Did you all watch the ABC’s ‘Catalyst’ last night? We thought it was riveting viewing. The program questioned the wisdom of modern healthcare and its reliance on preventative medicine and put the question to a few experts; are we overdoing it?
At the end of the program it stated that next year, the worlds expenditure on pills would come to a staggering trillion times a trillion dollars. A trillion is a thousand times a billion. A trillion times a trillion is so much that I don’t have enough noughts in my possession to express it here on the limited space of my computer.
One expert came to the conclusion that the cost of breast X-rays to try and prevent breast cancer did not actually do anything to reduce the incidence of breast cancer which she proved by producing graphs of studies done on those women who had the tests done and those who had not. The incidence of breast cancer was exactly the same. She stated that the money used for breast X-rays could be put to better use. At least, that’s how we understood it. Of course anything can be proven by using graphs!
“Could our relentless pursuit of good health be making us sick? Advances in medicine have propelled health care to new heights and a vast array of diagnostic tests and drug therapies is now available. But are we getting too much of a good thing? An increasing number of doctors now say that sometimes, “less is more” when it comes to medical interventions. Some doctors are concerned that resources are being wasted on the “worried well” and that the ever-expanding definition of how we define “disease” has been influenced by vested interests. Could excessive medical interventions be causing more harm than good? Dr Maryanne Demasi examines how our relentless pursuit for good health might be making us sick.”
An interesting analogy was made by even more experts in the extraordinary increase in diagnosing depression. This is a subject close to my heart. I have a natural capacity and have always been drawn to feeling somewhat ‘down’. I have had this from birth and would not want it any other way. Sure, it does not enhance my attraction to others but I am often delighted with making friends with those owning similar attributes of the feeling somewhat ‘down’ syndrome.
Of course in Australia with its fondness of sport and endless sun with world’s largest T-bone steaks, acceptance of those with ‘down feelings’ is not exactly promoted. I suspect (but am not totally sure) that the Northern European countries would be more inclined to take to its misty bosoms and accept those that are inclined towards seriousness or even sadness. Whenever my seriousness is at risk of waning, a quick Northern Sibelius symphony will quickly restore any feelings of excessive joy or wanton pleasure.
In any case, with generously broadening the scope and breadth of clinical depression, hundreds of thousands are now on anti depressants like never before. Australia has now got the second highest rate of ingesting the ‘happy pill’. I find that a serious incursion on those that love being the way they feel.
Sad, isn’t it?