Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Seriously? We need a birth control pill for a psychological disorder?

Ok, first off I have some seriously issues with the advertisement of drugs in the first place. But then you add in claims about the ability to treat the symptoms of a psychological disorder with a birth control pill. Seriously?

I have just recently done a report on Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (aka PMDD) and have found that there is some evidence that this is it own disorder, but not a lot. Additionally, it is one of the only psychological disorders that is gender specific. Thus, it should really give a person pause when they think about whether it is just pathologizing women's normal mood variations and their normal hormone shifts or if it is really something that is different from depression which can effect both genders. Also, it has been shown that men have the same if not more severe mood variations over the course of a month then women. So don't think that you guys are so perfect either.

I guess my major beef is that there is an advertisement on TV with an attractive woman telling us that we not only need this fancy birth control that will help our acne, but now it will also help us with a disorder that not that many women will ever have in the first place. Because of this add more women are going to think they have PMDD, they will attribute their normal mood variations to this disorder, and women's bodies will continue to be pathologized. Of course there is money to be made by pathologizing women's bodies and making women think that things are wrong with them, and thus there are the advertisements about it. (let alone the implications for the oppression of women by making them seem crazy)

So really fair blog readers, should Yaz be allowed to come onto the TV and tell us that women are crazy and they have just the pill to solve all our potentially non-disordered premenstrual issues? I mean really, WTF?

Stupid YAZ website


Aaron Frank said...

Interesting. There's also something annoyingly cutesy and faux-hip about the name "Yaz."

Anonymous said...

This would never have come up if you guys had just stayed in the kitchen.

Neil said...

haha -- saw an ad for yaz on t.v. at exactly the same time i saw this post. i had no idea that is what they were trying to say. (something about being male -- i tend to tune out when it comes to ads in general, let alone about another type of birth control...)

that said, don't they already have a pill to even out those mood variations? i believe its called valium.

Anonymous said...

the yaz ads suck and using the excuse that women are "crazy" as a way to minimize them and/or sell something to them sucks too.

but, to paraphrase a friend of mine, different formulations of birth control pills are a good step in the right direction. b/c some of them make us feel like shit (speaking strictly physically... though i'd be interested to see a study about mental health and the pill... there probably are some out there... good ones though?). sometimes i think about whether this pill that was such a wonderful invention for women to take control over their lives, should be bypassed in more situations than it is. there are alternatives out there now....

Unknown said...

The FDA sent a warning letter to Bayer about two of the TV ads for Yaz. (see link and yes, you should really read this letter)

I don't really watch TV, so I'm not sure if these are the same ads you are talking about.

Also, please note (from the FDA): "The effectiveness of Yaz for PMDD when used for more than three mestrual cycles has not been evaluated."