Medicalized SocietiesCreated by:
Over the past decade, perceptions of health and illness have evolved. Previously perceived normal transitions in one’s life such as giving birth, menopause and aging are now increasingly perceived as medical conditions. Pharmaceutical companies thrive on this by producing more medications to address these concerns. It seems that there is a medicine for everything. In the Western World, for example in Canada, 12% of the population is diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Experts claim that is due to overdiagnosis due to less stringent criteria of anxiety disorders based on DSM criteria, pharmaceutical marketing and errors in diagnosis because of the subjectivity of the disease. In my current setting, I observed that medicalization occurs by increasing use of supplements, irrational antibiotic use and overtreatment of several health conditions. Although our society is not as “medicalized” as first-world countries because of the lack of funding, I think this is a problem that healthcare providers should address. Is your society becoming medicalized? If so, what do you think is the solution?