Leonore Tiefer, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, said a "slippery, blurry border" between the social and medical dimensions of health makes it nearly impossible to define what constitutes a medical condition anymore.
"It's just not so clear about what's a disorder, a dysfunction, a disability," said Tiefer, whose research on so-called "female sexual dysfunction" has challenged the medicalization of common sexual behaviors and functioning. "Throughout history, the boundaries have moved around. Medicine proceeds in ways that perhaps are not so obvious, and drug development does, too. How do you know something is a medical condition at all, unless it leads to immediate death? You add on these considerations that seem to nail it down, but it turns out they don't really nail it down."
Learn more about lifestyle drugs from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
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