In the American society the role in which medications play is very important. We focus on them, use them daily, and believe in all the power they have. We believe that they can cure any issue we have with our body and mind. It says a lot about the American culture because we are always focused on self improvement and will go through any means to improve ourselves. Americans often fall back on excuses saying that medications are proven to help improve their condition or they have heard it works wonders for acquaintances or that it is all backed up by scientific research. However, many medications are not even approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Our culture is always obsessing over being better than everyone and succeeding and will do whatever it takes. We often even create issues to be fixed or have medicine ads point issues out to us that we did not even know were a problem. For example in one of the readings (Conrad and Potter – From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults: Observations on the Expansion of Medical Categories) it states that “A wide range of new medical categories that did not exist previously have emerged in the past four decades: attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anorexia and eating disor-ders, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), repetition strain injury, fibromyalgia, PMS, PTSD, and MCSD.” This implies that the medication industry is almost creating issues to medicate. An advertisement for Abilify (a depression treatment medication) can be found at and it has all five aspects in it. It hits the cultural values and ideologies aspect because it implies that in order to be normal, one must always be surrounded by others and want to be perfect. This also falls in to the category of social roles because of what is expected of the person. The medical information is all presented by a cartoon doctor to make it sound more reliable and important. The interaction between the doctor and the patient is that the doctor practically rescues the patient before they are completely overtaken with depression and actually pulls her out of a cartoon hole. Another strategy is showing the patient how fabulous their life is on the medication.


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