Lots of people feel special bonds with celebrities and are often inspired by their personal stories. But you would think it was strange if someone revealed that they were compelled to see a doctor about their mild depression after reading an article about how Gwyneth Paltrow suffered a bout of depression.
A recent article published on Physorg.com, an online resource for science and technology news, revealed that people are often inspired to seek treatment or feel more comfortable about an illness after reading articles written about celebrities battling illness as well. You can read the full article here.
The concept of people feeling as if they have a personal relationship with celebrities isn’t new but it’s certainly become more prevalent with the uprising of social media and instant access to the lives of coveted entertainers, but medical advice?
It seems like everyone has something to say about health and medical issues. Oprah is certainly no stranger to putting her two-cents and medical experts in the ring.
Sometimes this information is good. It provides sound medical information in a fashion that is better understood by the general population at a fraction of the cost of a doctor’s visit. Dr. Oz is a great example of a beneficial integration of medicine and entertainment. Dr. Oz’s segments on Oprah led to his own show and a special place in the hearts of Americans.
Other times medical advice from celebrities can pose a threat if not researched properly and applied appropriately. One example of this is Jenny McCarthy. McCarthy’s campaign to eliminate “unnecessary” inoculations for children with the belief that they can cause Autism is a tricky issue. Though some research does exist that shows a link between the two issues it isn’t conclusive and parents should consult their own doctor before pursuing this sort of treatment which could potentially result in the death or illness that could have been prevented by inoculations.
What does celebrity medical advice mean to you? Do you think it’s an opportunity to spread awareness or just a ploy for attention? Would you look into their claims before you adopted their treatment or just assume if it’s good for them, it’s good for me too? Is it right for celebrities to use the media for their own agenda?