For the definition of health, I stated it as the maintenance of the physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing that allows one to achieve their desired living without these factors as barriers. Most of the criteria I used were from societal understandings and media and developing the idea of health with my own experiences. I know in my life, I have been told that I am inherently “unhealthy” due to a family history of hypertension on the paternal side and diabetes on the maternal as well as body weight, yet I have neither “illnesses” and work out, eat “healthily” and live without any barriers to the life I desire to have. For the definition of illness, I used it in relation to my definition of health; that illness is the long or short-term disruption of one’s good health and that can or cannot be resolved. I slightly changed my definition after the W1 Activity because I had so many of the themes that fell in the gray area, in particular, poverty, spirit possession and HIV. Like health, I used the same criteria for that determination that were society, media and my personal experience.
HIV was definitely a gray area for me because of the treatments available that can help people long “healthy” lives even though there is no cure. If treated early, illness will not impede on one’s life physically but psychologically and emotionally, that really depends on the person and the effect the overall experience has had on them, their families and loved ones. Poverty was another one that was difficult to place as the definition, although seemingly concrete, may differ from person to person. My definition of poverty may be the lack of resources to sustain adequate living standards in America but will be different in my home country where the livings standards are lower. Spirit possession was slightly less of a grey area for me because (in my opinion) it is based on one’s cultural and spiritual beliefs. I was raised in a society that is quite religious and but also has strong ties to traditional Shona beliefs in ancestral sprits and omens. With the additional investment in modern science in my studies, it is difficult for me to determine if it is an illness, part of health or neither.