Did you ever notice that if you watch commercials, 50% of them seem to be oriented to some medical problem? Heck, if you watch the nightly news, 90% of the commercials have to do with some medical problem. Whether your leg is restless, you have ED, ADD, OCD, constipation, diarrhea, severe menstrual cramps, headaches, backaches, bloating, allergies, acid reflux, asthma, emphysema, or you need a wheelchair, you can’t get by without some drug.
I’m beginning to believe that to be normal you have to have an illness. In fact, I doubt there is anybody out there right now who doesn’t have something that they would consider a chronic problem. Now I’m not saying this to be cynical about the people with “real organic illnesses” and many of these other things are symptomatic and real, but at some point we have to ask ourselves, is there any symptom we have that we don’t think about as being a disease? What does it say about our society? What does it say about what we teach our children?
Perhaps this is another reason why health care costs continue to rise when everybody says they need to feel great and perfect at all times. Just my thoughts for the week and now I need to get my knee looked at by my orthopedist.
Phil Kibort, MD, is Children’s vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer. Read his bio here.