I define health in illness personally as one’s quality of life and daily functioning. If an individual feels that their daily life is impacted by certain ailments or symptoms, I believe that constitutes an illness. I believe that this criterion on health and illness came from a multitude of influences such as peers, parents, and media. I was scrolling through Instagram the other day, and I realized that many of the celebrities I follow on Instagram were promoting the same “fit tea.” These celebrities were all very good looking, so I couldn’t but make the connection that these brands sought out these celebrities to make a statement that their tea promotes health, which in turn is essential for beauty. Beauty and health have become synonymous in American mainstream society. Which is why when someone often has what we call an “invisible illness” such as generalized anxiety disorder many are quick to disregard the illness and not give it much importance.
I chose anxiety and menstruation for my illnesses, and I believe the should both be considered an illness depending on the individual. If a person believes that their daily life is impacted by their anxiety than it is an illness and this applies to menstruation as well. Many women do not have symptoms with menstruation, but on the other hand, many women have physical symptom such as cramps, acne, bloating and breast tenderness. So I believe illness should be evaluated on an individual basis and requires a lot of self-evaluation of symptoms on the part of the patient.
The reason I believe that self-evaluation of symptoms should be given more merit in health fields in the case of menstruation and anxiety is that when people are often suffering the physical viewable symptoms may be different with the doctor can see and observe and what the person is feeling symptomatically. I have heard the women are often disregarded when discussing their symptoms, which often leads to misdiagnosis of disease on the part of the doctor. This shows that doctors need to be trained to look out for key descriptions of illness symptoms to assess whether a disease is present. These descriptions should be given a great deal of consideration.