If you need facts for your next essay on medicalization as a social concept, look at the items below:
- When medical problems are described in medical terms it is referred to as medicalization. This is a process by which non-medical situations are framed as something which requires medical treatment even if this is not true. This process can be detrimental to individuals because it causes otherwise normal human behavior to be rebranded as something like a medical condition.
- For many decades homosexuality was viewed as a mental illness. Even today one can find educational videos shown in public schools, and created by public schools, which emphasize the dangers of the homosexual medical illness. These videos talk heavily about how people who want to cultivate relationships with someone of the same sex suffer from a mental illness for which they must receive treatment. For many decades this belief, this medicalization of a simple biological aspect of humanity, one which is completely natural and has been observed in the animal kingdom since the beginning of time, led to a great deal of persecution and misunderstandings. It caused many people to believe that this normal human behavior was actually a severe medical condition.
- Bodily responses to regular processes such as inflammation or weight gain are viewed as problematic. This is another example of the medicalization of physical fitness. Because anyone who does exhibit a certain percentage of fat is viewed as unhealthy, this normal human state is now recognized as a medical condition. Now people, who are slightly overweight, are a regular target to diet and lifestyle suggestions and considered to have a medical condition for which medical treatment is required. This has led to a great deal of diet pills and eating supplements marketed to people of all ages. This has led to even more severe responses such as hypertension medication being given to children. People are immediately changing to the counter medications as though they were candy to treat simple ailments such as a swollen leg after a jog for a swollen shoulder muscle after lifting a heavy object. These are natural bodily responses to the everyday wear and tear that takes place on human bodies and yet the medicalization of such items has made them appear as though they were medical conditions which necessitate treatment.
- When the medicalization of any natural behavior becomes a socially accepted idea, it interferes with the regular processes of the human body. What might be a normal human function like converting simple and complex carbohydrates into sugars and therefore into insulin in the blood, become viewed as something detrimental or negative. Once it is viewed as a medical condition which requires medical treatment, people begin to take medications which interfere with the way the body works. This interference becomes permanent and leads to the additional reliance upon other medications which also interfere with natural behavior and human function. Rather than taking it upon oneself to monitor the food that is eaten, people will instead view their high blood sugar content as problematic in a single instance and take medication to stop the body’s production of insulin. While this is a natural occurrence that does take place in cases such as diabetes, many people today still bring this situation upon themselves by taking medications.
- Simple illnesses which the body can fight naturally become medicalization gold. People will take antibiotics to help treat a simple infection which the body would have otherwise treated on its own. The more antibiotics are taken, and the more people fail to take them properly, the worse it is for the kidneys. When this happens the kidneys are no longer able to function properly which can result in renal failure.
- Any form of hormones taken by males or females are done so generally as a result of the medicalization of regular human behavior. And when this takes place it alters the body permanently. If the body generates a specific number of specific hormones each day, taking hormones in the form of medication will trick your body into believing that it has already generated the proper amount for that day. In doing so the body then cuts back on the total amount that it generates regularly. This means that if you stop taking your medicalized hormones your body will no longer produce the amount of hormones that it needs because it has been tricked into already thinking that it does. And when this happens the end result is that people have to stay on the useless medications for the long term which then leads to the same problem reoccurring and often in many other systems of the body simultaneously.
- The aging process has recently fallen victim to the medicalization of normal human processes. While aging was viewed as a regular event, something which was not only natural but beautiful, it is no longer so. Current social constructs of opinion leaders to believe that the aging process is bad and that all items associated with the aging process should be mitigated if not rectified. The result of this is that health care provides a variety of medications to treat the natural process of aging. All of these notions are unnecessary and yet people have to continue taking them for the rest of their lives once they start.
- Regular human emotions and reactions to their environment are natural human processes and yet thanks to the medicalization of health, many people now believe that being in touch with their emotions and responding in an emotional fashion to certain situation warrants unnatural behavior and medical treatment. In many cases depression is a mental state of being which can be controlled by the individual and which a perfectly natural response to certain situations is.
- Many times the emotional well-being of an individual impacted by changes in their life such as tragic events or hormones. And yet today these are viewed as negative things which must be rectified with pharmaceutical treatment. This leads to a series of negative ramifications in the form of secondary symptoms to the original medication prescribed.
- Individuals who are told that they suffer from depression because they are being sad about a few things in school are given medications. These medications cause side effects such as suicidal thoughts and weight gain. As a result people are being told that their weight gain must be rectified with additional medication. The suicidal thoughts must be halted immediately with another set of medications and both of these bring about new secondary symptoms and side effects the same as the original medication. This circle goes around and around for everybody who has ever been victim of medicalization.
We hope these facts will find their place in your future essay. You might as well check our 20 topics on medicalization as a social concept backed with 1 sample essay as well as our guide that shows how to write an argumentative essay on this topic.
Baillargeon, Denyse. Babies For The Nation. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009. Print.
Conrad, Peter, and Joseph W Schneider. Deviance And Medicalization. St. Louis: Mosby, 1980. Print.
Conrad, Peter. Identifying Hyperactive Children. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1976. Print.
Conrad, Peter. The Medicalization Of Society. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. Print.
Frances, Allen. Saving Normal. New York, NY: William Morrow, 2013. Print.
Georges, Eugenia. Bodies Of Knowledge. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008. Print.
Hunt, Nancy Rose. A Colonial Lexicon Of Birth Ritual, Medicalization, And Mobility In The Congo. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999. Print.