The way that I define health and illness is a way that looks at the terms as two entirely different meanings, in that health to me is a status. You possess your health. And the quality of your health is determined in the way that you take care of yourself. You can never lose your health, but you can have very poor health. Illness on the other hand is something that ails you. Illness can be a virus, a disease, a bacterial infection, or any other thing that lowers your health. Illness is what makes peoples health dwindle. I think that I got these definitions from University and growing up in a family that has a very medical background. My sister and mother are both nurses, so when it comes to health I really didn’t have a choice in making my own definitions. ADHD I do think that it is an illness. As someone with ADHD I can defiantly say that all my life have really had to try and force myself to do school work. I have taken medication for it in the past but I didn’t like how it made me feel. But I would say that yes ADHD is defiantly an illness. The other is Migraines, and yes they are an illness. My opinion was formed this way because my sister suffers from crippling migraines and they make her bedridden for their duration.  The way that hey effected her life is the main reason i would consider it an illness. Again the way I see illness is as something that lowers ones health and or quality of life in a biological sense. So ADHD and Migraines are in my eyes both considered illnesses and should be treated with the same respect as another disease or illness. This is my view on health and illness.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Ashley Webb says:

    ADHD is an illness that peaks a certain interest in me. I, myself, am diagnosed with ADD and ADHD combined-type. From the research I have done, it appears that ADHD is a disorder that is prevalent in the American society and not so prevalent elsewhere. It seems that ADHD is stemming from the social and cultural practices that us Americans experience every day. This behavioral disorder is very common worldwide but is not recognized by the medical community due to its’ blurred lines in the diagnosis aspect. From the studies done in comparing ADHD in the American society and ADHD in other societies, the studies show that the behavior amongst people that are diagnosed with the illness are relatively the same. But, in other societies, ADHD is referred to something different. The different terms include Hyperkinetic Disorder (HKD) in some European countries and DAMP in Scandinavia specifically. The research included studies from countries of USA, UK, Sweden, Canada, and China but there were no studies of note of children in African populations. This shows that ADHD is not recognized by the medical community in many populations and cultures but it also demonstrates that there are other cultures (i.e. European) that recognize the disease but just in different terms.

    Faraone, Stephen, Joseph Sergeant, Christopher Gillberg, and Joseph Biederman. “The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: is it an American condition?.” . (accessed July 6, 2014).

  2. Anya Odabasic says:

    ADHD is definitely a hard condition to classify. Along with plenty of other diseases, ADHD is much more prevalent in the US than other countries. That is for many reasons but mostly because of the ease of access to medication. Whether this medication works or not, is up to the consumer. I have heard similar stories to yours from many of my friends that the medications they were given made them feel funny or just off their usual game. I tried to find other information about why ADHD didn’t seem as big in other countries and couldn’t find too much “solid” information about it. Most of it was cultural differences in what ADHD is called or that the country doesn’t have the variety of medications that we do. There has however been a rise in diagnoses in other countries. A study from Berkeley showed that “countries such as France, Sweden, Korea, and Japan are showing higher than expected rates of ADHD medication use from 1993-2003”. The article also states that public school systems are becoming more and more important in other countries. With the rise in schools, more children are being analyzed and diagnosed with ADHD than before.

    Anwar, Yasmin. “Use of ADHD medication soars worldwide.” . (accessed July 6, 2014).

  3. Natasha Mehta says:

    ADHD is extremely prevalent in the United States among young children, but there is also a great deal of controversy around the issue of what type of condition it exactly is, and how to treat it. In America, about 9% of children are diagnosed with ADHD as a biological disorder, and they are medicated with psycho stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall. However, in France, psychiatrists view ADHD from a different angle. Instead of a biological disorder, most French psychiatrists view ADHD as a medical condition that has psychosocial and situational causes. Instead of treating children’s focusing and behavioral problems with drugs, French doctors choose to treat underlying issue that is causing the child to act a certain way – “not in the child’s brain but in the child’s social context.” They choose therapy and family counseling instead of giving very young children such stimulating medications. The difference between diagnosing and treating ADHD between America and France comes from the fact that these psychiatrists use a different childhood emotional problem classification system than the US. Cultural differences in child-rearing also add to the different outlooks the two countries have on the disorder. As stated in the “Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD” article on the Pyschology Today website, “the focus of the CFTMEA (the French classification system) is on identifying and addressing the underlying psychosocial causes of children’s symptoms, not on finding the best pharmacological bandaids with which to mask symptoms.”

    Wedge, Marilyn. “Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD.” Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist. (accessed July 6, 2014).

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