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I appreciate your thoughts Alicia. I have also seen significant changes in patients, and incredibly severe symptoms can be helped by medicines.
But I’ve more often seen patients chronically on medicines that aren’t helping and the list and amount of medicines they take gets bigger and bigger without benefit. Where I practice, the psychiatrists only focus on medicines. I have a patient with tardive dyskinesia from his antipsychotics to treat his ‘hallucinations about his neighbor trying to get him’. The psychiatrist and his therapist had no idea about his trauma history that included his neighbor bullying him throughout his teenage years and his parents not protecting him. The mental health field seems to be very afraid of bringing up and addressing trauma, but rather teaching patients to bottle it up and they need to ‘compartmentalize it’ as one ‘trauma informed’ therapist told me.
I think you underestimate the placebo effect you have with your patients Alicia 🙂
This is an interesting Hidden Brain about placebos – at the end is a description of a patient getting better from IBS when consciously aware she was taking a placebo. https://www.npr.org/transcripts/718227789