My definition of health is a state of mental, physical and emotional comfort.  When one is healthy they are free from disease and injury, and have a normal mental, physical and emotional state.  I believe that this normal state varies from person to person, and therefore the definition of health also varies from person to person.  My definition of illness is being in a mental, physical or emotional state that is not normal.  An abnormal mental, physical or emotional state may be the result of a infection, accident, etc.  I think the criteria I used came from a variety of sources including personal experience and society.  I believe that these definitions change from culture to culture and person to person.

I think that old age should not be considered an illness.  When one is old they do not necessarily have an abnormal physical, mental or emotional state.  However, old age can lead to illness such as arthritis and hearing loss.  I would consider these to be an illness because they would be considered abnormal to a person who has not previously experienced arthritis or hearing loss.
I believe that anxiety should be considered an illness.  When one suffers from anxiety they can have an abnormal mental and emotional state.  Anxiety causes one to feel nervous, stressed and fearful.  This prevents one from feeling and acting as they normally would.

In my opinion, menstruation should not be considered an illness because it is an event that normally occurs. Menstruation is something that naturally occurs in women.  I think that if a woman did not menstruate, then that should be considered abnormal and therefore an illness (infertility).  Like old age, I believe that menstruation can cause other illnesses such as nausea.

Like old age and menstruation, it was hard for me to decide if poverty should be considered an illness or not.  I have come to the conclusion that poverty itself is not an illness, but some side effects of poverty may be considered an illness.  Being in poverty could lead to depression, sadness, etc.

In conclusion, some of the items included on the list were not illnesses by themselves, but they may lead to or cause other illnesses.

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