W1 Activity: Anxiety

Based on my background knowledge before this activity and using little information form this weeks lectures I defined “Health” as a general state of being that conforms with physical, biological, and social norms. The physical, biological aspect requires staying withing the set homeostatic ranges that are appropriate for any given body (age, gender, ethnicity, etc.). The social aspect applies more to mental deviations from what is considered socially acceptable. I defined “Illness” as a physical, biological deviation from the homeostatic norm. I chose not to include the social aspect in my definition of illness based on the information in this weeks lectures regarding illness and disease. Based on those definitions I would group deviations from the social norm as disease rather than illness.

When working on the illness activity the first word I had difficulty categorizing was anxiety. Anxiety is not necessarily a physical alteration like some of the more obvious illnesses like cancer, but as it is a homeostatic deviation regarding chemical balances within the body I decided to classify it as an illness. Menstruation was another one I thought might be considered gray area. I did not hesitate to categorize this as not an illness, but I can understand why others might. Some people might say that bleeding and loss of tissue is not a healthy activity in general and should therefore be considered illness, if their definition of illness is any deviation from healthy. I however considered menstruation as part of a normal homeostatic cycle that is actually part of a healthy existence. Migraines are another word that is a little difficult to  put a label on. I chose to categorize migraines as an illness because they are a physical deviation from the homeostatic norm. Migraines involve a shift in chemical balance as well as a physical change in the dilation of blood vessels.

One thought on “W1 Activity: Anxiety

  1. Hi Colin! Your post was very interesting to read. I chose ADHD to analyze for my W1 activity, and like migraines decided it was an illness. I agree with you that migraines are considered an illness because they cause a difference in our normal “healthy” body. Migraines are not that common in the United States, only about 12% of the population has experienced them. They often occur when there are bright lights, loud noises, certain odors and stress. A lot of these factors are influenced by where you live.

    In busy and loud cities like New York, migraines tend to occur more often among the people than places like the country Amish side of Pennsylvania. The two cultures are very different and therefore have different living environments, which in turn results in different factors that contribute to migraines. Since New York has loud sirens, bright signs, noisy cars and air pollution the population there might experience migraines more often than the Amish folk in Pennsylvania where there are none r very little of those things. Another reasoning is the Amish people might experience the same amount of migraines in their population, but due to other factors like emotional stress or allergies.

    1. “What is Migraine? What Causes Migraines?” last updated Monday 16 March 2015, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/148373.php

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