Nocebo from Seth Godin

W DTX 1995 8 CLR DKPI really don’t think Seth Godin will mind me lifting THIS: NOCEBO.

It pertains to me in so many ways.  Politics is really getting to me this year.  It is causing me such obsession and stress!  NEVER BEFORE!  I’ve been putting my attention to WHY, and finally realized it is because the 4th Estate is NOT doing a good job on reporting, so that what passes for news is really all opinion, and in many cases, not much better than the National Enquirer — in other words, they take one or two words of truth and make the rest up.  Fear based, controlling folks through fear of even each other, folks need to wake up!

Unconsciously, I think I had a goal of righting this wrong.  It wasn’t so much about people voting for this or that person — but that I was disgusted at the reporting of nonsense, not even close to truth, so that people can make informed decisions.

Alas, that is not my job — I am in another line of work.  I am horrified, but will have to work to occasionally pass things on and then let the chips fall.  I am part of a large community called the USA — for better or worse — these days worse — and so have to hope that people will dig deep and not just believe what corporate media news says, cuz they are not who we grew up with, but a big old lying machine.  I have to change the storyline, for my sanity… Admitting this is the first step.

I wouldn’t be happy if the USA voted for Trump, but if they did so informed, then at least I would understand…

As a Buddhist, I watch the storyline and have changed it in many situations, but I have to say, the idea of a NOCEBO as the name of what my husband and I often do is BRILLIANT.

PALM RAIN 1920 ADJBANNER LINE SEPAI2So here, from Seth Godin, is the NOCEBO….  I read his short blog post many days!

Considering the nocebo

The letter to the co-op board sounds likely enough. The tenant is up in arms because air fresheners and other common household odors are seeping into the writer’s apartment, giving him severe migraines. What to do about this chemical onslaught?

There’s no doubt that these odors are giving the letter writer a debilitating headache, but also little doubt that there isn’t a likely double-blind, testable, organic chemistry cause to the headache only in this setting.

The migraine in this case, like many things that bother us, is caused by a nocebo.

A nocebo is a placebo that makes things worse.

In this case, the lack of control over his home, the unwelcome and unasked for odors, are making him feel trapped, and thus annoyed, and angry, and so they lead to a headache. It’s pretty clear to most of us that if that very same bundle of molecules wafted in the door when the clever and happy grandson came to visit, there would be no problem.

Of course the nocebo is real. And eliminating it is a great way to improve your life or the lives of your customers.

The TSA intentionally brings a nocebo to the airport, stressing out innocent travelers. And schools know precisely how to raise the blood pressure of stressed out students. In many situations, loud noises, uncomfortable seats, moments of lost control… these create actual physical discomfort.

We can use the nocebo to give you a headache, a backache, or even a chronic degenerative disease…

But you don’t remove the nocebo with medical tests. You remove it with a better story, with a situation that makes us feel powerful and in control, with a setting and a narrative that gives us agency and dignity.”

PALM RAIN 1920 ADJBANNER LINE SEPAI2For my part, ©D. Katie Powell.  My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to zenkatwrites.  Art (unless stated) is also by me; please link to dkatiepowellart.
For Seth Godin, I only hope he allows this — I am sending it now…

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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4 Responses to Nocebo from Seth Godin

  1. This is beyond brilliant! Thank you!

  2. I guess throughout the world media has hyped things up. I thought I knew a lot about the United States, but I’m discovering more as I have more blogger friends that reveal the actual facts.

  3. Thanks for this reminder … brilliant and always timely. I doubt Seth Godin would mind you using the term Nocebo; it’s a medical term (though used by the more horizon-edge), supposedly ‘coined’ in 1960 (see the Wikipedia page). It’s a gem of an insight … the power of words, for better or not. Blessings, Jamie

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