Aside from being free of disease and sickness, I believe that health refers to all aspects of being. To be healthy means to be physically, mentally, and emotionally sound. It involves your lifestyle habits as well, such as eating decently on a regular basis, exercising at least moderately, and having a good sense of being. Being healthy means you feel comfortable inside your skin and you feel normal; Normal being what is right for yourself (your personal homeostasis).
My definition of illness is anything that disrupts your normalcy or homeostasis. It can be a cold/flu or even depression. Feeling ill doesn’t mean you have to have an actual disease or sickness. It’s your own perception of how you feel when you’re not ‘healthy’ or simply don’t feel right.
The criteria I based these definitions off of mainly come from a combination of personal experience and from family. Growing up, I was frequently sick so my knowledge of health and illness was shaped by my parents through the amount of times they had to take care of me and take me to the doctors.
As long as it’s persistent, I believe that anxiety should be considered an illness. Anxiety is a normal human emotion, but that doesn’t mean that every time someone feels anxious, they’re ill. Anxiety can be caused by a number of things, including work stress and lack of sleep. But when it begins affecting your daily life, that’s when it’s a true illness because it keeps you from feeling normal and healthy.
Another topic listed in the illness activity is old age. Although aging can make us more susceptible to sickness and disease, I do not consider old age itself to be an illness because it’s a natural part of life. As much as we try to make ourselves avoid it, it cannot be changed, but that doesn’t make us ill, it only makes us human.