If you watch much television you are being bombarded by advertisements from drug companies extolling the virtues of talking to your doctor about a variety of common ailments. To no one’s surprise, a pill for sexual dysfunction is a bonanza for pharmaceutical organizations, but so are pills for anxiety, depression and almost every known emotional state that may challenge your ability to cope in an “adaptive” manner. Failure to cope is sometimes referred to as a maladaptive coping style. Does society promote the “idea” of our frailty and inability to cope adaptively when marketing strategies are focused on the ability to have “sex on demand” and being able to laugh our way into old age by tapping into the pharmaceutical panacea for almost anything. You name it, there’s a pill for it.
How did we all manage 100 years ago? Did people not have “stress,” anxiety, grief, depression, and sexual dysfunction? Of course they did! Do you sense that the new age of psychopharmacology encourages maladaptive behavior to a degree?
Long answer: "To a degree" is important in your statement. There is no black and white.
There is no one size fits all in this matter.
Obviously it depends on personal situation.
Consider the case of a guy going to the weekend party who keeps the blue pill handy to ensure that he is able to perform up to the mark. He's fine otherwise, but there is psychological anxiety over being able to perform for which he takes the pill. I would call this maladaptive behavior. I think such a guy should invest more in mental health than in the blue pill.
Now take the case of a couple trying to conceive but they can't because of ED. Even if the reasons behind ED in this case (let's say) are because of psychological rather than physiological reasons, I would call this a genuine problem for which medical intervention is warranted. You see, you can't expect the guy to first cure his stress or anxiety and wait for ED to go away naturally before he can have a baby. It may just become too late for the couple to take the longer route.
...I'm not sure it's any different from years ago. Many of the things that are illegal today were not then and they were used for pretty much the same thing they are used for today ie. to deal with things like “stress,” anxiety, grief, depression, and sexual dysfunction" real/or imagined. Having seen a documentary of Wyatt Earp today and reading this post called to mind the stories of his wife using Laudinum (sp) to deal with him, his job, and what was sometimes called in those days a malady that many ladies suffered with "the vapors".
I am not making any statements here about ladies in general or that they had/have a propensity for this just reporting what was common in that time.
The "snakeoil" salesmen of that time comes to mind as well. ...and there has always been alcohol.
Use and abuse, it appears to be the pattern of our current technology, whether mechanical or pharmaceutical. A very short answer for a conversation that should include wine, time, and experiments about the benefits of ED stuff.
for depression meds....i would be dead had it not been for improved mental health meds.
People used to have to suffer, some still do since it is not a perfect science.
I'm thankful for research and better medication.
I work in a hospital and know how meds can improve the quality of life.
I agree with you that we (as Americans) are over-medicated as much as we are over-stressed or over-fed. We have been indoctrinated with the idea that "there's a pill for that" - anti-depressants, Cialis/Viagra, weight loss drugs, etc - long before we had need of iPhone apps. Seems like our obsession with pills started with vitamins/minerals and herbals (ginkgo, ginseng, etc.) back in the mid-1900s but actually started by pain meds (Heroin, a drug to allegedly cure morphine addiction, was a trademark of Bayer in 1800s), not to mention antibiotics in the 1940s-50s.
I laugh sometimes because I remember that Viagra was developed first and foremost as an angina pectoris (heart pain) medication. It failed, but Erections were the side effect. Lots of happy old men (and a few old ladies) running around now.
Also, it depends on the type of TV you're watching. Formula 1 races have oil, luxury cars, and auto related adverts whereas NASCAR has more Cialis/Viagra and beer adverts. What do I watch? Let me tell you that I think Sebastien Vettel is a better champion and racer than Tony Stewart - and my car turns to the left and to the right on roads without high banking.
Ever since the dawn of man, he (or dawn of humans and he/she, if you want to be PC) has tried to alter consciousness for various reasons. It could be pharmacology, to treat an acute condition; recreational, because a few glasses of wine makes the conversation flow; or systemic, because you have problems or conditions consistently prevalent in your life that cause an emptiness/longing/need for something to cover up that emptiness.
A lot of the "old age" problems of cancer and ED didn't exist in the old days because the vast majority of people died before they reached the stage where physical age caused them problems. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at the time of Christ I think life expectancy wad 35 or so.
I think "maladaptive coping styles" are simply ways of dealing with things that people repeat. Even if the results are not what they wish, it's all they know how to do, so they repeat them and get the same results. The old Einstein conundrum. In these cases, people need to be shown that there are alternative methods of reacting to circumstances that could bring better results. Sometimes the drugs, either recreational or under the care of a guru or doctor, help with that. Other times you just need to talk to others (which could include a counselor) to find a different path.
Overmedicated? Yes. Americans want the pill to fix everything. They don't want to eat less. They want to blame the evil corporations of McDonald's for forcing them to eat Big Macs. They don't want to exercise. They blame the government for not providing them a trail outside their apartment to use for jogging.
But, at the same time, the pills often hamper negative physiological effects long enough to learn better ways to cope with the issue at hand.