Scare stories about illnesses may trigger symptoms in some people, according to a new study.
Researchers found that media reports about substances that are supposedly dangerous to health may cause ‘suggestible’ people to develop symptoms - even though there is no objective reason for them to do so.
Researchers studied the phenomenon known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity, which is associated with mobile phone use.
Doctor Michael Witthvft, of Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany, said: ‘There is a considerable body of evidence that electromagnetic hypersensitivity might actually be the result of a so-called “nocebo” effect. The mere anticipation of possible injury may actually trigger pain or disorders. This is the opposite of the analgesic effects we know can be associated with exposure to placebos.’ The study illustrates how media reports about health hazards may trigger or amplify 'nocebo' effects in some people.
Source - Daily Mail