I find that biology is really the basis for the majority of what studying health is about. All of the knowledge acquired to be able to study and practice health come from biology. Essentially, in my opinion, the health system as we know it today wouldn’t really exist if no one took the time to study the biology of the world. I should add that I’m a biology major, so there’s a bit of a bias here.
The distinction between disease and illness isn’t so obvious to me. I can easily state that “disease” is clinically defined, whereas “illness” is culturally defined. But the lines between the two are somewhat blurred. For example, Hypochondria, a clinically defined “disease”, refers to people who display excessive fear/worry of having a real disease; this is more a sickness of the mind than anything. This clinically defined disease is similar how cultures outside of ours might act about a sickness we know doesn’t actually exist. Believers in Voodoo or similar principles might believe someone is possessed by some evil spirits which causes the infected person some amounts of pain and sickness. So is that a disease, or an illness? We would obviously, by definition, call this an illness, but as explained earlier there are clinical definitions of all illnesses. The belief you’re possessed by evil creatures can be easily classified as a mental disease, just as overacting about the spot on your arm is defined as hypochondria. Not to mention what these definition are doing is making one seem lesser than the other. So just because one might come from a different culture, their “illness” isn’t actually real. In my opinion, these definition have no place in the world of medicine because you cannot disregard a patient for claiming they were taken over my evil spirits.
This is at lease what I got from the definitions.
Unfortunately for the purpose of this assignment I’ve already studied this article before and knew it is talking about our own culture.
One of the rituals explained was the box in the wall with the shrine, “In this chest are kept the many charms and magical potions without which no native believes he could live”. It’s a bit alarming to think that our culture as become so obsessed with anything and everything that will make us look and feel better that it becomes the central dogma to our being.
The other ritual I found somewhat humorous was the ritual of the mouth. It gives a different and enlightening perspective on how focused we our on every detail of our being. Our culture wouldn’t be even close to the same if our ideas of health and our health system were altered.