Why Realistic Hopes are Healing

Why Realistic Hopes are Healing Hopes

You could argue that false hope makes patients feel good and stirs the same placebo effect as realistic hope. Those are both healing benefits. Why my insistence that Healthy Survivors nourish realistic hope?

False hopes that cause no harm are not a problem, and I usually let it go. If patients believe eating an ounce of Cheetos every day will help their chemotherapy work better, I say, 'Go for it."   

As explained in False Hope, the danger of false hope is that it leads some patients to actions that cause great harm and/or it leads patients away from actions that can help. It's a tragedy if patients' belief in the healing power of Cheetos leads them to decline effective cancer therapies. 

Patients' resources are limited. Time, attention, energy and money patients spend pursuing false hopes are not being used to increase their chance of realistic hopes coming to fruition.

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