In my opinion, health is the absence of sickness or disease. I chose this definition because people can be considered healthy, but still lead unhealthy lives (ex. eating fatty meals, smoking cigarettes). I would consider someone healthy until proven sick in a sense.  I think that illness is defined as the immediate presence of a harmful or destructive pathogen/bacteria/virus. I would say that illness falls under a more acute outlook, in that chronic conditions that people live with everyday are not necessarily acute illnesses (a-fib, diabetes, etc).

I believe that society and culture have a strong influence on a person’s idea of sickness, and how sick they are. I believe that people in America specifically expect the best treatment, and subsequently fast and inexpensive. If you go into the doctor’s office, you expect to be cured of all ailments within the time of your visit. Another problem we face is quantifying pain, and inherently severity of a condition. Pain is subjective, and norciception varies throughout people, pain tolerance is built or sensitivity is created based on your environment. Assuming that people are being genuine about their symptoms.

I picked ADHD because it exemplifies the need for our culture to have an instantaneous remedy. Not to say that ADHD isn’t a valid diagnosis and I would say there are some severe cases that are properly diagnosed.  I would even argue that everyone has a mild case of ADHD. However, because it is one of the most overly diagnosed and wrongly diagnosed conditions of our time, I cant help raise some conclusions, and why it wouldn’t be an illness. I think that when a child is not paying enough attention, they are filled with drugs to compensate. Their lack of discipline and focus isn’t based on how they were raised or taught, but how an inability to do some completely without the aid of a prescription. I find it even more curious that this condition is most prevalent in America, where we demand that immediate remedy.

HIV should be considered a disease in my opinion, because it is an immunosuppressant disease, and allows sickness via an opportunistic or secondary infection that can be harmful to the body. I think the label that comes with the disease is placed on us by society in that it is almost taboo to speak of, and that people shouldn’t be afraid of people with HIV.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Steven Sochacki says:

    For my comment I choose to look at the condition of ADHD. Like many other countries, the U.S. uses drugs to treat the condition before using psychology or other methods. The UK, on the other hand, has psychosocial treatment being used before other things the majority of the time. In Canada, “the use of medication and psychological interventions is left up to physician and patient preferences.” In complete contrast to some countries, Brazil uses psychology (specifically psychoanalysis) with drugs being “‘decidedly out of favor’.” China also limits its use of drugs on patients by having their healthcare system mandate that “any prescriptions be given for a maximum of only 2 weeks.”

    In summary, ADHD and how to treat it is perceived differently all over the world. The leader of this study, Stephen P. Hinshaw, believes that these perceptions come from how it is treated in comparison to the views of the culture. This can be seen in the article when it says, “But more recently, a meta-analysis indicated that differences in prevalence are largely attributable to methodologic differences in the studies themselves rather than cultural or national factors.”

    Medscape. “Wide Global Variation in ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment.” Accessed July 5, 2013.

    • jurayjan says:

      That’s very informative. It’s interesting to find out that it is treated differently throughout the whole world. I would think that because it is the same diagnosis, you would have same treatment. The inconsistencies throughout the whole world make it less credible. I would also think that assuming it is all documented, the most productive results would be published. I’m not necessarily looking for a cure just a practical treatment option that isn’t taking an adderol a day with all the side effects.

      Thanks for the comment

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