JournalismPakistan.com November 18, 2013
When did it start going so horribly wrong? There was a time not so long ago when having your medicine meant a spoonful of mixture for a cold, some chicken soup for the flu, a slug of sweet and honeyed cough linctus and that was it. You never really had pills or tablets and if the doctor ever prescribed a capsule it meant you were ill, really ill.
Amazing what strides medical science has taken in one generation. Where a dose of castor oil did the trick now you pay through your nose to the doctor so he can check you out and then give you a list of expensive medicines so you can feel better having 'coughed up' a couple of hundred dirhams in visitation and purchase of medicines.
The question then is are we a world of hypochondriacs or have we become less hardy in just a few short years? Ruined our diets. Increased our stress factor. Become more miserable as we chase the impossible dream. Have a lower level of frustration. Absorb greater doses of pollution. Live a more sedentary life, exercise, what exercise? Is our failure factor that much sharper, our self-esteem that much lower and our fear syndromes that much higher, all of these combining to create a whimpering, abject human specimen that needs pills and capsules to hang in there through the day?
In fact, so insidiously has the pill conspiracy been played upon us that we are almost proud of our dependency.
The clever use of bright colors is a marketing ploy ... why should medicine be so gaily colored unless it was to con us into quicker acceptance? This new approach to life now begins at a very young age. Parents think nothing of giving pre-teen kids broad spectrum drugs for even a sore throat. Go on, give the little blighter some amoxycillin and some ampicillin for a sore throat and throw in a little ibuprufen for luck. Twenty years ago they took a thin stick, put a swab soaked in iodine around it and asked you to say, aaahhh. Then, they painted the throat and told you to stay off the ice and cold drinks. Three days later, you were okay and hitting the ice again.
Now, it takes a kid three days of illness and 10 days to get over the cure of all those fancy medicines. Takes the stuffing out of you, that's what it does.
Even medical science has agreed that we have become so dependent on our daily dose that if we forget it or miss it on a travel trip we go into panic.
One also can subscribe to this theory that body resistance reduces like those cockroaches who come indifferent to the spray we whoosh at them so do we become resistant to the medicines, gradually needing a higher dose to get any comfort or relief. Not just that, but the natural ability to fight back reduces as the dependency on pills increases. Even if you want to quit smoking you a get a regimen of tablets.
Soon, people will invite you over for a pill-feast instead of dinner.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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