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.