Placebos are real; they have an actual impact on us. First described somehow by John Haygarth, it really demonstrates the power of the human mind and its impact on us. They reflect that the story we tell ourselves about things we do and experience is really important in determining our sense of well-being and subsequent actions. These actions can then continue to perpetuate our circumstances and the cycle continues.
And then the question is whether we are consuming placebos. We might not be conscious of it, but things like an Hermes handbag, or a gym membership that we don’t really use but just keep, are all placebos. They are there to make us think we are rich, or fit without really doing anything about our wealth or health. The list continues with magazine subscriptions, club memberships, and many of what people would call ‘trappings’.
So yes, placebos are real and all of us are using them in case you don’t yet realise. But the key here is to notice what they are doing to us. I’m assuming we are using these placebos because they do have a positive impact on us, and they work through the stories that we tell ourselves. What if we are addicted to our placebos? We need to ask ourselves to be conscious about the costs of these placebos – the financial, environmental and mental costs of these. And whether there are cheaper placebos as substitutes.
And in case you’re wondering, the Prata (instead of Prada) bag that was churned out in a random factory is also a placebo – at least for another group of people. So yea, there are alternatives when our placebos are costing us too much