Depression

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vfSFXKlnO0

This advertisement for Zoloft is in my opinion pretty convincing. I think it is targeting those who don’t realize they have it, and those who would normally try to correct the symptoms on their own. It says things like, these symptoms are effecting your life. The commercial is hinting that people who are depressed cannot be successful or are being held back from that success and happiness because of their depression. They try to give you a story of how the “character” was  before the medication (lists symptoms common to depression) and then how they character was after starting Zoloft (smiling; a flower grows etc.). The music follows this idea, starting sad fading out then moving to a really happy cheerful song then the character has started taking the medication. It shows that the “ideal” person should not experience periods of sadness.  The agonist is the character before medication and the protagonist is the character once they have taken it. Not that I don’t agree that depression is a problem, I just think this commercial says that in a social sense sadness is seen as a problem, when it is a very natural thing for people to experience, sometimes even often if in a specific time of a persons life. I think the thought that everyone should always be happy comes from the idea that there is a medication to combat any negative thing we experience is becoming more popular. Which is why this Zoloft commercial  would seem appealing. The presentation of medical information, such as the side effects and worries are said in a calm, quite voice and spoken very quickly, as they are in most commercials. This has always upset me, it is so obvious they they do not want you to focus on that part and that side effects are not a big deal. It probably works for them, but to me it just shows their real initiative, which is of course, to get you to use their product.

The role of medications in American society overpowers just about anything else. I can’t think of anything besides sleeping and eating that is just as common in our culture. I think our belief of medications and dependance on them shows a few things. First, a lack of belief in ourselves, we don’t think we can be happy, or successful, healthy, and even normal without some type of medication. To me this says that all of our success can be attributed back to the medications that we take. The medications we take effect not just what they are designed to effect, but often many other things as well. The film, pill poppers talks about how birth control has had a huge social effect in our culture. It has totally changed the way women think, and allowed them to be a lot similar to men in a lot of ways. I am not saying it is a bad thing, I am just saying it is important to consider these things when making new medications.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. phill612 says:

    From a cultural perspective depression is only accepted because we have a medication like Zoloft to subside the symptoms. Unfortunately, like you stated Breanna, anyone who may feel sadness even if it is only situational may seek this treatment from a doctor because of the way this advertisement portrays depression. In our society we want everything to appear fine and happy even when it is completely normal to go through periods of sadness. By creating this unachievable ideal person within society we are creating a dependence on these drugs that have considerable risks that may not be worth it in some cases. We are treating everyone the same instead of keeping these medications for the ones that are chronically depressed and saddened. Commercials like these are allowing the average person to self-diagnose themselves and plant phrases in their mind when seeking help. This ideal person that we are trying to achieve in every aspect of ourselves is fueling the pharmaceutical industries economy. In the Conrad article it is stated that Ritalin alone provided fifteen percent of Ciba’s profit margin (Conrad 568). That is a huge margin for a single medication, in my opinion this shows that Ritalin is way over-prescribed. Their goal is to sell products and if they can get more people to think there is something biologically wrong with them they will sell more products, in this case Zoloft. I do also agree with you Breeana that the rattling off of these risk factors makes them appear insignificant and I find it unsettling to have this message portrayed to the general public.

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