How to Decide Whether or Not to Tell Someone the Painful Truth

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Reader Comments (24)

Yay for Placebos!!
This one fits into a situation I was in recently, and has made me happier about the whole thing! :)
Thank you Scott for bringing a smile to a other wise hateful day!

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLadyAime

But how would one go about running a placebo-controlled trial to see if smarties are a helpful treatment for something?

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRavenBlack

Man, I think I work for this guy. My boss recently renegotiated our contracts, and during the negotiations expressed astonishment that we didn't have "really good health insurance" plans with the $200 a month stipend he gave us to cover our families.

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTitanic

Yes! Mr. Meyer, this one is hitting on all cylinder. I laughed out loud!

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenkins

RavenBlack, chocolate can be helpful in many situations! Maybe think of it as a ... functional placebo? *shrug* :P

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzaraithe

Just letting you know that I have a great hook up for cheap placebonol. If your plan won't cover it I can get it for 20% less from my buddy in Canada. Think about it.

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSGeier

The last line is absolutely golden.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSmith

Next strip should be the selling of black market placebonol!

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoward

Hey, I saw this one on Cracked a week or so ago. And I can definitely tell a difference in the tone of the comments - they're not quite as "I hope you burn in hell" on this site, which is good.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKolsen

I live in Canada, and I hate to tell you this, but Placebonol is covered under our national health care plan.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdougall

But... why was this comic posted in Cracked earlier? Isn't this the site where I go for the latest Basic Instructions? Now that I think of it, that other comic in Cracked I hadn't seen it either... is that one the new one for this week?

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLouis

@RavenBlack The reason they have to run placebo controlled test is to account for the placebo effect. The way you measure the placebo effect is have a control group that receives no treatment.

@zaraithe placebos are "functional" that is why they have to be controlled for in tests.

"Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why."

Read More

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersheherazahde

Ask your Alternative and complementary medicine practitioner if Placebonol is right for you!

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSillyus

We've got this wild-eyed naturopath writing medicinal cannabis prescriptions at $150 for a five minute consult; he could probably hook you up with some Placebonol.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermotionview

"Poor guy; his bones are all out of place. Oh...wait..."

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRJT

As someone who's occasionally had to resort to anxiety medications, I've always felt that even legitimate drugs should use the placebo effect to their benefit.

For example, if you have mild anxiety attacks, you may be prescribed something like .5mg Ativan. A .5mg Ativan pill is TINY, and when you're having a panic attack and you take this grain of sand you think "how can something like this help?". While it is a legitimate drug, I feel like there could be some placebo enhancement just by making the pill much bigger, while keeping the actual amount of drug the same.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBobman

I don't have a medical plan either, my boss doesn't believe in western medicine. Please god shot me now.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

I understand if you dilute your Placebonol 30x, it get even MORE my Homeopath tells me!

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBooger

I think chocolate is more than a placebo. It has or increases seratonins.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKris L

I'm definitely considering switching to Placebonol! My only worry is that I might get addicted.

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRadien

@sheherazahde - I understand the concept of the placebo effect, what I was saying is that if what you're assuming is an ineffective substance that you use for a placebo is, in fact, actually effective (ie. it is not "just the placebo effect") you wouldn't be able to tell because you couldn't run a placebo controlled trial. Which is to say, how do you distinguish the real placebo effect from the real effect of your selected placebo? :)

@Booger - If you heavily dilute your placebonol, by homeopathic dogma it makes you *resistant* to the effects of placebonol, it doesn't make your placebonol more effective. You aren't supposed to take diluted aspirin for a headache, you're supposed to take diluted headache-causing-substance-X.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRavenBlack


August 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersam

Suddenly I wish someone sold an aspirin bottle labelled Placebenol filled with smarties.
I would totally buy that.

August 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

@Bobman: yes, bigger pills are more effective (it has been tested)

And, in general, I find it interesting that there are currently studies being run that look at whether treatment purely via placebo. That's right, you're telling the patient upfront that it's a placebo.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAMusingFool

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