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.