The condition that is heavily medicalized that I chose to discuss is ADHD. I feel that the reason that this condition is medicalized in the U.S. culture is because people
believe that there is always a cure for something, in this case being hyperactive. ADHD is defined as “a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination” of the three. As stated before, it is our culture’s thinking that there is a cure for everything, which in this case is an over-active, inattentive child. I’m not trying to discredit the condition as a whole, as I know a number of people that have those issues. I also knew people growing up that went through a phase in their youth of being constantly active and distracted, but grew out of it as they became older. Some of those kids were given medication and others weren’t, it all depended on their parents and doctors. What I just previously described is the cultural force of the disease. Politically and economically there is a lot to gain from the over medicalization of ADHD. Drug companies that produce ADHD medications have a lot to gain economically with the prescribing of their medications. Physicians that prescribed medications from specific drug companies often receive kick-backs from those companies. Politicians that lobby for these drug companies often receive campaign donations in return.
The advertisement that I chose is for the ADHD drug Concerta. The strategy for this ad
employs the use of a young boy, boys are more commonly diagnosed with the disorder, attempting to concentrate on doing his homework, difficulty concentrating is a common ADHD symptom and complaint. The ad plays on the ideology that all students should be quite, respectful, under control, and receive good grades. The medical information is presented in lettering significantly smaller than the rest of the text and at the bottom of the page. The only method used to draw attention to this information is the bolded statement “Important Safety Information” that comes before it. There are no doctor/patient interactions found in the text or in pictures, but the ad does state to “contact your healthcare professional about Concerta.”
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002518/