My definition of health is broken down into two broad categories that can be related and often are.  First, mental health, which can have internal and external determinants. Internally, your body is obviously a complex system that involves an incredible amount of processes, hormones, enzymes, etc. Take depression as an example. It is often related to internal imbalances as well environmental factors that you are exposed to. Physical health has more to do with how well your body is “inline” with homeostasis.  Any irregularities or deterrents to homeostasis, with few exceptions, could likely have a negative effect on personal health. An aberration in physical health can often lead to a mental health issue.

Illness is of course negatively related to health. To me, illness can be defined as any condition, disease, or sickness that has a negative effect on one’s mental or physical health. Determining what qualifies as an illness has become increasingly difficult in society today. Due to misplaced motives, validating “conditions” has become big business for unacceptable and inhumane reasons.

My ideas and definitions to health and illness have come from a wide variety of places.  I’m guessing some of my views and opinions have been influenced from sources I’m not even aware of. I’d like to think that the majority of my views come from my education and personal experiences.

Cancer- This to me, is definitely an illness.  It requires treatment and threatens life.

Menstruation- This was a yes and no for me. In most women, it’s a natural process.  So in that regard, I would say no. However, it does cause discomfort and symptoms of illness. Because of this, it could be considered to be an illness.

Old age- This was a somewhat complicated decision. Initially I thought no, wavered, and ultimately concluded no. It’s a natural process and in the past I haven’t though of it as an illness. Thinking about it in depth now, old age is often associated with illness. The likelihood of illness increases with old age. Therefore, I would lean towards old age being more of a precursor to illness, not an illness in itself.

2 thoughts on “Sadness

  1. I agree that sadness is hard to categorize. In most places it is seen as depression if it goes on for an extended period of time. In the some eastern cultures, depression is seen as a mental illness and they categorize most illnesses with stress and tension. In India, a person with depression is often sent to a mental institution after serious evaluation. This normally cost a lot of money that many people do not have, therefore most people do not receive treatment. Cultures like Poland who’s history is tainted feel that mental illnesses, depression, and likewise compromise the “social cohesion” of the group.(Luzaj, S. 2012) We are blessed that in our country, depression is not seen as a mental problem but more as a disease that can be treated with various medications. The Chinese use various ways to treat depression, some of which have been adapted by the American culture. The most well known is acupuncture, which is also used for pain relief. ( It is believe that the ions in the body are out of whack, so to speak, and through acupuncture they can be adjusted. Another form of treatment is through herbal medicine which takes a more holistic approach. There are a variety of ways to interpret sadness and trying to decide when does sadness become depression and how to best deal with the situation at hand.

    “Depression Treatment Healing Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM),Alternative, Complementary Medicine.” Depression Treatment Healing Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM),Alternative, Complementary Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2012.

    Luczaj, Sarah. “Psychology, Philosophy & Real Life.” N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2012. .

  2. I did not analyze cancer when I did the activity, but agree it is an illness. I found it interesting how different cultures go about treatment. An article, To Tell the Truth: A Cancer Diagnosis in Other Cultures Is Often a Family Affair by Steven Benowitz he says, “In many cultures, the patient may be the last to be told he has cancer,” and “family tries to protect the patient from the truth, though the patient often knows he or she is getting sicker.” He talks about how in Korea it’s the doctors and the family that make decisions about treatment. In the article Considering Culture When Providing Cancer Care, Elia Ben-Ari, discusses what has to be taken into account when it comes to deciding on a treatment plan. They have to provide health care services, “that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices, and cultural and linguistic needs.” It points out that part of the care is dealing with the psychological and social problems due to the disease or the treatment itself. These problems are different in different cultures. The article says that Middle East, according to a Dr. Shad, “strong family support systems are part of the culture of these nations,” that “there isn’t always a need for psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, and you learn not to push social work and psychiatry on them, because they get it in a different form.” Rather, “one should understand what they have, and then try to fill in the holes.” It’s interesting to see the differences because I would have thought the treatment for cancer would have been a little more straightforward.

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