According to a study led by Brandeis University sociologist Peter Conrad, many aspects of being human are increasingly being defined as disorders ripe for diagnosing and treatment. Along with the fact that normal people may no longer be able to see themselves as normal, this results in rapidly escalating U.S. healthcare spending.
The Brandeis research team cites numerous examples of how mainstream medicine has been outdoing itself medicalizing these problems. Menopause was one example of this. It is not a disease, it is a normal part of being female, yet many physicians treat it like a condition that needs drugs and hormones. An excitable child must have ADHD and is treated with Ritalin.
"Conrad and his colleagues used national data to estimate the costs of these and other common conditions -- including anxiety and behavioral disorders; worries over body image; male pattern baldness; normal sadness; being overweight; difficulty in sleeping through the night and substance-related disorders. In order to document what role medicalizing these problems could be playing in escalating U.S. healthcare spending, the Brandeis research team evaluated current data showing just how much medical spending results from the diagnosing and treatment of these 'conditions'."