A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.


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?

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12 Responses to “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    We watched Catalyst last night, Gerard. I had had a few suspicions for a long time that medical tests etc. are perhaps overdone in our society. I am glad, that the medical profession and serious experts are starting to questions these things now and initiate discussions. Will it lead to a reduction in prescriptions? Who knows?
    We also watched “Making Families Happy” straight after Catalyst. I would have a lot to say about this program. There is going to be a follow-up to this program about family happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We sometimes watch Catalyst. Last night’s was very interesting. Is the system profit driven by the medical profession more than ought to, or are patients demanding medication when a good diet or giving up bad life-style habits would be better?


  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Well- I think some tests are probably over done and some are not ordered to the extent of proper usage for a definitive diagnosis. It all depends on the MD and if folks have insurance and if folks ask for certain tests. I don’t hesitate if I think I need a particular test but fortunately I have a MD that is a GP but who is very smart. I don’t need to ask for any tests for he’s very up on symptoms, etc.

    I am predisposed to ‘feeling down” and used to take an anti- depressant. The anti- depressant that worked for me can not be taken with my anti hypertensive med so I must buck up and do the best that I can without a med. Sometimes it is rough to get through a day and I have to make myself carry on- eat, exercise, shop, take care of the pets, etc. It is not fun and it is “SAD.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      ‘If folks have insurance’, That seems to sum up the situation in the US, as tourists are advised when going to the US to have adequate insurance cover. If you brake a leg it can costs you your house!
      I had an exhaustive test done, all for free as a service for those over 75. Apparently I do not need wooden legs or any artificial aids as yet. The main concern seems to be for the elderly to have smoke alarms and grab rails in the bathroom to haul themselves up from the loo.
      I hope you feel Ok Yvonne. Thank goodness for our pets. I remember some-one saying once; the more I get to know people, the more I like my dog.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    I believe many of us are over medicated, it’s bad here. You just have to say “Hi” to a doctor these days and you get an antibiotic prescription. Same goes for vaccines, while many are good…too many are bad.
    We don’t have to worry about antidepressants here for very much longer, now we have the legalization of marijuana on the ballot, that should take care of it.
    This all beats me and leaves me puzzled.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it is bad here in Australia too. I know that over the counter medication would be impossible to get in Holland where they are much stricter about people shopping for pills. Even Panadol has to be given a prescription for in many European countries.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I seem to be too stupid to feel “down” too often. As my sainted grandma used to say: “Something will come up”. and it usually does in spite of us. Dr. A is uncompromizingly cheery. Quite annoying really.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stuartbramhall Says:

    It’s really sad how much diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity and cancer could be eliminated if doctors would ditch the so-called food pyramid instead of trying to get them to eat low fat high carbohydrate diets. The food pyramid was adapted in the late 70s without a shred of research supporting it – and it’s causing severe chronic illness for the majority of industrialized society.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, there has to be something going on when despite all the (ill) advice on nutrition many illnesses are on the rise. Sugar and lack of moving around seems to be the main culprit. People now appear to find it a most harrowing experience to cross a street without slurping some sugary drink, bite into a carton of heaven knows what, while texting messages to friends who are doing exactly the same. (slurping and eating)
      Ambulances are driving in and out of hospitals, sirens blaring, lifting the victims onto the stretcher hoping to be able to revive them in time.


  6. Curt Mekemson Says:

    The health care industry, and particularly, the drug industry, has done a great deal to convince us that we are sick and need whatever pills they happen to be pushing at the minute. Ditto with much of the rest of the health care industry. It used to be that seeing a dentist once a year was considered good practice. Now dentists insist we should see them twice a year. I wonder why? Procedures that once costs a hundred dollars, now cost a thousand dollars, or ten thousand. The list goes on and on. Fast food industries do everything they can to convince us that we should be eating thousand calorie hamburgers.

    Do we share responsibility. Of course we do. Eating less, eating healthy, and a modicum of exercise would do more than anything else in the world toward curing what ales us. Good blog. –Curt


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