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The Nuance

The ‘Nocebo Effect’ May Be Even Stronger Than Placebo

Belief is a powerful drug

Illustration: Kieran Blakey

“Help me. I took all my pills.”

According to a 2007 case report in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry, those were the words a 26-year-old man spoke to a hospital’s emergency department staff just before collapsing. An empty pill bottle skittered from one of…

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Markham Heid

Markham Heid

I write about health, science, and psychology. My work has appeared in Time magazine, the New York Times, Vice, and elsewhere. I live in Germany.

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