like depression for which nobody even knows the cause?
If you mean that the precise cascade of biological events involved in the evolution of MDD have not yet been elucidated, I would agree. If you mean that there is no evidence of any sort indicating that MDD does indeed represent a biologically driven pathology, I would disagree.
> Sometimes I get the idea that some people believe it somehow lessens the reality of their pain if it is relieved by a placebo.
Treatment with placebo is not necessarily "no treatment". With depression investigations, there is often quite a bit of emotional support present in the environment of the study. Sometimes, interacting with the personel administering the study is the first true positive human connection made by the patient since the onset of their illness. This is indeed therapeutic psychologically. Does this inflate the statistics for placebo response? You bet.
* "Depression" is not synonymous with "Major Depressive Disorder".
Some see things as they are and ask why.
I dream of things that never were and ask why not.
- George Bernard Shaw