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Hokum and nonsense, I say!

Posted on 2009.02.19 at 14:49
Current Music: Peetie Wheatstraw - Remember And Forget Blues
Homeopathy is complete bunk and pseudoscience. I am GOOD AND PISSED that a pediatrician offered it to a certain little girl who shall remain nameless but who had a sore throat that wasn’t strep and so there wasn’t much to do for it besides wait it out. Even though the pediatrician explained that in homeopathy it is unlikely that there is any of the original compound left in the medicine, I think it is bad to give the whole thing any sort of currency, even as a placebo.


(Anonymous) at 2009-02-20 02:15 (UTC) (Link)
i've always suspected that homeopathy is just a quaint way to take advantage of the placebo effect. and patients.
- balissa
metalclarinet at 2009-02-21 06:08 (UTC) (Link)
There are people who contend that most psychiatric treatment falls into the same category.
theservant at 2009-02-21 23:59 (UTC) (Link)
They can contend all they like.
metalclarinet at 2009-02-22 03:10 (UTC) (Link)
I think there are studies that show positive results from talk therapy. There also are studies that show positive results from "traditional" shamen/witch doctor treatment of mentally ill people in their cultures. Unfortunately, you can't ethically conduct studies where you turn some people over to trained therapists and other, unsuspecting people, over to pretend professionals.

I know that there now are studies that show that drugs combined with talk therapy do better than drugs alone. But such studies typically have small sample sizes and there always are confounding variables.

Back when I was an undergrad --1970--the psych department at UMD had a lot of Behavioralists. The two I took courses from had no truck with talk therapy. At that time there were studies showing that a third of patients got better in 6 months whether or not your treated them. Unfortunately, the case for drug therapy was bad, too. It is better today, but the drugs also have nasty long term side effects.

I think that if you are not depressed, depression seems illogical. It is very hard to accept that reasoning with the depressed doesn't get any traction. I can see where people would believe there MUST be a better way of talking someoue of of depression.
(Anonymous) at 2009-03-05 17:25 (UTC) (Link)
that's why placebo controlled randomized clinical trials are a necessary basis for all medical treatment. placebos work about 30% of the time (in some illnesses more than others). so when one wants to market a drug in this country and claim that it treats a certain condition, there are lots of rules, both legalities and scientific standards. some of them aren't very good (for example, there is a hepatitis drug that only "improves" 41% of a group of patients...), but they do have to work better than a placebo, and they have to be tested that way. there are studies like that for homeopathy, but the ones i've seen seem questionable.
metalclarinet at 2009-03-05 19:15 (UTC) (Link)
That is true for drugs but not for talk therapy. It is very difficult to design a an experiment that compares various types of talk therapy with each other or with such things a traditional Navajo curing ceremony or 'witch doctor' treatments in other cultures. Some people claim that the latter work only because of the placebo effect.

Mind you, they can now detect chemical changes in the brain / increased brain activity in specific brain regions from placebo treatments.
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