Medicalization is defined as a social process where health conditions, human experiences, and behaviors are labeled and treated as medical problems. Medicalization has primarily been accelerated by the rapid advancement of science and lifestyle in the last few decades. This work will be guided by the following district research questions
Elaborate the general concept, framework and the different perception exhibited by people in regards to medicalization.
Outline different types of social condition or rather problems that people succubus to.
Identifies and establishes the various merits why social conditions are social problems
Discuss the pros and disadvantages why social condition are categorized as social problem
Discuss the mitigation measures to address social problem. This entails what have been done on the past, being done presently and what is expected to be done in future.
Concepts of medicalization
Medicalization is an emerging challenge in health care with the availability of treatment medication until recently was perceived as a normal human emotion condition and reaction. Drug treatment and therapy are metamorphosing out from offering treatment to availing enhancements to what previously was regarded as a normal functioning of the body. Over the last thirty years, the social terrain of health and sickness has tremendously changed. What was once considered and perceived as ordinary human events are now viewed as human problems. For instance, in the modern society, medicalization is promoted by three critical cultural factors. The main factors are new evidence or rather medical observation regarding mental and behavior conditions, varying social and economic attitude and through development and advancement of new medical technology, medication and sophistication of technology (Kohil, 2012).
Medicalization is evaluated by a medical professional, patients, the role and power, corporation as well as its implications for an ordinary individual whose identity, personality and decision could depend on the prevailing concept of illness and health. Medicalization is essentially anchored on the biomedical approach to diseases, one that view behaviors, conditions or rather an illness as result of a malfunction. Medicalization enhances one understanding of particular conditions from a variant upon individual social nature in regards to a deviation from an ordinary biological functioning, typically a condition that can be treated through the use of biomedicine. Medicalization is categorized into two type, social medicalization, and economic medicalization. Social medicalization is described as a form of social control where humans and their social challenges into account of the medical establishment and are subject to manipulation. On the other hand, economic medicalization refers to the transformation process of performing clinical trials into activities that are motivated substantially as a marketing vehicle than required.
Characteristics, merits and demerits of social problem
The cause of medicalization is the social condition that is exhibited by people in the population. Some of the major social conditions that have precipitated medicalization are obesity, drug abuse, sexuality, infertility, alcoholism, and childhood hyperactivity (Conrad, 2006). Obesity is a global health challenge which occurs when an individual becomes so overweight thereby posing health risks in their lives. With increased high calories food, processed food, rise in sedentary lifestyle, increase in urbanization and varying modes of transport, obesity has steadily increased which has necessitated the challenge to be labeled as a medical problem. According to health statistic, 1.2 billion in the world are affected by obesity with 25% of adult population of United States being overweight by international standards. Statistic further shows that women are adversely impacted by obesity where 60% of the people living with obesity globally are women. Death and health complications associated with obesity are vital reasons that have facilitated the obesity to treated as medical illness contrary to contrary to past where it was regarded as a normal social problem (Conrad, 2006).
Alcoholism is another social condition that incorporates an addiction to consumption of alcoholic liquors or mental illness and compulsive behaviors emanating from alcohol dependency. Alcoholism encompasses another severe health condition that has affected many people across the world demonstrating that public knowledge and understanding of its effect is crucial to reduce the statistics showing a rise in fatalities, disease, and injuries as a result of alcohol. Physicians have categorized alcoholism as an illness that deserves medical diagnosis unlike previously where it was just perceived as a normal condition. The United States statistic indicates that about 13 million adults are affected by alcoholism. Interestingly, alcoholism in united affects both genders in equal measure. For instance, 3.9 million women who translate to 30% of the population affected by alcoholism in the United States are women. Unfortunately, unlike men, women tend to experience adverse alcoholism-related problems such as abusive relationship, depression and unprecedented sexual advance (Conrad, 2007). This is the primary reason medicalization comes in, as the impact of this social condition goes beyond subscribed society and necessities medical diagnosis and medication.
