Taking A Placebo Can Reduce Anxiety Before An Exam — Even When You Know The Pills Are Inert

By Matthew Warren The placebo effect is a curious phenomenon. A wealth of literature has shown that inert treatments can not only produce medical benefits like pain relief, but also have cognitive effects like boosting creativity and learning. And while many of those studies involve misleading people into thinking that they are receiving an effective intervention, a new study in Scientific Reports shows that this deception is not always necessary. Researchers have found that taking a placebo can reduce people’s anxiety before a test — even when they know they are taking an inactive pill.  As many as 2 in 5 people experience test anxiety, which can involve physical symptoms like high heart rate and sweating, negative thinking, and even impaired performance or avoidance of the test in the first place. Some sufferers take medications or have psychotherapy — but Michael Schaefer from Medical School Berlin and colleagues wondered whether just taking a placebo could help. The team recruited 58 university students who were approaching their end of term exams. Half of the participants were given no treatment, while the other half were asked to take two placebo pills per day for two weeks. Importantly, there was no deception involved: the researchers told participants in the placebo condition that their pills were inactive. Before starting the course of treatment, and again at the end, the participants completed questionnaires that measured their...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Emotion Mental health The self Source Type: blogs

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Pain makes us human. It is a bell, fine-tuned by evolution, that often rings in moments necessary for our survival. Because of pain, we can receive warnings that trigger the reflexes to escape potential danger. But what happens when that bell continues to ring? How do we respond to a signal when it interferes with the other elements that make us human? Pain that lasts longer than six months is considered chronic, and it may not go away. With chronic pain, the bell’s ongoing signal gets your nervous system wound up and increases its reactivity to incoming messages. This can be quite distressing and anxiety-provoking. ...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Back Pain Mind body medicine Pain Management Source Type: blogs
This article presents the rationale for EAET, describes its principles and techniques, reviews its development and early testing as well as recent clinical trials, and critically analyzes the evidence base.Recent FindingsFour initial trials (between 2006 and 2011) demonstrated the efficacy of earlier versions of EAET. Four recent randomized, controlled trials of different EAET durations (1 to 8 sessions) and formats (individual or group) in patients with fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic pain, or medically unexplained symptoms support the earlier findings. EAET reliably reduces pain and interference, although ...
Source: Current Rheumatology Reports - Category: Rheumatology Source Type: research
The objective of this presentation is to explore historical, scientific, interventional, and other differences between the two paradigms, so that innovators, researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, patients, end-users, and others can gain clarity with respect to both the explicit and implicit assumptions associated with brain advancement agendas of any kind. Over the course of three decades, a series of brain-centric, evolution-inspired insights have been articulated with increasing refinement, as principles of allostasis (Sterling and Eyer, 1988; Sterling, 2004, 2012, 2014). Allostasis recognizes that the role of the ...
Source: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
Conclusion: Characteristics and nonverbal behaviors of experimenters/clinicians contribute to the elicitation and modulation of pain, placebo, and nocebo effects.IntroductionThe present qualitative review investigated whether the characteristics or nonverbal behavior (NB) of the person administrating painful stimulation affected pain or placebo/nocebo effects in the research participant. The placebo effect is a psychobiological response that may occur following the application of active and inactive interventions (1). Applying an inactive medication paired with positive information about its analgesic effects can reduce pa...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
Conclusion It is clear that clinically, there is still much to be learnt about alexithymia and its relationship with a range of related phenomena. Firstly, is alexithymia a continuous and stable trait independent of psychological or somatic symptomology that is developed during childhood? Or is it instead a reactive state induced by trauma and distress at any age, which serves to defend against intense and upsetting emotions? This impacts on treatment options. For example, should we be focussing on early childhood interventions which target the child's emotional environment and parenting to encourage emotional exp...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
Ryan R. Kelly1,2†, Lindsay T. McDonald1,2†, Nathaniel R. Jensen1,2, Sara J. Sidles1,2 and Amanda C. LaRue1,2* 1Research Services, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC, United States 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, United States The significant biochemical and physiological effects of psychological stress are beginning to be recognized as exacerbating common diseases, including osteoporosis. This review discusses the current evidence for psychological stress-associated mental health disorders as risk factors for os...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
When you hear the word meditation, you may think of sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed—breathing deeply and trying to clear your mind. While it’s true that meditation often involves quiet and focused contemplation, the whole “empty your mind” thing is a misconception, says Dr. Judson Brewer, director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center. “Meditation is not about emptying our minds or stopping our thoughts, which is impossible,” Brewer says. “It’s about changing our relationships to our thoughts.” Doing so may help some stress...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Mental Health/Psychology Source Type: news
Abstract BACKGROUND: This is the first update of a review published in 2015, Issue 1. Chronic pain is common during childhood and adolescence and is associated with negative outcomes, such as increased severity of pain, reduced function, and low mood. Psychological therapies, traditionally delivered face-to-face with a therapist, are efficacious at reducing pain intensity and disability. To address barriers to treatment access, such as distance and cost of treatment, technology is being used to deliver these psychological therapies remotely. Therapies delivered remotely, such as via the Internet, computer-based pr...
Source: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews - Category: General Medicine Authors: Tags: Cochrane Database Syst Rev Source Type: research
It’s hardly news that the gastrointestinal tract is important to human health: It transports food from the mouth to the stomach, converts it into absorbable nutrients and stored energy, and shuttles waste back out of the body. If you don’t properly nourish yourself, you don’t live. It’s that simple. But in recent years, scientists have discovered that the GI system has an even bigger, more complex job than previously appreciated. It’s been linked to numerous aspects of health that have seemingly nothing to do with digestion, from immunity to emotional stress to chronic illnesses, including can...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Research Source Type: news
In conclusion, the studies presented in the current review demonstrate that CBD has the potential to limit delta-9-THC-induced cognitive impairment and improve cognitive function in various pathological conditions. Human studies suggest that CBD may have a protective role in delta-9-THC-induced cognitive impairments; however, there is limited human evidence for CBD treatment effects in pathological states (e.g. schizophrenia). In short, they found that CBD may help alleviate the negative impact of a person with schizophrenia from taking cannabis, both in the psychotic and cognitive symptoms associated with schizophrenia. T...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Alternative and Nutritional Supplements Disorders General Research Treatment cannabidiol Cannabis cbd cbd oil Marijuana THC Source Type: blogs
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