Medicalization: What Is It and How Does It Work?

The phrase used to describe the practice of treating non-medical issues as if they were medical issues, most notably when discussing illness and disorder, is medicalization. Using techno-scientific interventions leads to bio-medicalization, an extension of biomedicine (Clarke & Shim, 2011). Medicalization is influenced by the medical profession’s backing, the availability of therapy, and medical insurance. Finally, medicalization has boosted the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries’ profitability and market share. The medical profession has accelerated the process through which a non-medical problem is described and handled as a medical problem and the extension of medical jurisdiction. Furthermore, it has also taken place as a result of social movements. Patients are now active partners in medicalizing their illness; doctors are no longer the only ones participating.

The aging process, which is a natural human process, has been medicalized. Aging is no longer regarded as a natural process; instead, it is prevalent that people should halt it. People are obliged to continue accepting these beliefs for the rest of their life, despite the fact that they are redundant. Medicalization is used for minor disorders that the body is able to treat on its own. Because the body would have coped with the infection on its own, antibiotics are recommended in order to speed up the healing process. More antibiotic usage and those who don’t take them correctly lead to renal failure, which is the most common complication of antibiotic use. Depression medicine is provided to those who are depressed. Suicidal thoughts and weight gain are two of the negative effects of these medicines. Many patients are being advised to take extra medicine as a result of the negative side effects.

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Reference

Clarke, A. E., & Shim, J. (2011). Medicalization and bio-medicalization revisited: techno-science and transformations of health, illness and American medicine. In Handbook of the Sociology of Health, Illness, and Healing (pp. 173-199). Springer.

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