Definition of medicalize in English:


(also medicalise)


  • Treat (something) as a medical problem, especially without justification.

    ‘doctors tend to medicalize manifestations of distress, prescribing drugs such as sleeping tablets’
    • ‘This move to pathologize and medicalize every human emotion and behavior is succeeding if one believes IMS America, which tracks the pharmaceutical companies.’
    • ‘Hence the tendency to medicalise it, treat it as a health problem.’
    • ‘Their conceptualization of their own suffering and their response to the resulting trauma stood in sharp contrast to the Western propensity to medicalize human suffering.’
    • ‘There are a lot of other factors to consider and we shouldn't medicalize all human behavior.’
    • ‘‘There is a huge move towards diagnosing and medicalising these problems,’ she says.’
    • ‘They can be considered to be the most important effort to medicalise sexuality in the 20th century.’
    • ‘‘We have medicalized our white, Anglo-Saxon society to the point where it is ludicrous,’ he said.’
    • ‘According to Illich, doctors had medicalized various aspects of life, including ageing, death, pain, patients' expectations, and healing and preventive therapies.’
    • ‘In the 1970s, and associated with the women's health movement, feminist sociologists began to study the way that motherhood was medicalized.’
    • ‘By medicalising their behavior we give medicine and the state the remit to involuntarily detain and medicate such people to prevent them from behaving in ways society finds intolerable.’
    • ‘This era of social reorganization and professionalization also brought the first widespread attempt to medicalize drunkenness.’
    • ‘I do worry about the fact that we medicalise everything.’
    • ‘While once children were called stupid, lazy, naughty or obstinate, now we have many syndromes and disorders - all still imperfectly understood - that medicalise their behaviour.’
    • ‘And what does it mean to medicalize human suffering?’
    • ‘This is especially motivated by concerns within the psychiatric profession and the general public that mental disorders are being overdiagnosed, and ordinary human problems are being medicalized.’
    • ‘If we're self-medicating, who decided to medicalise these emotions in the first place?’
    • ‘His comments prompt questions about whether raising awareness of social anxiety disorder may in fact be medicalising shyness.’
    • ‘However well meaning our action may be, it medicalises the child's condition: the parents may well feel that their child must have a serious problem because he or she is ‘under’ a specialist.’
    • ‘The long tradition of representing illness as a punishment for sin was continued when sexual behaviour was medicalised and transformed into morbidity.’
    • ‘We agree that illiteracy is not a disease that needs to be medicalized.’