Restless Leg Syndrom

I defined health as being physically fit, mentally stable, and, obviously, having no sicknesses. An “illness” is being anything less than healthy by its definition. My definitions have come from 20 years of being in one culture and going to school. Do I completely accept them? No. There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding whether or not to call some condition an illness or not, and what the ramifications will be if said condition is officially defined, or not defined, as an illness.

For example, I can clearly remember the day restless leg syndrome (RLS) was invented. Yes, I meant to say invented. I invite you to Google restless leg syndrome and read about it in whichever site you please. I guarantee if you went and read that it made you feel like you NEEDED to get up and move your legs because of all those creepy pins and needles you felt in your legs while reading about it. That’s how things like this work and it’s called pharmaceutical sales. They make a drug for and it the people will come. It should be the other way around, but it’s not. They are taking advantage of the culture and manipulating the people by making these “illnesses” and trying to fix things that weren’t broken to begin with. This is an illness of the society we live in.


As a female I would like to believe that menstruation is an illness, but in a way that will help women. I know from experience periods can be incredibly debilitating and may cause all sorts of problems. Because of this I feel like it should be considered an official illness so doctors will be able to help the female population with managing the symptoms. You may claim that Midol has also taken advantage of the situation by targeting a product to women and up-pricing it, even though it’s just putting a new name to the same pain killers. But what Midol has also done is subconsciously make us feel like we are not alone in the situations. Women are constantly badgered for complaining about what menstruation does to us, so it’s nice to walk down the aisle at the store and know that at lease one company is on our side.

For me, to say what should and shouldn’t be an illness is based on what kinds of problems or solutions it will bring to the people.


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  1. Molly DeMarr says:

    Although I may not agree that menstruation is a disease, many cultures deal with menstruation as just that. The Kodi of Sumba take it to the extreme. These people think that if a male has sex with a woman on her period, he will contract a sexually transmitted infection. In places such as India and Nigeria, women menstruating are forced to stay in a menstrual hut until their cycle has finished. Some citizens of Ghana and Japan do the exact opposite and embrace those during their cycle. They in turn have ceremonies where families gather, gifts are given and in some cultures a goat is slaughtered.

    From Menstrual Huts to Drinking Blood: the Weird and Wacky World of Cultural Attitudes to Menstruation, Part 1. April 13, 2013. Accessed July 5, 2013.

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