My definition of health is being psychologically/emotionally, socially, and physically well balanced and able to maintain an active and happy lifestyle. Illness is an imbalance, whether it be mentally or physically, and reflects an abnormality in the body that is mostly detectable by the individual rather than by a medical professional. I, for example, am not entirely healthy; I exist somewhere in the middle of my definitions of health and illness. I do not exercise regularly, often lack a proper diet due to my overwhelmingly busy schedule, have asthma, and are required to take daily medication to regulate my ADHD. However, I do maintain a healthy social life and am happy. My criteria come from a mixture of American standards of health – diet, exercise, etc – and what my family values – happiness, psychological health, and being well loved.
For this activity, I chose ADHD and asthma, two conditions that I personally deal with on a daily basis. Before I received my diagnosis and began treatment for my ADHD, I felt like something was wrong with the way I thought and behaved. I lacked impulse control, couldn’t sit still, and felt overwhelmed when exposed to too much stimulus. I was quick to emotion and couldn’t focus on much of anything – I spent most of my high school career drawing rather than taking notes or participating. Based on my knowledge of this condition and my definition for disease and illness, I would classify this as more of an illness, though I would like to classify it as a disease as it displays symptoms, has treatment, and is a reoccurring problem that can be debilitating to someone’s productivity and life. Ultimately, illness is my choice for ADHD as it is a mostly internal experience that is not always detectable.
Asthma is a disease, albeit a controllable one. There is a physical reaction to various types of stimuli that result in the shrinking or constriction of the bronchial tubes leading to difficulty breathing and sometimes death. This can be treated with medication and is a well accepted disease.