Yes, I am familiar with the placebe effect. I watched a documentary about it earlier this year and there's plenty of reasearch being done on it. As you also mentioned, for some the placebo effect can work really well. While there hasn't been much progress made in terms of understanding how it works, a few things seem to enhance the effect. For example, the more expansive the "medication" the better the result tends to be (on average). It even worked for a certain type of knee surgery.
Much like SA and many health issues, maybe in the future we'll have better understanding and diagnostics.
In my case, SA is finally gone completely (recently). I guess I was somewhat lucky and my SA issues were more context based but didn't affect how I felt in general. While I wanted to overcome it without drugs, had I known that SA reduction in certain contexts would take much longer than I expected (e.g. in the most intense case almost a decade), I may have done things differently.
As you mentioned, I know that others seem to be dealing with other aspects as well and medication can be beneficial temporary tool.
I see. Well my SA was not really "context-based" but it was not too severe. Nonetheless it was getting me really depressed. I think how you live it depends on your other personality features, on what you want to do in your life and on how you see yourself.
It also especially depends on the extent to which SA prevent you to receive what is universally needed by human beings -that's to say love-, and to give it to others.
Nice to hear that you feel better.