When I think of health I think of a happy, well functioning (able to do basic day to day tasks), and a person with normal ranged body levels (i.e. normal cholesterol level). When I think of illness the first thing that comes to mind is the phrase “under the weather”. Illness to me is when you just don’t feel good or like your normal self. You feel like you are operating at a subpar level of functioning. Illness may even prevent you from doing tasks that you can normally do.

The criteria I used to form my definitions of health and illness is my own personal experience. I would consider myself a happy, active, and healthy person. When I am ill, I am not my normal self. I tend to isolate myself from activities and people in hopes to get back to normal healthy levels. I also used previous experience from my physiology class. Health in physiology is when your body can maintain homeostasis. This means that your body is keeping itself in balance to keep you going. If your body is not in balance in some aspects your body tries to get back to homeostasis. Also if some part of your body is not working properly (out of balance) for example, if your insulin level is low enough, you may be considered a diabetic. Your body would try and work towards getting that level normal (homeostasis), but it obviously is having trouble. Therefore, you would be considered Ill. I think the media has some effect on my definitions of health and illness as well. You always see tons of commercials on TV about new drugs to fix problems x, y, and z and their symptoms. When you hear the symptoms, that is criteria for labeling someone as ill or having a health problem.

I chose anxiety as my title because I am a person that has been diagnosed with having anxiety problems. Anxiety is such a grey area to define if it is an illness or not. I would consider it to not be an illness. Unlike some people that have been diagnosed with anxiety, I do not let my anxiety problems define me as a person. I believe you can overcome anxiety because I have through counseling and medication. Now I am not on any medication for it/no more counseling and am proud to say I haven’t had an anxiety attack in about a year. An illness to me is a serious problem that you may not be able to overcome. Illnesses can alter your lifestyle, while anxiety can do this; most people I know that have the problem are happy normal functioning people that I would consider healthy. Anxiety is just a little speed bump in the road of life.

Another condition I chose is menstruation. Being a woman and having this be apart of my life I would definitely not consider it an illness. It’s not an illness to me because it’s something that your body normally does when you are a women. This may sound a little graphic but males having their balls drop are pretty much the same thing as menstruation for females to me. It happens, it’s a part of life, and usually we all go through it. Therefore, it is not an illness.

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