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.