Seasonal Allergies

The use of medications in American society has skyrocketed over the past 50 years to the point it would look like an exponential function if it was to be graphed. There is a pill for nearly everything nowadays. With the transition into biomedicalization in American society we are seeing a huge increase in the amount of ‘enhancing’ medication that  is used on a daily basis. Many Americans, in my opinion, feel like they need to take medications daily in order to live a normal, healthy life. For example my girlfriend takes vitamins for ‘healthier’ hair, skin, and nails every morning and takes melatonin (sleep aid) at night. She claims that if she stops taking the vitamins her skin becomes dry and her nails brittle and she cannot fall asleep or get a full night’s rest if she doesn’t take the melatonin. It’s similar to young man in the Pill Popping video that is given ritalin. He does not have ADHD but says it helps or enhances his cognitive function. It’s also kind of similar to the busy overworked mom who was given or prescribed Prozac in order to get through her day and be happier. While being busy, overworked,  and raising children can be very difficult and stressful I don’t believe its debilitating and requires medication. However if the Prozac gets mom through the day and enhances her health and well being I feel like it would be very welcomed on a daily basis but not a necessity.

Here is a short clip of an advertisement for Allegra D the fast acting non drowsy antihistamine with a powerful decongestant!

The video shows only women in the advertisement and to me the cultural value aspect would be the ability to enjoy being outside, around dogs (and babies?) while being able to breathe unrestricted with no congestion or pressure. It also touches on the social role of a woman and raising a child. The woman pictured is smiling ear to ear while she holds a baby and takes a full breath through her nose. The advertisement also presents the medical information with a ‘D’ (from the D of Allegra D) in that it D-congests and D-pressurizes. The clip also shows all of the women smiling and acting very happy because they are now free from the congestion and pressure associated with allergies. It makes sense though, if you’ve ever had a sinus infection or get seasonal allergies you know that the congestion and pressure, especially the pressure can make you absolutely miserable.


This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Victoria Heilmann says:

    In the commercial that you looked at the advertisers really seem to make seasonal allergies out to be an illness even though many people may not think of it as one. It makes them seem like they are such a big issue because it is too difficult to do all the nice things the women enjoy doing or I suppose smelling. The cultural forces that make this an illness and a problem that needs to be fixed are basically that women need to be able to play and love their babies and dogs. It is almost implying you can not properly mother unless the congestion is solved and you can smell you baby or dog. You also should be able to go out side and shove you face in flowers and take deep breaths or else you are doing something wrong. The only solution is the medication, which is a biomedical intervention. The medication eases all your trouble by relieving congestion and sinus pressure and allowing you to smell everything. This is somewhat explained in the Conrad article when it is noted that there have been cases where a single drug can lead to its own phenomenon where a whole new category of “illness” is created and several drugs are created to aid the new illness. This could be the case with seasonal allergies because it is a more recent phenomenon and there are now a huge number of medications for it.

    Conrad, Peter, and Deborah Potter. “Society for the Study of Social Problems.” . (accessed August 3, 2014).

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