Definition of health, illness and disease - Essay Example

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The study has focused on the fact that the concept of health has significantly different ideas and values. It reflects different meanings in association with the concepts of health and diseases. Health can be considered as a state of normality or functioning for the human body…
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Definition of health, illness and disease
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Download file to see previous pages The focus in this paper is on health, illness and disease that can be defined quite in relation to each other. When an individual is not ill or is not suffering from any disease, it can be said that the individual is healthy. However, illness and disease have not been defined properly as yet. People tend to have their own perceptions and instead of defining these terms separately and significantly, they are associated with one another and defined as per the personal understandings of individuals. Different authors and health organizations like the WHO (World Health Organization) have tried to provide with definitions for health, illness and disease that this essay would reflect on. Smith tried to explain that the terms disease, illness or ill-health are not same. Rather their presentations with respect to the condition of one’s health are different. Disease, according to Smith, refers to the presence of some form of abnormality in the human body that can be detected and treated. Illness on the other hand represents the condition where an individual suffers from the different symptoms of any disease and does not experience the normal being of the health. Thus as far as Smith’s studies reflect it can be understood that there is a slight difference in the meanings of disease and illness. This in turn presents the fact that health is a concept that is broad in nature and involves different meanings related to the conditions of the health and the ill-health. Defining the illness or disease terms becomes more difficult since a disease or an illness do not necessary lead to a condition where an individual is unable to lead a normal life. Then it creates confusion whether to consider the human body to be in healthy state or diseased state (Hamilton-West, 2011, p.3). Disease on one hand reflects the presence of abnormality affecting the human health. On the other hand, the health also remains in a condition where it might perform normal activities with fewer difficulties. Thus while defining these terms, the different factors, the severity of the diseases or the illnesses, the effect that it has on the health, need to be realized and taken into consideration reflecting on the broad concept of health. Few models have also been designed for the understanding of the concept of health. These include the biological model, the social model and the social constructionism. The biological model is focused on the concept of defining diseases being a primary reason of affecting the normal condition of the health of a human body (Ananth, 2008, pp.208-209). The social theory relates to the mental condition of a human body while defining the illness and disease terms. Thus in this regard, the social values of human beings also are considered. Also, the social constructionism arises in this context where the biological factors are given lesser significance and the social issues are considered relevant in understanding the normal functioning health of a human and the diseases or illnesses that affect the normality of the body. The social models are thus away from the reality of the human body, the health and the illness (Pilgrim, 2009, pp.172-173). The studies based on the different models and the definitions tried to be determined reveals the fact that defining health, illnesses and ill health is difficult since different situations, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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