This week we are selecting a condition we believe to be heavily medicalized. I have selected depression. The reason being is that it is simply one of the most common conditions that is treated with medication in the US. The US consumes far more anti depressants than most other countries. In terms of medicalization the US’s answer to most medical problems is “take a pill” this trend can be seen everywhere you look. TV commercials, magazine articles, and pretty much every other form of advertisement. A lot of this has to do with the pharmaceutical companies convincing people that their medications work instantly and are hands down the easiest way to “get your life back”. This has trend has a lot to say about the way american society works. Being a capitalist country they have full rights just like any other company to sell their product. I think people need to at least consider their alternative options before swallowing a pill. As a society I think we want the quickest results and we are convinced by the pharmaceutical companies that their products are just that. Now don’t get me wrong I’m sure in many cases their medications are the best option, but there are many cases where alternatives can be cheaper and more effective and as Americans we need to start thinking in terms of the long run, because everyone has heard the crazy side effects of some of those medications. Which leads me into depression. I think the reason depression is so heavily diagnosed is that pretty much anyone can say they are sad and not motivated and some doctor out there will give them antidepressants. Its not like other conditions that are observable and obvious. Like I said our cultural values are to find the fastest possible solution and move on and depression is no different. We see the commercials for anti depressants and they convince us that we need them even if we don’t. The physiological tricks they use draw us to their products and make us think that even if we don’t have depression they will only make our life better.
We have all seen this commercial. It’s goal is to make you feel like a victim and that everything is alright so long as you take this pill. Again in many cases I know that anti depressants can do wonderful things for people and can be the best and only option for their problems. I just think that there are too many people that get convinced by advertising and too many doctors willing to write anyone anything they want. Also the American people are too willing to take any pill they are told to take.