News from the medicalization of normalcy front

Ah, the medicalization of normalcy.  It never seems to end.

In yesterday’s New York Times, Natasha Singer has an article called “Sure, It’s Treatable. But Is It a Disorder?“.  The piece focuses upon drugs to treat premature ejaculation (PE), but the larger message is that drugmakers are now unabashedly in the business of transforming seemingly normal physiological variation into bona fide disease.  Singer tells us that,

The template goes something like this: Start with a legitimate quality-of-life issue — like fitful sleep or shyness — that does not yet have its own prescription medication and is debilitating to a few people a lot of the time. Next, position the quality-of-life issue as a medical condition with symptoms so common it covers vast numbers of people who had previously not identified themselves as having a health problem, or who thought they were just experiencing an occasional and normal annoyance. Continue reading