The Placebo Effect is the amelioration of symptoms not attributable to medication—a kind of mental magic trick that has been shown to boost immunity and alleviate pain—even if you know it's all in your head.
How sugar pills and sham treatments mimic the real thing
Most of us wish we could improve certain things about ourselves. Lasting change is difficult: Many of our habits are deeply ingrained, and certain core personality attributes may be immutable. But even the oldest of habits and character traits can be altered to varying degrees, as it's never too late to change; with effort and determination, it is possible to be the person you want to be.
Some 15 million Americans a year struggle with depression, an illness that comes in many forms—from major depression and seasonal affective disorder, to dysthymia and bipolar disorder. Depression is an illness that increasingly afflicts people worldwide, interfering with concentration, motivation and many other aspects of everyday functioning.
It's amazing that a sugar pill can sometimes "fix" an ailment. Placebos are often prescribed, and sometimes to great therapeutic effect. Sometimes the simple act of believing you're going to get better can actually make you get better.