A couple thoughts here on the nature of identity. I could be missing something(s).
Although it is hyperbolic to say; "People are amazing. We can cut our fingers and bleed playing too forcefully on the High E string of an air guitar" there appears to be something to the notion that we play a significant role in shaping our experiences through our expectations, and these expectations appear to be rooted in the echoes of events etched with various depths on to what we perceive as identity. We have a sort of experiential reverberation mechanism built on the nested array of influences that we carry from our past into our present. Perhaps a recognition of this process can help us get an oar in the water that might help us steer, at least somewhat, on the experiential currents on which we ride.
Any current perspective, meaning the things that are happening now, we use as a kernel on which we build an experience (a perception) of the current event that is, at least in part, driven by our expectations, such as the taking of a placebo and having a real symptom not connected to the current event as a result. In other words, the placebo can be a echo of our past - a real experience built on expectations. Our exposure to variables seems to be a canvas on which we paint our already pregnant expectations, which can transform whatever happens into what we expected to happen.
Everything from PTSD sufferers reliving the trauma by way of hair triggered reflexes painted on to events that do not call for them, to our tendency to find people we just met "warm" if we happen to be handed us a warm drink when we met them, or cold if we were handed us a cold drink as we me them and so on. (Solomon Asch "Forming impressions of personality." or behavioral priming research such as outlined here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efOF60dv5KQ)
Here is an article on placebos that illustrates the social phenomena.