The perspective of social condition as a social problem has several merits. In regards to past generation, the idea of classifying which matter was medically linked seemed incompressible among many people (Smirnova, 2017). The task of determining which social conditions were medically legitimate and thus admitted to the physician as the real illness was difficult. Categorizing social condition as legitimate illness has significantly helped those suffering from that condition. For instance, those succumbing to obesity have been subjected to medical treatment And lifestyle guidance to avert further negative impact that the conditions causes. Alcoholism which also causes several health problems has been diagnosed assisting many patients to recover from various complications. Overall, the concepts of medicalization have transformed the conditions that were once regarded as normal to a serious health problem that can be treated.
Waning of stigmatization among people with the social condition as a result of categorization of condition as a health problem is another merit facilitated by medicalization. Medical practitioners can now administer many people who have been struggling with a social condition such sexual abuse and infertility and viewing it normally, problem identified and they get treated. Previously people suffering from such condition chose to keep it away from the society because of the isolation and stagnation subjected to them. Moreover, the perennial misconception on what is legitimate to be treated or not have been made clear and people can decide on contacting medical assistance when they have any condition perceived socially (Van. 2016). This has significantly reduced the suffering of people internally who have been suffering due to inadequate knowledge of whether such condition is treatable. Such health condition such as heart disease contributed to obesity, liver cirrhosis and early identification are being diagnosis o0n time which has reduced health risks among this patients.
Measures initiated to contain and address the effects of social problem
Substantial efforts have been initiated to address both present and future social problems. According to Kohil (2012) effective diagnosis in the past has been effective in establishing treatment to a distinct social problem that patient have succumbing to. He further shows that encouraging debate and comprehension of medicalization and the associated social problem has between critical in reducing its menace. Van at al (2016) argues that assisting people to understand and appreciate that illness is medical and socially linked has enhanced people perspective of embracing medical assistance when they are struggling with social challenges. Moreover, facilitating people to understand the severe limitation, extents, and risk of medication has been a crucial tool in the past to mitigate the effect of social problems. According to Conrad (2017) he views that moving away or rather shunning away from corporate-funded information in regards to a medical condition has been a fundamental component in the past to solve and find a solution to social problems.
The important effort, initiatives, and program are also being rolled down presently to tackle myriads of difficulties associated with social problems. Kohil (2012) argues that the generation of the independent, accessible provision on conditions and social diseases problem has significantly reduced and normalizes challenges of social conditions. This excise has promoted non-medical concepts of responding well to a social problem more appropriately and knowledgeable. Another crucial strategy that has been employed to solve a social problem is spread of knowledge through the various platform such us through the internet to increase the awareness on effective ways of managing the social condition. Encouraging the individual to embrace self-care also incorporates another vital approach that has been effective in dealing with the implication of social problems. In general, all this initiative have been primarily established to evaluate ways to find the solution of the social problem which has become a severe challenge in the modern society.
Despite what has been done and what is being done in addressing a social problem, I feel there is need to widen further the scope of dealing with this challenge more appropriate in the future. Some of the Ideal approaches I feel can assist in addressing the social problem include establishing more organization such as natural childbirth trust which has been paramount in providing insightful information to people affected by this problem (Smirnova,2017). It is also essential to encourage people to resist consuming direct and misguiding advertising which has been responsible for decelerating this condition. Any information perceived to misguide the populating living with this problem should be avoided with the utmost contempt. This strategy will be vital I addressing social problems that have been persisting among the majority of the populace.
Conrad, P. (2006). Identifying hyperactive children: The medicalization of deviant behavior. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Conrad, P. (2007). The medicalization of society: On the transformation of human conditions into treatable disorders. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press
Kohli, S. (2012). Medicalization: A Growing Menace.
Smirnova, M., & Owens, J. G. (2017). Medicalized addiction, self-medication, or nonmedical prescription drug use? How trust figures into incarcerated women's conceptualization of illicit prescription drug use. Social Science & Medicine, 183, 106-115.
Van Dijk, W., Faber, M. J., Tanke, M. A., Jeurissen, P. P., & Westert, G. P. (2016). Medicalization and over diagnosis: what society does to medicine? International journal of health policy and management, 5(11), 619
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