My definition of health is being to go about your day-to-day activities without having anything deter you.  If your physical and mental well-being are good, you are healthy.  When I think of illness, I think of anything that disrupts your body physically or mentally so that you may not be functioning properly.  For example, if you can’t wake up and go to class because you feel ill, whether physically or mentally, that is a form of illness.  I used my criteria as a physical or mental state that has affected your life negatively.

My definitions came from my personal life and from others’ personal lives.  I have learned that it’s a mix of physical and mental well-being that keeps people going.  In many cultures, and in America in the past, if someone didn’t have a physical problem, they didn’t have a problem at all.  I now know that if someone suffers from depression, the struggle to get out of bed in the morning and go to class is just as real for them as it is for someone who has a physical injury.

I feel that anxiety should be considered an illness because when people get anxiety, it gets in the way of their day-to-day activities.  They feel that they are having a heart attack possibly and cannot go on with what they are doing.  Although there are no outward physical injuries, this person cannot do normal activities when suffering from anxiety.  Anxiety can cause many symptoms like shortness of breath, heart palpitations and vomiting that can get in the way of having a normal life.  It often must be treated with prescription drugs and therapy.  I don’t consider old age an illness because it is a natural part of life.  Although we get many illness when we are old, old age is not in and of itself an illness.  Getting old is a natural part of life.  When we start to treat natural parts of our bodies and life as illnesses, we get into some very tricky bio-ethical problems.

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