Without looking for the definition I would define health as the basis for what we as humans describe our overall condition of emotional, physical, and mental well being. When considering how to define health, I think of how I would use the word and in what context. The phrase, “how is your health?” comes to mind. I would use this term when asking someone of their emotional health, physical health, or mental health, hence why I would define it in such a way.
I think of illness as anything that alters someone’s state of “healthiness”. I would not consider an illness to have to be something that is medically diagnosed, nor a disease, in fact, I believe that an illness can be completely mental and perhaps exaggerated. In many and most cases though, illness and disease probably go hand in hand.
The first condition that I found interesting, and perhaps confrontational, to diagnose is erectile dysfunction. ED, as it is often know as, has become a huge focus for the pharmaceutical market for men all over the world, however, is it really an illness or is it hyped up by marketing in order to make men think that they are abnormal if they do not have erections as the drop of a dime like when they were 18 years old? I honestly don’t have any scientific knowledge on the topic to back it up, however, I do believe that it can indeed be an illness for men. (I would love to say the opposite just to stir up conversation.) Whether or not they have a medical problem, if they mentally psyc themselves into thinking that they do, than this does in fact effect their state of well being both mentally, and the stress of not being able to perform could effect them emotionally as well.
The second condition that I chose to discuss is old age. How interesting to bring this up. I would absolutely not consider this to be a disease; however that was not the question. So is it an illness, well, according to my own definition, I would say yes. As a person ages, their physical well being most definitely deteriorates, although with possibly their mental state. These would label it as an illness, although I would never had considered it to be prior to this exercise. I suppose it would also depend on the comparison. Is it fair to compare an aging person to the same health levels as someone in their prime of health? Or is health only comparable to one’s age? I think that this condition brought up more questions for me than answers to be honest, and would love to hear others input on the topic. I suppose the law background in me, likes to bring up the pros and cons and antagonize a discussion.