My definition of health was pretty straightforward, being physically able to support yourself – as in being able to get up and find/make food and either going to work, trying to find work, or finding/obtaining sustenance without any physical interference from doing these things. In contrast my definition of illness was the inability to support yourself because you physically cant or it hurts too much to move. I think that I was thinking of the definition of disease and the outward appearance of altered physical function or infection when I first wrote my definition of illness.
With that being said I dont think anxiety is an illness based on my definition. I don’t think people with anxiety have any outward signs or any physical disabilities. They are perfectly capable of providing for themselves however, it might be hard for a person with anxiety to meet people and establish relationships outside of their own family. For instance having to go to a crowded grocery store or taking the bus and there is only one seat left – these might be some events the anxious person avoids at all cost but they are not in any way physically debilitating. I also dont think it is an illness(based on my definition)because I believe anxiety is all in your head. I feel like anxious people tend to get all worked up over futuristic hypothetical situations that rarely, if not ever, happen. You just have to consciously make the decision to do whatever it is you’re going to do and not worry about all if’s and but’s. You can’t predict the future so why be so apprehensive about it.
Anxiety does not fit my criteria for an illness but it is one by the real definition. I am not sure what effect anxiety has on the body but I assume its all bad. Years of anxious feelings, failed social interactions, avoidance of people/places…all would negatively impact the psyche but how would it take its toll on the body?