When trying to define what health is to another person, I would tell them that it is the well-being of a person, both mentally and physically. Health can be either positive (lack of disease or illness) or negative (having a disease or illness). If that person were to ask me to explain to them what an illness is, I would tell them that it is a condition that can negatively affect a person’s health by having a direct affect on the well-being of the person, either physically, mentally, or both. The illness can be associated with symptoms that hinder a person from having a normal life.


The criteria I used to come up with these definitions came from previous knowledge I had about what health and illness were. I then used this prior knowledge and combined it with the information that I had obtained from this weeks’ lectures. I believe that a good portion of the previous definitions I had of disease or illness came from personal experiences and school. Through multiple health-related classes, the definitions of health and illness were discussed on multiple occasions and over time I was able to develop my own mental definitions about what health and illness were.


When it comes to shyness, I determined that this was not an illness and I based this realization around the criteria and definition that I had for the term “illness”. The reason I feel this way is because shyness does not negatively hurt the body in a physical way which would prevent the person from functioning normally. I did find shyness to be a little difficult to categorize, however. It is possible for shyness to negatively affect a person’s life if the person is so shy that they find themselves not doing important tasks throughout their lives simply because they’re too afraid to speak to other people. This negativity would cause the person to have the inability to live a normal life as opposed to if the person wasn’t so shy.


Through my definition and criteria for definition of illness, I determined that infertility was also not an illness. I came to this conclusion by evaluating exactly what infertility is (the inability to conceive children). While infertility may bother someone emotionally, it generally won’t affect them physically or making any other part of the person’s life considerably more difficult. Again, I found this difficult to categorize because it is possible that the mental stress associated with infertility could have a strong enough negative effect on the person’s emotions that it could prevent them from living a normal, healthy life.

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