Essay on Sociology of Medicine

Social impact

Chronic diseases have also a considerable social impact because often individuals like Sarah lose their jobs and cannot take an active part in the social life, especially if they are alone. The social life of individuals with chronic diseases is definitely different compared to other people. Their chronic diseases impose substantial limitations on their social life. For instance, often, they cannot practice sport or just participate in routine activities, which other people take for granted. As a result, chronic diseases often lead to the exclusion of patients from their community and, if they do not have anyone to support them, their social exclusion can outgrow into serious psychological and mental health problems.


In fact, people with chronic diseases often feel being discriminated. For instance, Sarah was discriminated in the workplace environment since she could not perform her professional functions because of her health problems and she has lost her job. In actuality, the discrimination of patients with chronic disease in the workplace environment persists because they cannot always find a job or stay at their position after they develop a chronic disease and their physical condition deteriorates (Weitz, 102). Even though some patients with chronic disease, such as Pete, can carry on working, regardless of their health problems, the discrimination of patients with chronic diseases in the field of employment is still quite frequent.

The physical activity of individuals with chronic diseases often decreases (Weitz, 87). They cannot perform routine activities as other people do and they feel extremely uncomfortable, when they cannot do what they used to do easily before they have developed their chronic disease. However, the limitation of physical activities is a natural result of virtually any chronic disease. People have to adapt to the life with the chronic disease and often they need the support to cope with their problems and to adapt to the new lifestyle.

Moreover, chronic illnesses can lead to the development of other health problems, which are related to the chronic disease. Even if patients with chronic diseases receive regular treatment, they still cannot fully recover from their diseases. Instead, chronic diseases keep progressing and the pace of their progress depends on the treatment they receive. The better is the treatment the slower is the degradation of patients’ health (Conrad & Leiter, 125). In case of chronic disease, the degradation of patients’ health is virtually irrevocable and inevitable but this process can be slowed down substantially due to the effective treatment.


Thus, patients with chronic diseases suffer from a bunch of problems. The deterioration of their health is just a part of their problems. The lack of financial resources and social exclusion are particularly serious problems many patients with chronic diseases confront. In addition, they may suffer from discrimination. Hence, patients with chronic diseases need the help of their families, community, health care professionals, social workers and other people. They should feel being a part of the community and make their life purposeful.



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