General

Medicalized Societies

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1 Aug 2016 - General
 

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?

Thank you for the responses everyone. I agree that there are a lot of advantages of the advancements in modern medicine - early diagnosis, prompt and evidence-based treatment, and improvements in healthcare access. However, what I meant about medicalization of a society goes beyond this. The term, "medicalization" is best defined by Peter Conrad, who wrote several articles and books about this issue. He states that “Medicalization occurs when conditions that were not previously constru...
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One time there was a feature shown on tv about a dentist who insists on the replacement of amalgam fillings because of the risk of mercury poisoning. In the feature, the dentist had protective gear to avoid contamination, and after that was shown I got a lot of texts and inquires about it. You cannot blame them, of course, what will you do when someone scares you like that? But the medicalization of the society has definitely increased because of the abundance of information in the internet.  (Total 138 words)
Living in the Philippines, some of the places are somewhat becoming medicalized. Just like in our setting, a lot of patients and responsible folks are becoming knowledgeable with their illness and believing that there should be medication for each symptoms. Sometimes they're right but mostly they're not. For my personal experienfe I get to have over a month of intermittent resting tremors due to my first time use of pulmoaid inhalations, corticosteroids and puffs for my asthma. And so I ...
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I think a lot of people living in highly urbanized areas (even in developing countries) are becoming “medicalized” as well. People seem to believe that for every ailment, no matter how minor, its better to insist on taking a drug. In self-treatment for a simple cold, for example, which usually goes away on its own in a few days, instead of eating more fruits and drinking lots of fluids, people opt to pop a pill and expect the cold to go away. Aside from this, instead of living a preventive lifes...
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Advancement of technology, namely the internet, has this glaring downside of creating a society trying to diagnose and treat disease. It has become more common recently to encounter a patient who "googled" their symptoms, diagnosed their disease, and treated it (although treatment is usually not within therapeutic dose). This is leading to a dilemma because patients are now demanding some sort of treatment for their disease even if there is no indication (i.e. viral illnesses). One sug...
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Well we cannot deny the fact that a problem did not exist because it was not diagnosed. objectively speaking, infant mortality, perinatal mortality, death from common infection, life expectancy and cure rate of cancer have all improved tremendously . As medicibe continues to advance, people have more expectation from doctors. We are more aware of psychiatric disease and their treatment . Instead of imprisoning schizophrenic patients an eternity in asylum, we are now able to stabilize their condi...
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