Medications play a huge role in American society. As I mentioned in the reflection post for this week, there are numerous people who rely on drugs for some sort of biological alteration. Drugs use with medicalization in context were to fix the “issues” of people through the concept of control. The drug was seen as a tool to stimulate change for a given issue, while with biomedicalization in context it is not just about bringing about change for a particular issue that is seen as a health concern, but instead it is more about the enhancement of a person by chemical aid. It’s not about just keeping you biologically healthy in the strict sense, but more about keeping your mental state where you want it to be, for example in the lecture the example used was that of Rogaine for hair loss. The loss of hair will not kill you or harm you except for your emotion.
We now view the health system and medical technologies as means for bettering ourselves beyond what we were physically give. The link in this week’s learnings about Ritalin goes to show you that drug use can be applied for multiple reasons. The drug was mainly used for regaining control over ADHD sufferers, but people who do not have ADHD found the drug useful as a cognitive enhancement. We are trying to find ways to improve the human condition beyond what our genetics have given us. It makes me wonder when the time will come when we will pop a pill and be able to dramatically change ourselves in any particular way. Will we will be hybrid humans! Success can be measured not by the normal ability but by the potential enhanced ability of people. Furthermore a good example from the week’s materials was from the information on contraceptives and their use and marketing towards managing a woman’s menstrual cycle. With a different marketing campaign the same drug used to help prevent pregnancy is now used for making a woman’s life manageable and “normal”.
I wanted to bring forth a drug commercial used for depression and analyze it. The following link is to the drug called Zoloft.
The short advertisement uses language making it sound like if you have certain symptoms (which I might add are symptoms everybody has at some time) then you might be suffering from depression and you are not normal because of it. Of course the cause for depression is not known the drug found a fix for it due to an imbalance of chemical transmitters in the brain… The drug is needed to fix the problem you have in your brain if you are experiencing these listed symptoms. The ad mentions that there is a need to see a doctor… I love the part at the end when they say, “When you know more about what’s wrong, you can help make it right.”
Their language makes sense because of the value we emphasize on the biomedical culture. We value the fact that they used terms like “chemical imbalance” because we believe that everything has a biological component to it. According to the drug company, if you experience said emotions then you have a biological problem that needs to be corrected and that you are not living a normal life because of it and it is your right.
The social roles found in the ad were that between the patient and the doctor. The drug is prescription based and enforces the biomedical culture we have discussed in the reflection for the week.