When posed with the question, “what is health and illness?” I realized that there are many facets of human life that can influence how a person feels. The definition is almost dynamic and can be different based on a person’s background. My personal definition of health, or healthy, is the ability to function independently with an optimistic point of view. My definition of illness is the opposite of my definition of health. A person that is not able to function on their own or is somewhat struggling with their own personal view of life is suffering from an illness. The severity of this illness can range based on the person’s ability to function in their everyday tasks.

I believe that I have formed this criteria of health and illness based off of numerous experiences that have involved my cultural background, media exposure, and my educational background. Since we live in America, we are greatly influenced by the media and the culture that we are surrounded by. America is full of many different cultures, but being an autonomous and independent member of society seems to be a constant that flows through every American’s blood. Based off of my criteria alone, I would say that poverty is an illness, but I find myself thinking that this is flawed. I believe that being in poverty can lead to unwanted illness, but being impoverished is not an illness in itself. During this activity, I found that my definition created some inconsistencies in what I actually believe about health and illness.

According to my definition of health and illness, shyness would be considered an illness, but I actually find this to be false. I was constantly second guessing myself with many of the “illnesses” that were brought up in the video. I would categorize them as illnesses at first and then place them as a normal part of life after I put more thought into it. I struggled the most with classifying old age and ADHD because they both have the ability to effect people negatively. I placed both of these into the “not an illness” category because they did not directly go against my definition of health, even though they could potentially cause ailments that could.

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