Ten Nocebo Beliefs About Asthma

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 No Commented
Categorized Under: Asthma

Members of the Committee

A: The Awfulizer makes everything worse than it is — much worse.

B: The Blamer blames you and others for the events and circumstances of your life.

Cd: The Concluder jumps to habitual and safe conclusions. Nocebo Beliefs

Cm: The Comparer elevates or devalues your worth.

J: The Judge judges right from wrong; good from bad; normal from abnormal.

N: The Namer labels people, events, and diseases.

Sh: The Shamer instills embarrassment, guilt, and fault.

Sk: The Skeptic makes you doubt your own experience.

St: The Storyteller comments knowingly on the future or the past.

V: The Victimizer makes you the injured party, by your own hand or another’s.

The Storyteller says, “I’ll never be happy because I have asthma.’’ This is an evil fairy tale about the future. How do we know what will happen? The Namer labels this collection of physical sensations an illness called asthma. The Awfulizer makes the smallest sign of illness into a catastrophe, thus isolating you from a healthy and normal life. Saying “I have asthma because my father has it” is the Blamer’s way of assigning responsibility to someone else. The Concluder decides that there is no escape, ever, since asthma is “genetic.” This allows the Victimizer to get right to its task of insisting that you are and always will be a victim. The belief that “It’s better not to have sex since it might induce an asthma attack” gives the Judge power to determine right from wrong and to limit your pleasure. The Comparer weighs the merit of your actions. The Shamer makes you feel guilty for wanting to enjoy yourself. The Skeptic believes “Asthma limits where I can go and what I can do,” thus denying the possibility that you can do exactly what you want.

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With the help of the Committee, these beliefs become our mental children and manipulate us with their constant demands for attention. When you Focus on and separate yourself from such beliefs, you create a space of freedom. This thwarts the Committee, which counts on your enslavement to limiting beliefs for its survival.


The fourth step of the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous involves doing a moral inventory, which means that you admit (and actually list) your liabilities and look squarely at the unhappiness you have created for others and yourself. The program proposes that by uncovering your “emotional deformities” you move toward correcting them; without this you can’t experience genuine sobriety or contentment. Even though alcoholism is considered by many to be a disease rather than just a habit, Alcoholics Anonymous advises that to reach sobriety, you must take responsibility for your illness. To do this, you first look inward to determine the beliefs, desires, and thoughts that govern your actions.

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