Old Age

The condition that was most difficult to put into either category as being an illness or not being an illness was old age. I do not believe old age is an illness in itself. I chose to focus on menstruation, insomina, and old age. When it comes to menstruation as a woman I would say that menstruation is an illness. I personally experience very intense menstruation cramps and it gets to the point where I cannot consume food because my pain is so intense that I cannot keep any food down without taking my medication to avoid pain and vomiting. When it comes to old age it is a natural part of life that every will face. Old age is like a right of passage that people experience in life and can be seen as an illness in a sense because it leads to the deteriorating of a person’ physical and mental health. Experiencing old age is a part of life and an illness.

I do not believe insomnia is an illness because it can be properly treated and avoided and there is no direct physical pain that a person can experience if they miss a few nights of sleep. When it comes to defining health I believe health is the physical and mental well being of a person. Illness is the sickly alignment or condition that the person is in. The deciding factors depend on the physical and mental symptoms that the person is experiencing. Biologically, genes and the person’s physical environment pay a significant impact on the person’s health. I think these ideas came from society through the family and they have been passed on from generation to generation. However, I do believe that today the media plays a major role in promoting certain health concepts and ideas with advertisements and commercials. Old age is not really an illness in itself. However, it can in turn lead to health problems over time but that can also be the result of what your body was experiencing during the early and middle stages of your life.

2 thoughts on “Old Age

  1. I thought it was interesting that while some of the blog posts I’ve read classify menstruation as a natural, normal process and therefore not an illness, you have the personal experience to say that it definitely is. I’ll admit, I initially had agreed with the other blog posts, but after reading yours, I think the definition of illness in general can be a very personal, case-by-case issue. Vomiting and pain are symptoms of illness in my book, and since illness is the “personal experience” of a condition, the fact that you classified your menstruation as an illness makes it one.

    After doing some research on how different cultures view aging, my main finding is that Americans view old age as an illness more often than other cultures. A Stanford study showed that Chinese Americans view old age more positively than European Americans. The researchers explained this through a fundamental difference in the cultures’ views of old age: whereas Asian cultures see the elderly as full of wisdom and as keepers of tradition, American culture favors the new and the young, causing people to fight the process of aging.

    Dementia, an age-related condition that’s a growing problem in the U.S., is reported to be less common or less severe in non-Western societies. One reason for this is that in the cultures of India, Africa, and China, the decline of cognitive skills is seen as a normal process of aging and not labeled as a disease that can be diagnosed.

    Sources:
    http://longevity.stanford.edu/nguyen/2011/06/03/cultural-aging-research/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1369268/

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