Before 1970, doctors used to lie to their patients all the time. They knew that some hypochondriacs became noticeably better when doctors gave them a sugar pill.
This was called "the placebo effect." After 1970, we thought of placebos differently. Researchers decided that for a drug to be deemed effective, it had to outperform a placebo. But we never stepped back and took a good hard look at the placebo and why it worked.
Tragic and unexplainable acts of violence are often attributed to mental illness. In the aftermath of terrible tragedies, like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, anecdotal and unconfirmed stories of mental illness begin to circulate.
Dr. Jennifer Stuber from UW’s School of Social Work visited Weekday to discuss the link between violence and mental illness and particularly how the media plays a part in the dissemination of misinformation. Below are highlights from her interview.
Little information is available yet to conclude whether the shooter in Newtown, Conn., was diagnosed with, or treated for, mental illness. But last week’s incident has raised questions around the country about mental health and funding for treatment and services.
Officials have not yet released any information on the mental state of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooter, but anecdotal reports about his behavior and character have led people to diagnose him with a myriad of mental illnesses. At what point does conjecture lead to stigmatization of people with mental illness? Is it fair to connect violence with mental illness? We talk about it with Dr. Jennifer Stuber of the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.
Highlights from Dr. Struber's interview available here.