We all agree that taking care of one’s health is necessary for leading a quality life, but obsessing about your health is not a right thing, says a recent report. Researchers have termed it ‘Angelina Jolie Syndrome
The study warns that if you are paying extra attention to the probability of acquiring potentially-dangerous diseases in the future, then you are probably suffering from ‘Angelina Jolie syndrome’.
With people being constantly bombarded with knowledge of strange diseases, benefits of organic food, sanitizers, fitness fads, plastic surgery and other such methods, they tend to experience ‘Hypochondriasis’ or ‘Nosophobia’, the fear of illness or disease.
This approach has led to growing healthism- a peremptory idea of self-preserving behaviour.
Published online via Journal of Social Policy Studies, the study mentioned that people suffering from this syndrome pay higher focus on the chances of having diseases deemed as dangerous like cancer. So, they apply drastic measures to prevent these diseases from happening. This includes undergoing surgery, even on a well and healthy body. An example of this is the case of Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie who underwent a preventive mastectomy.
Aside from removing organs that could harbor cancer cells, other means of healthism are through plastic surgery, diets and consumption of organic food.
Evgenia Golman, from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), said:
“In extreme forms, healthism is close to eugenics, which selects a ‘correct’ heredity. However, even simple concerns about the ‘standards’ of physical condition may provoke hypercorrection, such as surgery on a healthy body.”
The researcher warns:
“The most dangerous thing is that such an approach stigmatises everything that doesn’t fit in with the model of a ‘healthy lifestyle.”
The study emphasize that preventive medicine helps prevent many diseases and can save a lot of resources for families.
But, obsessively monitoring every bodily manifestation and trying to adhere to mass health standards can become an object for discrimination.