I would describe health as a homeostasis of the body, every aspect (physical, mental, internal, external, etc.) is working normally and properly. Therefore, illness being the opposite, would be the event in which some aspect is abnormal, and can effect or interrupt normal daily routines. Illness could range from a disease or chronic health issue such as cancer, heart disease, or epilepsy, to something minor like the flu or strept, to things like anxiety, depression, or ADHD. Although these things are pretty obvious and straight forward, there are as always some complications. For example, just because one is diagnosed with a medical condition doesn’t mean it effects their normal day to day life in anyway. A person can be epileptic & be seizure free, or maybe someone has become so accustomed to something, it doesn’t effect them anymore or theyve simply learned to deal with it – are they still considered ill if its not interupting normal routines? I believe that although there is often an obvious distinction between health and illness (not always so obvious, others often had no idea i had epilepsy growing up), that it is also all relative. I may be epileptic, and will always be, but I no longer have seizures & am off most of my medication (and off more all the time), and compared to most in similar circumstances, I am perfectly healthy.
For me, alot of whats healthy or not has come from personal experiences. I’ve spent more time than most in hospitals & with the health system, either with my own medical issues or those of family members. I also have almost always worked in the medical field, doing anything, so I’ve become pretty familiar with it all. As stated though, my family has played a pretty big part as well, whether with their own health issues or supporting me through mine (or overprotecting, etc.). I do believe however that society/culture, and therefore media as its tool, are the biggest culprits of where these ideas come from. They decide what is viewed as normal or abnormal, healthy or unhealthy, and in doing so dictate what we think and believe. This is such a big deal, because these views can vary so greatly between cultures.
Cancer: most definitely an illness, or more specificcly a disease. Its debilitating and often fatal.
Infertility: is an illness, can be treated medically, is often seen as something more/other than an illness in other cultures however
Old Age: i don’t really see this as an illness so much as a natural progression in life, it was hard to categorize though b/c it could be placed there & b/c scietist are working on ways to cure it
Shyness: although this can be treated, i didn’t classify this is an illness, its a characteristic (often of introverts) and the so called treatment is really just learning, or even forcing oneself, to be more outgoing