You have a health problem? Solve it quickly in your local pharmacy or online! At least, that’s the impression we get by watching advertisements. We already believe in some of them so strongly that all that “content” and “facts” seem to be indisputable. No wonder why – those great medications available without a prescription can help us quickly and without any effort. No need to see a doctor, just try them and wait for the results. But the thing is that this is a myth.
Why do we need doctors?
A cream or patches will treat herpes or a cold sore. For the spine get a piece of “special” cloth. Herbs will help with depression or constipation… The message carried through the ads is very clear, easy to remember. Although the fine print (or whispers) warns us to consult with a doctor or pharmacist, and that everything can be harmful, who actually takes this seriously? If you carefully listen to the content of advertisements, you will notice that they usually do not promise a miracle.
Marketing specialists make sure not to promise that the medicine will cure the flu, but rather ensure that it removes the symptoms of influenza, because they would bear legal responsibilities for lying. However, we see a businessman who after taking one tablet completed all business tasks and happy children who eagerly ran to school, because their mother served them some magic syrup. We believe the lady who had suffered for years because of her knee pain, and once she started wearing a special band she is healthy again. And the man, who doesn’t even remember how the back pain feels like after his wife smeared wonderful product on his back.
If one drug turns out to be ineffective we reach for the next one, encouraged by the ad. Of course with a new name. We do not pay attention to the fact that the active substance (the one that determines the effectiveness) is exactly the same. Therefore this time it will not be any better.
Of course, over the counter drugs (sold legally) have a documented effect. Of course, they often help. But the point is that it is primarily for temporary ailments. Their task is primarily to eliminate the symptoms, not to treat. Thus, even if you feel better after using the advertised medication, with serious health problems, we get sick again. If then we use again the easily available medicines, or worse, we increase the dosage, we can cause harm to ourselves.
Doctors report that we come to them with many serious health problems too late. They warn that relieving pain, which is an important wake-up call, we fall into the trap, sometimes even life-threatening. Of course, it does not hurt when you take some painkiller once, because you have a headache or toothache. But if you do not go to the dentist right away or if you decide not to seek neurological help and the headache returns accompanied by other severe symptoms (such as numbness in the hand), you will be faced with serious consequences.
Thus, there is some truth in the new myth, but you always have to use common sense.