A worried reader writes: “Dear doctor, my wife has gone mad! He has 50 years old and to keep fit she is doing too much sport (much higher than that one recommended by her doctor). She is also obsessed with food that has to be selected and cooked according to precise healthful rituals. However she is convinced she is sick and she undergoes continuous medical visits and diagnostic tests.My life has become hell !”Dear reader, unfortunately, your wife is sick of” healthism “. What does it mean? it means she has become a victim of the imperative social and moral health which requires us to be beautiful, young, thin, healthy, so the risk to discriminate against others race, age and weight becomes concrete.
it has been created the combination of health and beauty: if we are healthy, we are also beautiful and we are admitted into the exclusive club that holds power. The body was made sacred, so while it is dead the guilt for behaviors that don’t respect each other and compromise romantic relationships, on the other remains and deepens the sense of guilt for a derogation from the diet or for not having run enough.
“Patofobic” cases have become frequent, even frightened only by the possibility of getting sick, and hypochondriacs, which they do not limit themselves to fear, but refer to accuse the symptoms, a pain to organs that, medically assessed, it appears to be healthy at all. The reason could be found in the huge progress in medical field, it has had the negative effect to move our attention on a big number of pathologies, leading us to an exaggerated series of checks and verifications, a real imperative to devote to the body health, which it can become an obsession, and degenerate bringing diseases related to the fear of getting sick.
A real example is pregnancy, where the recommended tests to rule out a possible disease they are now more than a hundred. We are all confirmed patients, undiagnosed and hypothetical sick. The obsession with diets, organic food, fitness, apps to monitor health parameters they have brought the devotees of the extreme healthiest to demonize some nutrients, choosing ” diets” without red meat, fat,oil, carbohydrates, gluten and lactose.
When all thoughts revolve around what it’s good or bad for us, fall in the pathological is not difficult. In the food sector the”healthiest” becomes fanatical orthorexia, that is selection, research and preparation of the food according to precise canons considered healthy. Orthorexics feel superior to others for their “enlightened” choices and they think that their eating habits are helpful to the planet. Research and preparation of foods become obsessive and it takes a long time with serious mental and physical consequences. We talk about Vigorexia when you are obsessed by the fitness control and muscle tone.