Health Mongering – Widening the Diagnostic Boundaries of Health and Normality

To make better sense of what Health Mongering is, you have to know about “disease mongering.”

Disease mongering is what some people refer to as “selling sickness.” It’s the term used to describe the current phenomenon of the spread of more and more diseases to diagnose at increasing rates. This, in turn, in my opinion, makes people feel they are not healthy or normal; that they have a disorder that needs treatment.

I am actually a medical doctor who began practicing as a general practitioner or “family doctor,” as it is known in America. However, my experiences led me to question the attitude surrounding traditional medicine, particularly with disease mongering. I then started to look deeper into our concept of health and well-being, which in turn, cultivated my interest in the psychological aspects of health.

Since my particular interest is in psychiatry, let’s look at anxiety and depression as an example of disease mongering.

The statistics of the number of people who report anxiety or are depressed has just been growing further and further each year — turning people into diseases. Years ago, maybe 1% of people were depressed but now, maybe 10% will now claim being depressed. Where did the 9% come from?

So, then, what is health mongering? Health mongering is the reverse of that!

Health mongering is talking about people’s illnesses as some normal occurrence rather than something abnormal. It’s taking all those things back and saying,

“No, those people are healthy.”

Health mongering is sending a message that what these people have is not something that’s an illness. It’s saying they actually have something healthy, which is called “feeling depressed,” and that feeling depressed is actually a very useful response to the fact that things aren’t going well. It’s part of being healthy and normal. Not abnormal and “diseased.”

In fact, the natural therapists who talk about “dis-ease” are probably closer to what i think of as normal and appropriate than a lot of what is called “disease” that is put out there.

And so, I built this site, Health Mongering, to write down my thoughts, insights and reviews about health and promote further awareness of “Health Mongering.” I look forward to what comes of this, most importantly hoping for your feedback and developing a discussion around the concept of health mongering and making it more widely known.

How can you help? Well first of all you can Facebook Like this page, Google+, Stumble, Tweet etc etc. Let others know there is a place for their ideas.

And you can also post your own comments below. Disagree, agree, is this all new and still confusing to you? Let me know below.

-Dr. Martin Russell