I would describe “healthy” as being in a normal state of homeostasis. One’s body would be functioning at relatively normal levels, with each cell in the body doing it’s proper job. There are many different types of health, such as physical health and emotional health. Combined, these two conditions make up a person’s overall health. These conditions go hand-in-hand and typically one cannot survive without the other. A healthy lifestyle can also lead to a healthy physical and mental state. Exercise, positive stress relief, a good support system or even just a well balanced meal can differentiate someone from being healthy to causing an illness.
On the other end of the spectrum is illness, which can be defined as being diseased, not normal or even out of balance. A person may have a physical or a mental illness, which is the only similarity between being healthy and having an illness, both including physical and mental aspects. An illness can occur when a person is no longer healthy. Typically, people can be treated for their illnesses but most tend to be treated on a chronic basis, to never return to the healthy state again.
There are a lot of conditions that seem to fall into a gray area and people aren’t too sure where to categorize them. I do believe that anxiety is an illness. Research on mental disease is too minimal at this point, and we need more support to continue research on these conditions. Although the exact link/cause of anxiety has not yet been discovered, this does not mean that anxiety is not an illness. Many people today believe that mental disorders are a person’s personal choice, and many are pegged with the word “crazy”. But, as the definition of an illness is described above, anxiety is a result from some sort of imbalance within the human body that leads a person to become more anxious.
Another condition that tends to fall into the gray area is migraines. It’s hard for people to relate this condition to lets say, Congestive Heart Failure. CHF is a much more clear diagnosable disease, where the pt’s with CHF will have an elevated BNP level or their chest X-ray shows the fluid buildup. Whereas migraines, are a much more subjective complaint and we must trust that patients with migraines are truly having their pain. Although we cannot measure someone’s migraine (with the exception of a pain-scale), this does not mean that migraines are not an illness.