The following link is one for a drug names Cymbalta, which has been advertised to “cure” depression and/or the symptoms that depression causes in people. I believe that is an incredibly huge widespread issue particularly across the United States. It’s not so much actual depression that worries me, but rather the means we go to as a society to try and cure and medicate the people who have this illness. I believe that it is an extremely over medicalized illness, and at some points even over-diagnosed. This issue has gotten extremely more prevalent over time and society and media tend to revolve around uses of medication to heal all illnesses in general. As mentioned in lecture, uses of medication have evolved from medicalization to biomedicalization of illnesses and health issues. In other words, society began by creating medication to control bodies and behaviors, and eventually advanced to ENHANCING said bodies and behaviors. It is no surprise then that we continuously enhance medications and our bodies, and then use mass media to enforce it upon the people. Unfortunately this outlook on society does not come with a positive connotation. It shows that as a whole, we are more concerned with making a profit off of people than we are about their health. As doctors, the more medications that are prescribed, the more money they make, therefore our values do not exactly lie in the right place.
In this particular advertisement, it shows first and foremost that depression is an unacceptable illness that MUST be taken care of immediately. It shows those affected to be outcasts of society, usually on their own in a dark room or a secluded corner. In this way, they show that as a depressed individual you cannot function normally in society, nor will you be accepted as a “normal” individual in society. This particular actually gives a lot of insight into American culture, and shows that we tend not to accept those who are depressed unless they receive help or medication for it. This is shown by the happy families of “cured” patients, and the incredibly different contrast of those with the illness shown not interacting with their families whatsoever. In this way, the expected social roles of society are also shown as you see the “loving” mother/father swinging their child around and smiling when taking cymbalta, while the oppsoing “sick” patient neglects their child and family. What I found most interesting about this particular advertisement though, was that it did not show friendly doctors giving advice to smiling patients, but rather it presented it’s medical information at the very end of the film. By using the happy families and smiling faces as a distraction at the end, you forgot to listen to the medical information being presented to you. In short, they used the social stigmas of depression and direct-to-consumer advertising strategies to make you believe that if you are depressed, medication is your only way out.