Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well being where illness and infirmity are absence. There are various definitions used for this but in general it includes the entire body and mind and is regarded as normal, beneficial to one’s well being. It includes the physiological, mental and emotional aspects and there are many relationships between these aspects. It is an integrated system with an interplay of genes, hormones, brain chemicals and knowledge transfer mechanisms.
What does this definition mean to us? In the field of health and medicine we have the concept of good health, which is necessary for the maintenance of the physical and mental health. A person with good health experiences minimal or no diseases and maintains optimum health. The definition of “good health” in this context means that a person is neither overweight nor underweight; he eats a balanced diet and gets sufficient sleep and exercises on a regular basis. It also implies that the person engages in active participation in sports and has social relationships. To achieve this kind of health, one needs to undergo treatment for a particular ailment.
Disease is something that results from any injury or damage to the body or to some part of it. A death sentence is also an injury or damage that has no cure. In the definition of disease, we omit the mental aspects and include only the physical aspects. We could say that good health is the absence of disability is an absence of disease. According to the definition, health is neither unhealthy nor happy but involves the presence of normal and healthy functioning of the body and mind. It is the absence of illness that makes health difficult to attain.
The most accepted definitions of disease include the following: A mental disorder is an abnormal mental state in which the person suffers some form of distress. The distress may be emotional or physical. Social or environmental factors may also play a role in the occurrence of the illness. Anxieties, frustrations or tensions, expectations and reactions to traumatic events and pressures also are considered to be responsible for causing mental illnesses. Similarly, stress-related illnesses can be included in the definition of disease.
The definition of good health is the absence of mental disorder and absence of disease. This implies that all mental disorders are not present. In order to attain good health, one needs to be free from all mental illnesses and diseases. However, a person does not become free from mental illnesses or diseases if he or she is subjected to mental stresses and strains. Stress itself may cause some form of mental ailment like anxiety, paranoia and depression.
In conclusion, a definition of health is incomplete without the inclusion of the concept of well-being. Well-being refers to a person’s total physical, emotional, social and psychological well-being. Health refers to the absence of sickness, disease, death and disability. A healthy person has a positive outlook towards life, active participation in the community, acceptance of others, and ability to cope with different situations. A happy and contented person has a positive self-image and can enjoy his or her life.