Anxiety an illness – Aaron Schmidt

My definition of health – The normal physiological functions of the body free of disrupting changes.  I chose this definition because being healthy isn’t just eating right, or not being sick.  Healthy means that normal biological functions or functioning correctly.  There could be a debate about what is normal, but for the most part, healthy to me means that biological processes are working the way they are supposed to.

Illness- The immune response of a disease, described and categorized as a negative effect on the body by an individual.  – I chose this because an illness is the description of how someone feels sick, and describes how they have a fever, are sneezing, coughing etc.

These ideas personally came from class and working in EMS.  I’ve taken pharmacology classes and biology classes that have explained that healthy people are generally free of disease and are functioning normally, and people that are not healthy have some sort of physiological problem or ailment.  Classes like immunology have taught me that the immune response is what you actually feel when you are sick, which I categorize as the illness caused by a disease.

I would categorize anxiety as an illness according to my definition.  Anxiety causes stress, causes people to panic, sweat, or even vomit.  Some people with high anxiety cannot function normally or even sleep.  The description that an individual would have of their anxiety would be a negative effect on the health of their body.  If the person is feeling pain, fatigue, or sickness from something, it can be considered an illness.

Cancer is another disease that I would consider an illness, although some people may not know they have cancer.  Cancer is a disease that affects biological processes, decreasing the health of a person.  The person may not be negatively affected at first, or know that they are affected, which falls out of my definition of an illness.  But, if cancer metastasizes and causes a negative physiological effect, I think it should be categorized as an illness under my definition.

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  1. Breanna Block says:

    I too classified anxiety as an illness during the illness activity. It can greatly effect someones quality of life. What I found interesting in my research at first, was that according to Cultural Aspects in Social Anxiety and Social Anxiety Disorder, each country tends to experience anxiety differently. Americans and Russians tend to have high rates of anxiety, whereas countries like Japan have a very low percent of people who experience the disorder. This intrigued me, so I continued reading to find that their research did not look at the other countries cultures very well. Both of the articles I looked at mentioned, Taijin Kyofuso, but only Social Anxiety Disorder in the West and East really described the disorder, and then evaluated it into their research. I found that Taijin Kyofuso is appears to be very similar to what Americans call anxiety. Once that factor is counted for, the rates are a lot more similar. I found that those of Eastern culture are much less likely to seek treatment for their anxiety although they report that their symptoms are just as strong as those reporting from Western culture. It appears that treatment in Eastern cultures is much more “natural” or even ignored than in Western cultures. Dan Stein found when treated with SSRI’s both the Taijin Kyofuso and Social Anxiety Disorder symptoms were decreased. This research was really interesting, it makes me wonder how many other research work could be flawed because of lack of knowledge on the culture differences in the world.

    Hofmann, Stefan, Anu Asnaani, and Devon Hinton. “Cultural Aspects in Social Anxiety and Social Anxiety Disorder.” ADAA. no. 12 (2010): 1117-1127. 10.1002/da.20759 (accessed July 7, 2013).

    Stein, Dan. “Social anxiety disorder in the West and in the East.” Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. (2009): 109-117. https://www.aacp.com/pdf/2102/2102ACP_Review3.pdf (accessed July 7, 2013).

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