If you’ve turned on the television or the radio, no matter where you live you must have heard them. Those pharmaceutical commercials that tell you, if you’re experiencing a list of certain symptoms that there is something urgently wrong with you. You must call your physician right away so he can prescribe their life-saving medications to you and if you don’t you will be very sick or in many cases die.
Although most everyone will agree that these commercials are annoying, most people are not aware of the actual damage…
they are causing you whether you are actively watching them or indirectly such as when you are eating dinner, speaking with friends or even sleeping with the television on Suggestions are a very interesting conditioning tool. The unique thing about suggestions is that no matter who gives them to you, you will always react to them. You may react favorably by accepting them or you may react negatively by rejecting them. That is also the basis of hypnotic conditioning. The interesting thing is that even if you don’t accept the suggestion, it is still working in your mind. The reason for this is that the subconscious mind does not understand negative. Here is an example: Try not to think of the color red. Notice how when I say not to think of the color red, in order to not think of it you have to think of what not to think about. If someone yells out to you, “don’t look down” as you are walking what happens? You look down.
Since the mind does not understand negative, when you say things like any of the following statements you are drawing to you the exact thing that you are trying to avoid.
“I don’t want to be like that homeless guy on the street.”
“I never seem to have enough money to pay my bills.”
“I don’t want to have a cold.”
“I don’t want to lose my job.”
“I hope I don’t get stuck in traffic on the way to work.”
In each one of these cases, it would be as if your subconscious mind were saying, “Make it so, make it so, make it so.”
I recently read a story describing the strong power of suggestion. It’s about a gentleman that was accidentally locked inside of a large freezer overnight. Even though he was locked in the freezer he was still able to breathe. In the morning when they were looking for him the freezer was finally opened and the gentleman was found inside frozen to death. The really amazing part of the story is that the freezer had never been plugged in and it was the middle of summer. It was the power of his own suggestion that froze him.
Let’s take a moment to break down the basic pharmaceutical commercial pattern. They begin by asking you if you have been experiencing one of a long list of symptoms. Among the list of symptoms are several things that almost anyone can relate with. In the case of depression medication they may start out with a question such as, “Do you ever feel sad, down or lonely?” These are things everyone has experienced at one time or another in their lives. It does not mean that they are depressed. If you do find that one of the symptoms relates to you, all of a sudden they have your attention. You are focusing on the commercial.
If the list of symptoms does not catch your focus then maybe the subliminal style video going on in the background will. Many times they have nothing to do with the medication mentioned at all. I was watching one along the lines of someone fishing with their son, in a row boat, in the middle of the lake, on a calm summers evening, with beautiful music in the background. All of a sudden my wife startled me by asking me if I realized I was watching a commercial about erectile dysfunction. I was pulled in so well by the beautifully orchestrated video that I had no idea consciously what was being said in the commercial. That is a classic form of hypnosis that is used by many professionals in their office.
So the stage has been set with the idea that you have something wrong with you and exactly what it is. By the way one of the key ingredients in an effective hypnosis session is an emotional response. Fear is one of the best emotional motivators. Now they can move in as your savior by telling you they have the solution in the form of a little blue or green miracle pill. All you have to do to get this mystery pill is to call your doctor and tell him what you have been experiencing.
The next important step in this process is getting you to call your doctor who is a third-party influence and holds a position of authority. The same type of authority as your parent, minister, and even your employer in some cases. They are all respected authority figures and we tend to relinquish much of our control or decision-making powers to them.
The last piece of the puzzle is the disclaimer. The disclaimer is the part of the commercial where they speak quickly to get out the negative aspects or outright deny things that were previously stated in the commercial. This sometimes sound like a used car commercial. It’s required by law that they inform people of the possible side effects. If you took the time to really listen to all the possible things that can happen to you by taking the medication as stated in the disclaimer you’ll find that many of them are worse than what would happen if you didn’t take the medicine at all.
Your subconscious mind acts as a sort of tape recorder that records every single impulse or suggestion going on around you, whether you hear it directly or indirectly. It doesn’t miss a trick. Even though you may only be able to do one or two things simultaneously consciously, the subconscious mind is limitless to the amount of things it can do.
These commercials are also extremely effective on those who go to with their television or radio running. The majority of these commercials seem to run overnight and during dinnertime. They are more effective at these times because at night while you are sleeping your subconscious mind is still recording everything that is going on around it. It is taking in the suggestions openly without any hindrance or rejection. During dinnertime, it works the same way as you are speaking to your family or otherwise occupied and not thinking about turning it off. The television is still within earshot and everything is being recorded by the subconscious.
In the title we said to ask your doctor. That statement was simply used as a humorous point just as these commercials consistently use it. In fact, if you did ask your doctor their opinion about the subject, chances are they would deny that this happens and be on the other end of the fence due to the kickbacks many of them receive from the pharmaceutical companies.
If you’ve ever spent any time sitting in the reception area of a doctor’s office you would see a virtual parade of drug peddlers or sales reps as they are known, waiting in line to meet with the doctors. You will also notice that they are usually clutching rather large bags or even suitcases filled with huge quantities of free samples of the most popular and expensive medications to give to the doctors as incentives to push more of their products. Of course there may be a few doctors who actually pass on the free samples to their clients but how many of them prescribed them to their clients, charging their insurance companies full price so they can pocket the profits? Yes, medicine is big business and very lucrative one at that.
Many of these pharmaceutical companies don’t stop at just giving free samples but have been known to offer many other incentives to include exotic vacations, vehicles, airline tickets and contests. As you know, even the strongest of characters can be corrupted if the bribe or incentive is right. Not that I’m insinuating that these well intended incentives are bribes you understand.
I’ve had the opportunity in my capacity as a hypnotherapy instructor to train many doctors, psychiatrists and pharmacist and have been stunned by what I have heard that goes on. The way that prescription medication is pushed to the unknowing public is not only mind-boggling but in my opinion bordering on criminal. I have heard countless times how in Nursing Homes alone many unneeded drugs are prescribed automatically to everyone as a base whether they need it or not. I’m sure many of you have heard the horror stories of how some elderly patients are given so many medications that many of them counteract each other thereby creating more health problems and even death.
Where does it end? What can be done about it? To answer the first question, it will probably never end. As long as we have pharmaceutical companies who are more interested in their bottom line than helping people, it will continue. As long as they are legally allowed to push their drugs from the general media, it will continue.
What can be done about these harmful commercials? Plenty. The first step is awareness that this type of conditioning is taking place. Let as many others know about it as possible. When you see or hear that one is beginning, be sure to mute it, change the channel or better yet turn it off. Remember that if it is within earshot, even if you are not listening to it directly, you are still accepting the suggestion.
You can also practice what is known in the psychiatric world as “thought stopping”. As soon as you hear one of these negative commercials coming on you would simply say to yourself out loud the word “Stop”, or “Cancel”. Of course be sure that you have muted or eliminated the commercial as soon as possible. Once you have used the thought stopping process, be sure to change your line of thinking to something of a positive nature and go on with your day.
Bottom line, when it comes to pharmaceutical advertising, “Just say no!”
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